When you planned your Florida vacation, you probably took for granted that you would be land locked except for those hours when you planned spending in the warm water at the beach. What if during your visit, you set sail some 300 plus miles on an enjoyable cruise to sight see the nearby breathtaking Caribbean? Experiencing the unique beauty of South Florida and the surrounding Caribbean by sea is a must. The beautiful sight of the receding Florida shorelines alone make the trip worth it.
Cruising to the Caribbean provides access to warm, clear and seemingly endless beaches, hammocks, gorgeous tall palms, plenty of duty-free shopping, exciting and unique attractions at every port, colonial forts and Mayan ruins, among many attractions. There are a variety of ships, prices, and ports offers- the deals are abundant. Following is a guide to help you decide which of the four major Caribbean & Bahamas areas you may want to explore:
The closest and probably the easiest to visit, cruise lines offer day getaways to Nassau, Freeport and nearby resort destinations in the Bahamas. This is truly unadulterated sun, open sea, free food, drinks and an amazing beach day.
The eastern caribbean consists of the popular St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Barbados. At this classic Caribbean destination, duty-free shops are aplenty. When you finish exploring and looking over your finds, experience the ultimate beach relaxation, golfing, surfing and party atmosphere. For the adventurer, an underwater “hiking trail” can be found near St. Thomas. There is something for everyone.
A little further south, San Juan and Aruba are an exotic treat for those who relish the less beaten path. In the southern caribbean, the crowds are rare. The sightseeing spectacular. For example, you can bathe in the wonder of the rainforest near San Juan or spread out to the Turks & Caicos Islands, a chain of coral atolls located less than 100 miles north of Hispaniola where diving is king.
In the western caribbean you can take in the beauty of Grand Cayman, Belize, Yucatan Peninsula and the Panama Canal for starters. Visit the Mayan ruins, experience some of the world’s best diving or take the highly recommended eco-tour, including traveling the forest by zip line!
Caribbean island destination cruises depart from the following ports: Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Pt. Canaveral. Keep in mind as you arrange your itinerary, that Hurricane season runs from June through November in this area, with August and September being the most active months. Though ships always avoid the path of the weather events, sometimes heavy seas and rain can be felt.