Bahamas & Caribbean

Regional Cities

Dominica is part of the Windward Islands. The Windwards are made up of four main islands: Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These islands are not considered to be the heavy tourist attractions, as compared to their...

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and is a vibrant urban center. No need to become discouraged however, because there is an abundance of precious treasures anxiously awaiting to be explored. Anything you could possibly ask...

St. Maarten & St. Martin are two fascinating Caribbean countries that share a single island of only forty square miles in size. In the year 1649, this Caribbean nation split in two; with the Dutch inhabiting the southern portion of the island and...

St. Thomas was discovered by vacationers shortly after WWII, and tourists have been flocking to this island paradise ever since. It is one of the most popular spots in the Caribbean, and its capital, Charlotte Amalie, is the busiest shopping...

The point of a true vacation is to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The body and mind crave the common bond of tranquility. This example of serenity can be found here in Anguilla. There are no high rises here, and everywhere...

Situated in the sun-drenched Caribbean, Antigua is a gorgeous hideaway with spectacular beaches, inspiring coral reefs, and a laid-back atmosphere that separates this cruise destination from the hustle and bustle of many other Caribbean ports of...

Aruba, the "A" in the ABC islands (B for Bonaire, C for Curaçao) is a small Caribbean Island measuring only twenty miles long by six miles wide. Yet, don't let its small size fool you. It is a complete tourist destination featuring breathtaking...

Barbados is a gorgeous tropical paradise set far away from most other Caribbean islands. It is nearly one thousand miles east of the Netherlands Antilles chain. In 1536, during a quest for fresh water, the Portuguese "discovered" Barbados. They...

Guadeloupe belongs to the Leeward Islands, the island chain directly north of the Windward Islands, where Martinique is found. Dominica separates the two cousin islands, but they are often thought of as neighbors. Guadeloupe is actually comprised...

Bonaire is the marine life capital of the Caribbean, a "Diver's Paradise" full of deep sea treasures. For both diving and snorkeling, Bonaire is one of the premier locations in the entire world. In fact, it is said that it is easier to scuba dive...

The "C" of the ABC Islands of the Dutch Caribbean (Aruba and Bonaire comprising the A...

George Town is the capital of Grand Cayman, the biggest of the three Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is located 480 miles south of a Miami and 180 miles northwest of Jamaica. The Islands are world famous for their crystal clear waters, with some of...

Grenada, a fabulous Caribbean paradise, is a colorful and mountainous island that demands a visit. A bountiful destination exploding with terrific natural resources, Grenada is home to cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. The glorious...

Guadeloupe is the southernmost of the Leeward Islands, just north of the Windward Islands, where Martinique is found. The island of Dominica separates the two cousin islands, but they are often thought of as neighbors and grouped together anyway...

Guadeloupe is the southernmost of the Leeward Islands, just north of the Windward Islands, where Martinique is found. While Dominica separates Guadeloupe from Martinique, the two islands are often thought of as neighbors.

Guadeloupe was...

If you are looking for an island that will truly be an escape, then Isla Catalina is the answer. No, this is not the Catalina off the California coast, but it is just a forty-five-minute boat ride from Casa de Campo, in the Dominican Republic....

St. Vincent, located in the British Windward Islands, is a gorgeous tropical paradise set far away from most other Caribbean islands. It is nearly one hundred miles east from the Netherlands Antilles chain. The English culture is alive and well...

Martinique, in the Windward Islands, is one of the more unique islands in the Caribbean, both geographically and culturally. For one, it stands at the confluence of two major bodies of water, with the Atlantic Ocean to the north and east and the...

The word Jamaica conjures up strong images in everyone's mind. Whether it's visions of impeccable Caribbean beaches or the thought of smoke wafting away from Bob Marley's lips, this small island has made a large impression on the world's stage....

Jamaica's name comes from an old Arawak word, Xaymaca, meaning "land of wood and water." Looking around the island, it's plain to see why the Arawaks came up with that description. The lush greenery of Jamaica's inland contrasts perfectly with...

Lying nine miles off the coast of Venezuela, Trinidad is a Caribbean paradise and the southernmost link in the Antillean chain of islands. Trinidad is part of the two-island nation known as Trinidad...

Back in 1493, Christopher Columbus wished to establish a city in Puerto Plata, and it was to be named La Isabela. Unfortunately for him, a wicked tempest got in the way of his plans, and he was not able to make it there. Not until 1502 did...

Puerto Rico has managed to combine its long storied history with the status of a top-flight resort island, and has done so in a masterful way. With approximately three hundred miles of coastline, the island attracts beach lovers from around the...

Whether you call it St. Barts, St. Barths, or St. Barthelemy, there is no disputing that this tiny island in the French Antilles is one of the ritziest and most luxurious cruise destinations in all the world. You will not find a land rich in...

St. Croix is eighty-four square miles, making it the largest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands. The East End of the island is technically the easternmost point of the United States. St. Croix is a marvelous island, particularly the West End and...

Found on the eastern end of the Pillsbury Sound, St. John sits quietly and relatively uninterrupted. Of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John is the smallest and least populated. When you arrive, you will feel as if the island is yours to...

St. Kitts, the first English settlement in all of the Leeward Islands, was in British possession until 1983, when this island, along with Nevis, declared their independence and formed a tiny, two-island nation. The pioneering and energetic spirit...

Just recently, St. Lucia, and Castries in particular, has become one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean for tourists. The accommodations and facilities are top of the line, and the restaurants and activities fabulous. The majority...

The British Virgin Islands, located in the northeast Caribbean, are a collection of gorgeous islands that used to be inhabited by pirates and sailors. Lying sixty miles east of Puerto Rico, they are exquisite tropical destinations, visited by...

It's easy to find reasons why more people take cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean than anywhere else in the world. A warm climate; an astounding array of ports of call, each with its own distinctive character and appeal; thousands of beaches, including some of the world's best; great shopping at duty free prices; and incredibly clear seas teeming with marine life make this part of the world a perfect cruise vacation destination.

There's much more to this region stretching from south Florida to South America than sun, sand and surf. No other destination presents so many choices of cruise itineraries and lengths, with anything from a two-night getaway to an extended voyage sailing from ports from New York to Central America. In fact, it is so vast and diverse that it really constitutes three separate areas, traditionally defined as Eastern Caribbean/The Bahamas, Western Caribbean and Southern Caribbean.

A typical weeklong cruise allows vacationers to sample these varied cultures, history and peoples at four or five different ports. Each port call opens the door to a new slice of paradise, where you might discover traces of France or Britain or the Netherlands or Spain woven into the distinctive pace and style of the regions many individual nations.

Although a year-round cruise destination the strong appeal of the Caribbean and The Bahamas for family cruise vacations make school holiday periods among the busiest times of year. Those looking for the best values in a cruise to the Caribbean and The Bahamas should check sailing dates in January, late spring or September through early December.

Eastern Caribbean/The Bahamas

The most popular cruising grounds in the world lie from the Bahamas just off the South Florida coast and the islands defining the border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Legendary playgrounds of royalty and celebrities; places rich in historic importance and cultural traditions; world-class shops, entertainment and recreational opportunities; and exotic natural wonderlands make Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas cruises appealing to vacationers of virtually every age and interest.

Ships ranging from yacht-like luxury vessels to the largest floating resorts sail to the Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean year-round from the popular Florida ports of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Port Canaveral, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, and seasonally from eastern U.S. ports as far north as New York.

Ports of Call

The region provides an almost endless variety of ports for cruise ships to visit, including exclusive private islands in some cases, but among the most popular ports of call are:

Nassau, The Bahamas -

Nassau and Freeport are the primary ports of call in The Bahamas, but several cruise lines also visit their own private islands in this chain. Popular shore attractions in the Bahamas include:

Shopping -

Nassau, in particular, is famous as a shopper's paradise offering everything from designer fashions and jewelry at duty-free prices to locally produced arts and crafts.

Beaches and Water Sports -

Incredibly clear waters and soft sand make The Bahamas a great place to spend a day at the beach or take a snorkeling or diving excursion.

Golfing -

Some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean region are featured in golf excursions available on cruises calling at Nassau.

Nightlife and Casinos -

Cruisers can enjoy nightlife running the gamut from party boats to spectacular live shows and world-class casinos during their Bahamas port calls.

San Juan, Puerto Rico -

Cruise ships dock within easy walking distance of the heart of San Juan. From there, cruise vacationers can enjoy a wide range of shore activities, including:

Natural Wonders -

From tropical rain forests and rugged mountains to spectacular beaches, the island of Puerto Rico provides a rich variety of places to see and visit.

Sporting Fun -

Shore excursions available to cruise travelers include golf at one of the island's many outstanding courses, mountain biking or hiking, deep-sea fishing, river kayaking and nearly every kind of water sports activity imaginable.

History and Culture -

A tour of San Juan, the second oldest European settlement in the Western Hemisphere, will satisfy history lovers with visits to historic sites and museums throughout the city. Those with a taste for the arts and music will want to be sure to visit San Juan's art galleries and many entertainment venues.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands -

With one of the most scenic harbors in the Caribbean, Charlotte Amalie is a perennial favorite among cruise vacationers. Here and on the nearby islands of St. John and St. Croix, travelers can enjoy a selection of shore experiences that includes:

Shopping -

Charlotte Amalie is a "must visit" port for shoppers, with one of the biggest selections of duty-free stores in the Caribbean, even including a shopping mall adjacent to the cruise ship pier.

Nature Adventures -

Most of the island of St. John comprises a vast national forest, making it an ideal environment for hiking, kayaking or touring by land or water. There's plenty to see and do underwater, too, on snorkeling and Scuba diving expeditions.

Day at the Beach -

St. Thomas is home to the world-renowned beach at Magen's Bay, widely touted as one of the most beautiful stretches of white sand in the world.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten -

This island has two identities and two distinct personalities. The half of the island where most cruise ships call at Philipsburg is Dutch and goes by the name St. Maarten; the other half, only by a short cab ride away, is decidedly French and carries the name St. Martin. Among the shore excursions available for cruise visitors are:

Sailing -

Some of the most popular shore excursions here aren't on shore; they're on sailboats. Cruise visitors can take a leisurely sightseeing/beach trip around the island on a catamaran or, for more thrills, take a ride on a genuine America's Cup racing yacht.

Caribbean Riviera -

Tours of the island include the town of Marigot on the French (St. Martin) side of the island. The cafes and shops along the beach and streets of this very French town give it the ambiance of the French Riviera.

Underwater Delights -

The clear waters and shallow water reefs around the island and nearby deserted islets make snorkeling and scuba diving excursions a popular choice for cruise vacationers visiting St. Maarten.

Western Caribbean

Combining some of the Caribbean's most vibrant cultures, natural wonders on land and in the sea, the rich historical treasures of the Mayan Empire, and legendary resort areas, the Western Caribbean ranks as one of the world's great vacation spots and offers extraordinary variety as a cruise destination.

Cruise ships depart for Western Caribbean sailings year-round from all the major Florida ports, including Tampa, as well as New Orleans, Mobile, Houston and Galveston on America's Gulf Coast, and Cancun, Mexico.

Ports of Call

Key West -

The southernmost point of land in the United States, the "Conch Republic" of Key West also has a stellar history as the favorite haunt of artists, celebrities, presidents and literary giants such as Ernest Hemingway. It's easy to spend a day in Key West just soaking in the ambiance, but there are lots of other things to enjoy, including:

Famous Places -

Cruise visitors can easily spend a day touring the island's famous places, including the homes of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, Harry Truman's "Little White House" and the legendary Sloppy Joe's Tavern.

Shopping -

Shoppers can find anything from funky crafts to fine arts, along with specialties like Key Lime treats along Duval Street and its tributaries.

Fishing -

Its location makes Key West a perfect starting point for a day of fishing in the Gulf Stream, where anglers have an opportunity to hook a really big catch.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica -

The most popular of the cruise ports on the Caribbean's second largest island serves as an entry point to many of Jamaica's most famous and appealing attractions. Favorite shore excursions for cruise vacationers calling here include:

Natural Wonders -

Most visitors to Ocho Rios includes spectacular Dunn's River Falls, and a chance to climb up the waterfall, in their itinerary. Natural wonders abound in Jamaica, and a cruise visit offers ample opportunities to sample them.

Arts and Artists -

From reggae music to fine art, the cultural heritage and life of Jamaica ranks among the richest anywhere. Many cruises offer shore excursions that focus on the arts, usually including visits to museums, galleries such as Harmony Hall and tours of Noel Coward's beautiful retreat, Firefly.

Sport and Adventure -

Active vacationers can go river rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, golfing or any from an almost endless selection of active pursuits during a day at Ocho Rios.

George Town, Grand Cayman -

Long famous among divers and once a favorite haunt of pirates, the Cayman Islands have become one of the most popular ports of call on Western Caribbean itineraries. Among the reasons are the many distinctive experiences available here, including:

Swimming with Stingrays -

Few cruise visitors miss the chance to visit the famous Stingray City and swim and snorkel among these strange and fierce looking creatures, who are actually quite docile and even friendly.

Diving Adventures -

Scuba divers rate the spectacular coral reefs and clear waters teeming with marine life in the Cayman Islands among the world's best spots, and most cruises that call here offer excursions for certified divers.

Turtles and Tours -

For those who don't want to go in the water, Grand Cayman Island is home to the world's first sea turtle farm, the spectacular limestone and coral formations known as Hell and the popular Seven Mile Beach. There's also golf, bicycling and horseback riding.

Southern Caribbean

Vacationers seeking a unique experience apart from the crowds will find their dream vacation on a cruise in the Southern Caribbean. Defined by a string of lovely small islands from Antigua south to Trinidad and the northeastern coast of South America, this region also enjoys the Caribbean's sunniest climate.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, ranks as the most popular departure point for Southern Caribbean itineraries, but some ships sail from other islands, such as Barbados. Most cruises from San Juan include stops at Eastern Caribbean islands, such as St. Thomas, before sailing down to the Southern Caribbean.

Ports of Call

Ports of call in the lower reaches of the Caribbean Sea also include:

Castries, St. Lucia -

Recognizable for the twin peaks of the Pitons rising from its shoreline, this island offers visitors a scenic wonderland and a sportsman's paradise. Among the favorite things for cruise vacationers who call here to do are:

Scenic Tours -

Island tours take visitors to mountainous areas, lush rain forests, banana plantations, volcanic craters, fine beaches and beautiful waterfalls on this remarkably diverse tropical island.

Active Adventures -

A port call at St. Lucia can include a day of horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking or other active adventures in the island's spectacularly rugged terrain.

Golf -

Golfers will find several outstanding courses on St. Lucia available to them through programs offered on a cruise. Georgetown, Barbados - Very British Barbados lies at the eastern edge of the Caribbean. The quiet civility of the people matches the softly rolling landscape of this historic island. Among the most popular Barbados excursions for cruise passengers are:

Rum Factory Tours -

Barbados is widely known for its rum, and tours of the local factories that produce this popular liquor and essential ingredient for Pina Coladas are a notable attraction for many visitors.

Exploring -

Whether by 4X4, bicycle, horse or kayak, visitors can explore the countryside of Barbados off the beaten path on excursions offered by most cruise ships visiting the island.

Flowers Galore -

The combination of tropical climate and British tradition make Barbados a garden spot. Among the top attractions for flower lovers are The Flower Forest with its varied gardens on 50 acres of land and Orchid World, which features dozens of exotic varieties of this tropical beauty.

Willemstad, Curacao -

The primary island of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao has an unmistakable Dutch heritage. In fact, the first impression cruise vacationers visiting the island's capital of Willemstad have is the Dutch style architecture of this picturesque city. During a port call at Curacao, cruisers can enjoy a variety of shore experiences, such as:

City Tour -

The compact size and appealing ambiance of the Old City make it well-suited to a leisurely walk to see its architectural highlights, historical sites and, of course, shops and markets. For those who want to rest their feet, trolley train tours provide an easy alternative.

Sea Life -

A visit to Curacao's vast underwater park provides opportunities for snorkeling and diving and up-close encounters with the sea life there. The park also features an excellent Seaquarium housing hundreds of varieties of marine species found in the waters around the island.

Ostrich Farm -

Those looking for something completely different can take a tour to Curacao's Ostrich Farm to see and learn more about these unusual flightless birds. Most tours also include the nearby Curacao Herb Gardens.