A cruise to the Caribbean is today the most popular destination in the world among lovers of cruise travel. While planning a cruise holiday to the Caribbean, the first question that one will have to answer is which of the three available cruise directions would one like to sail to. The two popular options that are generally offered are the Western cruise and the Eastern cruise. However, for the more discerning cruise traveler a Southern cruise is also fast becoming popular.
Most first-time travelers on a Caribbean cruise opt for a week-long cruise trip as a novel experience. The most common itineraries to choose from are western or eastern cruise. Both choices offer a number of exotic ports of call, and also provide the cruisers with excellent opportunities like swimming, snorkeling, sailing and shopping. The traveler needs to do a bit of research to select the ports of his choice, and then place his itinerary accordingly.
Let us review the basic Caribbean cruise options as follows:
WESTERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE
The Western Caribbean has always been a special attraction for the tourists because it offers a great mix of sun-bathing ‘n surfing, a journey through the History of Ancient Civilizations, and wildlife or bird-watching adventures. Cruise ships sailing through the western Caribbean usually have the port of embarkation at Florida, New Orleans or Texas. The ports of call on this cruise popularly include Mexican ports, Grand Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Belize and Costa Rica. In this cruise, generally the travelers spend more time on the sea and less on land. So it truly suits the travelers who love the sea.
EASTERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE
Florida is the usual port of embarkation for most cruises to the Eastern Caribbean. The popular ports of call on the itinerary often include the exotic islands of Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Martin, and Puerto Rico. For the travelers who prefer to have lesser time to spend on the sea, and more opportunity to enjoy the spectacular beaches and some bargain shopping, the eastern Caribbean cruise is more suited for them. The islands on this cruise are closer to each other, so the sea travel time is reduced, and more opportunity is available for water sports and relaxing on the beaches.
SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE
The popular ports of call that get included in this itinerary are Aruba, Bonair, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Curacao and Antigua. Some of the most exotic and interesting islands are included in this cruise which provide wonderful opportunities for sea diving, snorkeling, and some great bio-diversity in flora and fauna. Usually, the southern Caribbean itinerary is longer than a normal cruise, and therefore it is more popular among those who are already familiar with cruises in the past. Upto now, the southern cruise remains the least commercialized route, so it offers more opportunities for peaceful and uncrowded areas.