Caribbean Vacation Packages: Caribbean Cruise

Caribbean Vacation Packages: Caribbean Cruise

Posted 06.15.2012 in Articles by Jess

One of the most popular ways to visit the Caribbean islands is by taking a cruise and for good reason! By comparing and contrasting different cruise lines, you can find one that fits your budget and your vacation plans. Most cruise lines have shore and land excursions available for purchase, so you don't have to go through the trouble of trying to plan things or find activities on your own. Most also have spas, fitness centers, gardens, galleries, restaurants, bars, clubs and pools. Instead of stressing out about the hassles of a regular vacation, take a cruise and let them handle everything for you. Regardless if you're travelling 6-7 nights or longer, these Caribbean vacation packages are a sure way to get the most out of your Caribbean vacation. 

People who haven’t cruised before often aren’t aware just how fun and stress free a cruise can be. They worry that the cruise will be overly formal, that they’ll feel trapped on board the ship or that the itinerary will be too rigid.

The reality is quite different. Today’s Caribbean cruise vacations offer a wide variety of itineraries, so passengers can choose among many voyages. Additionally, modern cruise ships feature multiple bars and restaurants along with a plethora of entertainment options. Passengers can be as active or as lazy as they’d like. Most ships are so large that they can accommodate thousands of passengers with ease, yet still make it possible for those passengers to find quiet, cozy corners that they can enjoy without intrusion.

A Caribbean cruise is essentially a package vacation because the price of the voyage includes many components. When a Caribbean cruise is purchased, the price is configured on a per passenger basis. Included in that price is transportation, meals, a cabin and entertainment. It may also be possible to include flights to the embarkation port, return flights home and hotel stays before or after the cruise as part of the cruise package. Unlike other types of getaways, cruise Caribbean vacation packages allow travelers to visit many destinations with ease. The cruise ship provides the transportation while the passengers enjoy the spa, take a dance class or gamble at the casino. It’s a rare opportunity to spend quality time with family in a fun atmosphere that is free of hassle. 

Cruise ships feature many fun and entertaining amenities. Swimming pools and spas are always available, and most ships boast state-of-the-art gym facilities with group exercise classes. On some ships, passengers will find unexpected extras like mini-golf courses, ice skating rinks and bowling lanes. The recreation staff keeps passengers busy with dance classes, arts and crafts, lectures about the history of the region and games like bingo and shuffleboard. With Caribbean vacation packages, the passenger chooses exactly how they want to spend their time.

Life on board the ship is fantastic, but people really cruise so that they can discover this exotic region. Typical cruise itineraries focus on the western, eastern or southern Caribbean. Western itineraries are perennially popular with ports of call like Cozumel, Belize City and George Town on Grand Cayman. Ports like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios on Jamaica are also commonly included in western itineraries. Excursions on these cruises might include tours of Mayan ruins, snorkeling and scuba diving or a sea kayak adventure. 

An eastern itinerary frequently includes stops at San Juan, Puerto Rico where cruisers can explore the fort at El Morro. At St. Maarten, vacationers can try their hands at America’s Cup racing with a professional guide. From Tortola, many passengers take an excursion to lush Virgin Gorda where the snorkeling is amazing. 

Southern cruises offer more exotic locales and fewer tourists, making these an ideal choice for people who like to travel off the beaten path. Ports at Aruba, St. Lucia, Barbados and Dominica are becoming increasingly popular, but are still under the radar for many tourists more familiar with eastern and western itineraries. Excursions may include explorations of volcanoes or rain forests, and some locales offer excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. St. Barth’s is home to fashionable boutiques and gourmet dining while Curacao offers a Dutch influenced atmosphere with quaint architecture.

Each region offers plenty to charm and beguile, but passengers must also decide which cruise line is right for them. Most of the major players have ships operating in the area, and each specializes in a certain style of cruise vacation. Disney is the cruise line of choice for families. They excel at offering highly evolved kids programs, and the presence of well-known Disney characters is usually a plus for cruisers of all ages. Disney also doesn’t forget the adults, offering pools, spas and other areas where children are not permitted. Carnival is another good option for family cruisers, particularly if they are on a tighter budget. Carnival may not offer as many state-of-the-art frills as its competitors, but it stops at the same ports and nonetheless provides a quality experience.

Royal Caribbean is the line of choice for cruisers who want to be active. Their newest ships boast rock climbing walls, surf simulators, zip lines and boxing rings in addition to the more traditional offerings of spas, shops and restaurants. Norwegian offers a laid-back atmosphere with innovative extras like basketball courts and bowling lanes. They also offer great nightlife options with many different lounges and clubs on board. Norwegian is known for breaking down many of the formal cruise traditions, so it’s a strong option for people who want flexibility and customization. Honeymooners or cruisers who are otherwise focused on romance can’t go wrong with Princess cruise line. Passengers will find seminars about enhancing intimacy and couple’s massages offered as part of their onboard experience. Many Princess ships are equipped with The Sanctuary, an adults only area with a quiet sundeck, massages and healthy snacks.

Each of these cruise lines is considered to be among the best because of the quality of service they provide. Nonetheless, each has their own hallmarks. Princess is recognized for the quality of its food, while Carnival is known for creating a party atmosphere. Royal Caribbean is ideal for fitness and adrenaline buffs, and Norwegian excels at providing flexibility. Disney is all about the total family experience. Knowing what type of traveler each line specializes in makes it much easier for prospective cruisers to choose the line that’s right for them.

Cruising is an amazing way to explore this beautiful region with ease and luxury. With gourmet meals, spa treatments and live entertainment on board, a cruise allows passengers to explore several ports of call on various islands. Excursions can be arranged before arrival in port, leaving visitors with nothing to do but enjoy the discoveries they make. 

 

 

Image (CC) Official Arbonne

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