Cruising in the Caribbean is extremely popular. The clear blue water of the Caribbean and the various islands with their individual cultures and landscapes make this a great vacation for explorers who like to have their cruise ship as a home base. The temperate climate and sea breezes are relaxing while you sit on your balcony and cruise into port, and the tours and shopping on the different islands can create an appetite for the great meals prepared onboard.
There are many cruise lines to choose from and many itineraries as well. The Caribbean is roughly broken up into three sections for cruising itineraries. There is the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. Depending on where the cruise departs from, as well as the length of the cruise and the size of the ship, determines what ports are visited in each section.
The main Eastern Caribbean islands visited are the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.
The main Western Caribbean islands visited are Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Belize (mainland), Roatan (Honduras) and Cozumel. Other ports in Mexico are also added.
The main Southern Caribbean islands visited are St. Lucia, Grenada, Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.
There are cruises that depart from several ports in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale and Miami, but also Tampa, Port Canaveral and Jacksonville. There are also ports along the southern states, such as New Orleans and Galveston and the eastern seaboard, from New York down to South Carolina. Some people choose the port closest to them, often avoiding a flight and others choose the port that allows them to get to the islands they want to visit.
Whatever your preference, there is a cruise to meet your needs, where the price is inclusive of your accommodations, meals and entertainment, and you only have to unpack once.