By Anna Lynn Sibal
Going on a Caribbean cruise is something that is definitely worth your while to spend your vacation on. Who could ever resist the sweet promise of at least seven days of the sea and glorious sand, basking on the beach and sipping piņa coladas? The best opportunity one can have to do exactly these and more is while on a cruise of the Caribbean.
Of course there is more to a Caribbean cruise than just going island hopping and sitting on the beach all day. Each and every island on the Caribbean Sea and covered by cruise liners on their Caribbean cruises have a lot of things to offer aside from their sunny beaches. On the islands of the Caribbean Sea, there are rainforests that are worth exploring, trails worth hiking and biking, nature sanctuaries worth visiting, sights and landscapes worth seeing, and communities with histories worth studying. There are just so many things that you can do on a cruise of the Caribbean islands other than just going to the beach and swimming.
The question is: where do you want to go? Do you want to go sail on the eastern Caribbean or the western Caribbean? The answer to that is, what do you want to do?
Cruise liners sailing the Caribbean either go east or west, and the difference between these two goes a little bit more than just the itinerary and ports of call.
The Caribbean cruise ships that sail the eastern Caribbean often cover the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Martin among their ports of call. If you will look at a map, these islands are placed a little closer to each other, which means that the cruise ship will be spending less time at sea. These ships can then allow their passengers to spend more time ashore to explore the island they are in and go shopping. The one thing that is most noticeable about cruise ships sailing the eastern Caribbean is that shore activities and itineraries tend to be more focused on staying at beaches and doing water sports and other water activities.
On the other hand, the Caribbean cruise ships that traverse the western Caribbean need to spend more time sailing the seas. That is because the islands along the western Caribbean are not as close and clustered together as the ones at the east; they are placed a little farther apart. And so, cruises going to the western Caribbean tend to stay longer at their ports of call, and these ports of call are often at the larger islands or on mainland Mexico. These ports of call include mainland Mexico (as mentioned), Jamaica, the Grand Cayman, the Dominican Republic, Belize and Costa Rica. Itineraries and activities on western Caribbean cruises are also more varied, allowing for more inland explorations and expeditions, not just staying on beaches and doing water sports.
Cruise ships sailing for the Caribbean embark from Florida. However, if you want to sail for the western Caribbean, you can also try the ones leaving from New Orleans or from Texas.
So, where do you want to spend your Caribbean cruise, the east or the west? It depends on where you want to go and what you want to do.
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