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Southern Caribbean Island Hop
Royal Caribbean International: Grandeur of the Seas
6th Feb 2022, 7 nts, departing: Cruise Only
Visiting: Bridgetown - St Georges, Grenada - Castries - Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Roseau - Basseterre - St John's, Antigua - Bridgetown
call now 01 6523009

The Best Caribbean Cruise Ports For 2018/2019

Sailing the Caribbean is a dream for most cruisers. The golden sands, pristine waters, cool breeze, captivating rhythms and warm welcomes make this one of the top cruise holiday destinations. Here are our top picks of Cruise Destinations for 2019.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

If you can picture the perfect cruise port, then this is it. A perfect mix if you're looking for fun and sun. Open-air markets selling jewellery and duty free, white sandy beaches, snorkeling and scuba diving, all in the embrace of a balmy breeze. George Town has more than water sports and shopping to offer, with its Seven Mile Beach offering a twist and turn at every alcove.

You might happen upon some fun filled frolics at Margaritaville or venture to nearby Stingray City or the Cayman Turtle Farm. All this upside does have its drawbacks though. The little streets are overrun with tourists. With as many as nine cruise ships calling every day the town is at max capacity. This can make the berthing process slower, but the locals are lapping it up and competition is fierce for the tourist dollar. All which means you are spoilt for choice when it comes to the shops.

The beaches soon fill up with sunseekers, but with seven miles of sand to choose from, it is possible to find secluded spots. The neverending sand soon opens out to less congested alcoves, where you are free to soak up all that paradise has to offer.

MSC Cruises are offering excellent value for 7 nights on board the MSC Seaside this March. Visiting Miami, Ocho Rios, George Town, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Nassau and return Miami. To enquire about this offer please call 01 6523009 now.

Nassau, Bahamas

A highlight of nearly every cruise. This port receives as many as six ships per day, and it's easy to see why with it's golden sands, coral reefs and historic buildings. A must see is the world famous Atlantis Resort museum about pirates. History buffs will love visiting The Queens Staircase and Fort Fincastle.

The Bahamas are in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean, but for many of us Nassau is the first cruise port we ever visit. Nassa is the capital of the Island and is located on New Providence Island. It's beautiful beaches and sparkling blue water are a draw for the nearly dozen cruise ships that call on a daily basis. This influx of tourists can sometimes overwhelm the towns little streets, but don't worry, there's plenty for everyone to do.

A firm favourite with visitors is nearby Paradise Island while other may choose to go snorkelling or take in a round of golf. Prince George Wharf brings you right in to the heart of the action with its bustling shops and restaurants. Nearby is Bay Street and Junkanoo Beach which make up the main drag. Here you will find a mixture of caribbean culture, warm waters, museums, markets and parks all within a short stroll of each. Paradise.

MSC Cruises are offering 7 nights this March on board the MSC Seaside. Visiting Miami, Nassau, San Juan, Philipsburg, St Maarten and return Miami. To enquire about this offer please call 01 6523009 now.

Cozumel, Mexico

At only 300 square miles this is one of the most visited ports in the Caribbean. The island of Yucatan has three cruise piers in order to accommodate the ships that bring more than a million passengers a year. Cozumel is a fantastic destination offering mouth watering local fare, sandy beaches and historic architecture.

No visit to Cozumel is complete without seeing the Mayan Ruins or the Yucatan Rainforest with it's ziplines and caves. Stroll the bohemian town of San Miguel, take the fast ferry to Playa Del Carmen or snorkel in the world’s second largest barrier reef. Virtually all Western Caribbean Cruises stop at Cozumel.

MSC Cruises are offering 7 nights on board the MSC Seaside this April. Visiting Miami, Ocho Rios, George Town, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Costa May and return Miami.

St. Maarten/St. Martin

St Maarten is the Dutch side of an eastern Caribbean island with two distinct cultures - Dutch and French. St Maarten is small, but offers a wide variety of entertainment making this a must to see on your trip. The larger ships dock at the capital, Philipsburg, while smaller ships dock at nearby Marigot.

The white sandy beaches are famous for nudity (not compulsory), and is home to some wonderful little bars and cafes. The island has more than beaches in its favour with it being home to America's Cup yacht racing as well as excellent for snorkelling. Thrill seeker flock to Maho Beach to see the planes land within touching distance of the beach.

Oh, and did I mention the shopping? The terminal has shopping opportunities galore. Local excursions are a perfect opportunity to visit nearby fishing villages and famous landmarks. St Maartens is the perfect blend of laid back Dutch and French sophistication in perfect harmony.

MSC Cruises are offering 7 nights this March on board the MSC Seaside. Visiting Miami, Nassau, San Juan, Philpsburg, St Maarten and return Miami. To enquire about this offer please call 01 6523009 now.

Port of Antigua

Part of the West Indies, Antigua is famed for having 365 golden beaches, or 'one for each day of the year'. This may very well be true, but the beach is only half the story on this beautiful little sunkissed island.

Antigua has an average high temperature of 80 degrees, but it gets stickier in the summer when the trade winds fall away. These slower months play host to the annual Carnival in late July. Peak cruising season is from November through February, but remember to bring your umbrella as this is also the rainy season.

Historic Nelson's Dockyard is definitely worth a visit. This old Georgian era dockyard is still working to this day and survives due to its natural surroundings or 'hurricane hole'. The port was a resting point for weary British naval officers and a chance to repair damaged ships, with much of the architecture still standing to this day. Farmers fill the nearby market with fresh produce and a nearby fish market brings the sights, sounds and smells of a true working port to life.

Nestled alongside the old historic buildings are shiny new jewellery and craft stores boasting beaded jewellery, soft leather sandals and touristy trinkets. Further along you will find impressive yachts bobbing in crystal clear waters alongside fishing boats. A visit to the many boutique hotels and tastefully repurposed historic structures affords you a glimpse into how island life has transformed from a mainly agricultural economy to a massive tourist draw.

The Dockyard Museum is a fascinating collection of artifacts and memorabilia from throughout Antigua's history while a visit to Betty's Hope,a partially restored 17th-century sugar plantation, offers a glimpse at what a working plantation was like in colonial times.

Celebrity Cruises are offering excellent value for 7 nights on board the Celebrity Summit this April. Visiting San Juan, Bridgetown, Castries, St John's, Basseterre, Charlotte Amalie and return San Juan. To enquire about this offer please call 01 6523009 now.

Port of Roatan

Roatan is a genuine melting pot with a mix of British, Spanish, African and Paya Indians making up it's almost 40 mile long mass. The remote island off the coast of Honduras enjoys a rich history, with its erstwhile inhabitants being slave traders, conquistadores and pirates amongst others.

Add to this rich tapestry unspoilt sandy beaches, fresh lobster on the menu and the not a single traffic and you begin to get a flavour of this remote island. Home to pristine bays and spectacular coral reefs, Roatan is a truly unspoilt piece of paradise.

Tourism is pretty much the only game in town being home to the second largest coral reef in the world. Divers can swim in turquoise waters teeming with fish, coral, sharks, dolphins and turtles. The water is as warm as a bathtub and snorkeling is like high definition TV with truly remarkable sights to behold.

Kayaking, sailing and kite surfing are popular sports and with big game fishing on the bill also, the West End Village of Roatan is fast becoming a mecca for water sports enthusiasts. The cruise ships and regular flights from Miami have swelled its numbers to the point where the island is transitioning, like so many of its neighbours, from a rural economy to shiny new hotels alongside tin roofed shacks.

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines ships will dock at the Coxen Hole Cruise ship dock complex, which is on the west side of Coxen Hole. Carnival, Princess, Costa and Regent ships will dock at the Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, which is located east of Coxen Hole in Dixons Cove. Shore excursions depart from each of the two cruise ship terminals. The cruise lines stay in port for roughly 9 hours. With that in mind you can plan for other excursions such as shopping, dining or just hanging out on the beach.

Key West, Florida

Key West is a must see destination on any cruise itinerary. Eclectic doesn't begin to describe this place, nestled between the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean. Once Florida's largest city, the locals now make their living primarily from tourism, with close to 350 cruise visits scheduled for 2018.

The climate is mildly tropical all year round, boasting an average temperature in the high 70's F. Hurricane season lasts from June to November, though direct strikes have been rare.
Like most of the stops on a Caribbean cruise, there is a laid back mixture of energetic bars and nightclubs alongside more sedate and quiet cafes and restaurants. Stroll down Duval Street into the Bohemian quarter of the Conch Republica. Cruise ships typically dock at Pier B beside Mallory Square just outside the Old Town.

It's literally a 5 minute stroll to the centre of town where you will find all the action, the world famous Key West Beech House Barbeque. Cruise ships typical stay in port for just over 7 and 1/2 hours allowing you time to take in a few excursions or do some shopping and sightseeing.

Celebrity Cruises are offering excellent value for 7 nights on board the Celebrity Equinox. Calling at Miami, Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel, George Town Cayman Islands and return Miami. To enquire about this offer please call 01 6523009 now.

East or West?

A caribbean cruise is the most popular cruise destination for cruise travelers. Choosing between East and West Caribbean destinations is one of the first decisions you will make when choosing your cruise. The next is choosing how long to go for. Most choose a 7 day cruise to get a feel for their first cruise. This short trip gives you the opportunity to sample the delights of the caribbean and hopefully whets your appetite for more caribbean delights. A shorter cruise costs more per day. 3 or 4 days at sea can often leave travelers unsure as to whether a cruise holiday is for them.

When doing your research it's hard to know if Eastern Caribbean or Western Caribbean destinations are better. The truth of the matter is, they are both great. The choice will come down to what you are interested in. So once you've selected your ship, researched your ports and chosen your itineraries, you are pretty much guaranteed the opportunity to swim, sail, snorkel and shop, no matter where you go.

Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Most cruise ships embark from ports in Florida like Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville or Port Canaveral, with some sailing from as far as New York. Many cruise lines own private islands. These islands are used as stopovers on the itinerary and allow the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of land based and sea based activities.

Western Caribbean Cruises

Cruise ships usually embark from Texas, New Orleans or Florida. Ports visited generally include Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Key West, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Roatan, Jamaica and Belize. As ports are generally further apart you will spend more time at sea on a Western Caribbean cruise. The ports tend to be on the mainland or larger islands, and thus tend to have a wider variety of excursions and activities than some of the smaller destinations. For instance, a trip to Mexico will afford visitors the chance to see the Mayan Ruins or trek through the rainforests. A visit to Stingray City in Cozumel is also a firm favourite as is cave tubing in Belize. That's not to say there won't be plenty of opportunites to shop, swim with dolphins, snorkel, zipline or just relax on a sunkissed beach.

Things to Do

The Caribbean is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and there are plenty of water-based activities to try. Take a catamaran and snorkeling tour in St. Thomas. Swim with stingrays in Antigua. Visit the aqua park in Labadee or encounter dolphins in Tortola. Tempting stretches of sand include Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, Playa Linda in Cancun and Tabyana Beach on the Honduran island of Roatan. In Mexico, the Great Mayan Reef near Cozumel is a diving and snorkeling hot spot, home to more than 500 species of fish and sea turtles.

Those seeking adventure will find it in the Caribbean. In Barbados, take a 4x4 adventure and encounter the Green Monkey. Or, take an aerial trek zipline adventure and enjoy beautiful views of the island as you zip through the trees. Hikers can venture into Coals Cave and marvel at the naturally formed sculptures within the walls of this underground wonder. Drive through Curacao's nature terrain on a jeep safari and see some of the wildlife that make their home on the island. Climb Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica, 900 feet of cascading water surrounded by lush forest, or ride a long bamboo raft down the Martha Brae River.

There is a fantastic culture on the islands of the Caribbean, and it can be incredibly interesting just walking around and experiencing their different way of life. Many of the islands also have museums where you can learn about the island's history. Visit the Barcardi Rum Distillery in San Juan or tour a botanical rainforest in St. Croix. Favorite destinations beyond the beach on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula include the ancient Mayan cities of Tulum and Chichen Itza, the pools of water called cenotes at Chac Tun Caverns and the quaint, pedestrian-only shopping street of Fifth Avenue in Playa. Try a cooking workshop in Curacao and learn how to make delicious Caribbean dishes, then sit back and enjoy the fruits of you labour.