When it comes to the Caribbean islands the choice can be bewildering. Do you want to want to enjoy the clear waters and soft sands from Barbados, the lush green hills and white beaches of St Lucia, the laid-back vibe and swaying palm trees in Jamaica or.... you get the idea. There are a lot of idyllic islands. Luckily there is no agonising decision when it comes to cruising the Caribbean. You'll get comfortable accommodation and full-on facilities as you sail between the islands, sampling a bit of everything.
Most Caribbean cruise depart from Florida, though you can usually find some New York sailings too if you want to combine a tropical cruise with a cultural city break. If you have more time to spare then take a look for no-fly cruises that sail to the Caribbean from the UK, usually stopping at the Azores or Canary islands on route.
Cruises to the Caribbean tend to concentrate on either an eastern Caribbean or western Caribbean route. The eastern Caribbean includes the Island nations of Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada, among others. A western Caribbean cruise itinerary is more likely to visit Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Of course if you want both you just need to opt for a longer cruise!
Though not technically in the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas are another popular destination on Caribbean cruises; and only Disney Cruises call at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas.
The Central American coastline is also popular, with idyllic destinations in Mexico like Cozumel and Tulum popular visits, as are the Cays that dot the coast of Belize. For a truly unique experience look out for cruises that cross the continent via the Panama Canal.
Sadly for us Brits the Caribbean is a long way away, which doesn't lend itself to cheaper than chips holidays. Happily there are still ways to get better value when you're looking for a Caribbean cruise holiday. Repositioning cruises are one such way to save money. Cruise ships don't want to be empty, even when they're change bases for the season. You might find cruise lines are offering hefty discounts on a ship that's moving from Europe to the Caribbean, and this is a great way of getting a no-fly Caribbean cruise too.
Many Caribbean cruise deals come with flights included, but it can be worth checking if you can save money by booking your own flights. The vast majority of Caribbean cruises are full board, so you needn't spend a fortune once you're on your holiday - providing you can resist all the sumptuous supplementary restaurants and spa treatments of course!
Updated 11th January 2017
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