Caribbean Cruise Destinations: Eastern vs Southern vs Western Caribbean Islands
Which Caribbean cruise destination is right for you?
When you hear someone speak of the Caribbean, you probably think of a Caribbean cruise to a tropical island where you can sun bathe on a soft sandy beach. In reality, the Caribbean contains over 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays but only 13 islands are inhabited. There is an eastern Caribbean cruise as well as a western and southern, with each visiting several ports. Caribbean cruise deals are offered by many lines, and there is always a great deal available. So how do you choose what Caribbean cruise is right for you?
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The Three Caribbean Cruise Routes
The diverseness of the Caribbean is seen in its ecosystems (land and sea), languages, and people. There are three cruise routes that each offer a unique cruise to the western, eastern, and southern Caribbean Islands. Although each cruise line defines the routes a bit differently, they also have many similarities.
Where Will a “Western” Caribbean Cruise Take Me?
Travelers are drawn to the Western Caribbean to explore the history of the ancient Mayan civilization. Cruise ship travelers love swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the beautiful turquoise waters. There are a host of popular port activities including zip-lining, 4-wheel-drive vehicle adventures, sightseeing, shopping, dining, and visiting special points of interest at each port. The availability of cruises ranging from 4-days up to 20-days make it a popular choice for a long weekend trip to relax or a full vacation.
The islands of the Western Caribbean are due south of Florida and include Grand Cayman and Jamaica, destinations on Mexico’s Caribbean coast on the Yucatan Peninsula such as Costa Maya, Cozumel, Roatan, and Progreso, as well as Central American destinations such as Belize and Honduras. Some cruises now include Cuba as one of the ports, and occasionally you’ll find a cruise that includes the Bahamas in their itinerary.
The beautiful weather is one of the reasons the Western Caribbean is a popular destination. The most popular time for a Western Caribbean cruise is when it’s cold in the north and mild in the Caribbean. December through March meets those requirements, and there are no storms to deal with. It’s really the perfect place for a cruise anytime of year because it never gets cold with temperatures that vary from highs in the 80s to lows in the 70s. Storms are most likely to occur August through October.
Western Caribbean cruises usually depart from Texas, Louisiana, or the western and southern ports of Florida.
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