Ready to plan your Caribbean cruise? Here are some options to help you get started.
So, you want to book a Caribbean cruise? Great! You may have questions–What’s the best time to cruise to the Caribbean? What ports can I leave from? We’ve got the answers.
The good news is that you can cruise the Caribbean any time of the year. You might see lower prices from October through April when there are more ships cruising the Caribbean, after the Alaskan cruise season has ended. The Caribbean is popular and there are many options to choose from.
Where do you want to go? There are three Caribbean Regions to choose from; Eastern, Southern, or Western? Check out our blog,“What Exactly is a ‘Caribbean’ Cruise” for details and a map describing the different regions of the Caribbean.
When planning your Caribbean cruise always consider convenience and how much time you have
When deciding on which cruise port to sail from, choose an option that is based on what is most convenient for you and on how long you can get away. Many enjoy northern cruise ports because they have more days at sea than southern ports. Some ports are geographically located such that cruises sailing from them go almost exclusively to one specific region, while other, more centrally located ports, serve 2 or even all 3 of the Caribbean regions. If you don’t want to fly and have a port close to home, we can help you find all your options from your home port.
Cruise Ship Embarkation Ports to the Caribbean Sea
If you depart from Baltimore, Boston or Charleston you’ll have cruises from 7 to 23 days to choose from. The shorter cruises will focus on the Eastern Caribbean while longer ones could touch all three Caribbean regions. On most any cruise you’ll likely stop at the cruise line’s privately-owned island in the Bahamas with other possible stops in Grand Turk, Cozumel, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Haiti, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, Bermuda, Aruba, St. John’s, St. Thomas and Curacao.
Cape Liberty departures include the islands of St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Bermuda, Haiti, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and St. John’s.
Port Everglades/Ft. Lauderdale competes with Miami for the most options for cruising Caribbean islands. Most cruise lines offer itineraries to the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean as well as longer cruises that include islands and ports in multiple regions.
Miami is the “Cruising Capital of the World.” You can get just about anywhere in the Caribbean you want to go from here.
From New Orleans, you can choose an itinerary that includes Cozumel, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Key West, Haiti and Montego Bay.
New York has many cruise options with the ones to the Caribbean focusing mainly on the Eastern Caribbean, however some of the longer cruises reach into the Southern and Western Caribbean as well.
Port Canaveral is a great port if you want to include a land vacation to Disney World or Epcot Center before or after your cruise.
You can also start your cruise in San Juan, Puerto Rico for easy access to the Southern Caribbean. You’ll experience less time “at sea” and more time exploring the islands.
Last, but not least is, Tampa, where cruises generally sail to the Western or Southern Caribbean.
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Linda Brandt joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in November 2011. She has been working with the marketing team in many capacities. Her new role is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. She studied journalism and writing in college and was a writer for The Campus newspaper for two years at the College of the Sequoias. She is also currently working on her Bachelor’s degree.