Leave your worries behind as you soak up the sun and splash in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Ocean. The close proximity of the Caribbean to the U.S. makes it an ideal cruise destination for many travelers, and it also provides an opportunity to delve into the rich cultures of the Caribbean islands. Rather than visiting just one island, you can visit many... and perhaps even seek out spots to which you will one day return. Explore the UNESCO-listed Spanish forts and vibrant, colorful streets of Old San Juan, or venture between the Dutch and French settlements in the two distinctive sides of St. Maarten.
The Caribbean is the perfect place for a variety of water sports, from deep sea fishing and snorkeling to kayaking and parasailing. Escape the bustling port cities with fabulous shore excursions, where you can drive through a volcano in St. Lucia or discover hidden waterfalls in Jamaica. No matter how your time in the Caribbean is spent, you will leave with memories to last a lifetime!
Cities & Ports in the Caribbean
Check out things to do in the top destinations in the Caribbean...
Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda
The people of Antigua claim to have 365 different beaches—“one for each day of the year!" While the exact number may vary, there are certainly plenty of beaches to explore while in Antigua. The island was once a Royal British Naval base, and today the remains of that base are a popular tourist sight for history lovers. Antigua is also one of the hubs for sailing in the Caribbean, so your trip may include a sailing excursion, or you might be lucky enough to experience Sailing Week, held at the end of May. Barbuda, Antigua's sister island, is easily accessible for tourists by a day ferry.
Aruba is considered the Caribbean's "theme park," with numerous casinos, duty-free shops, amazing dive sites (including famous shipwreck sites), and world-class golf resorts. Aruba has no rainy season and the weather is great year-round, so there really isn’t a bad time of year to visit this beautiful island destination!
Belize City, Belize
One common phrase you will hear in reference to Belize is "You better Belize it!" That is because Belize is filled with so many amazing things to see and do that you will be left wondering why you did not come sooner! Belize boasts many lush rainforests and pristine tropical beaches, and is well-known for its extensive network of coral reefs and first-rate scuba diving experiences.
Cozumel is Mexico's largest Caribbean island, and also the most populous. Known for both its phenomenal shopping bargains and scuba diving, Cozumel really has something for everyone. If scuba diving and snorkeling are not your thing, you can experience the coral reefs from above on a glass bottom boat tour. If you want to experience Mayan history, visit San Gervasio, one of several Mayan ruins on Cozumel. While in Cozumel don't forget to try a world-class margarita!
Martinique is part of the French West Indies where the French influence is very prevalent, from the language to the architecture. Martinique is a large island and it is not easily covered in just one day. If you are only there for one day on a cruise, it is best to narrow down your choices between checking out the beaches at Pointe du Bout and taking a trip into the rainforest. You might also enjoy indulging in a three-course French lunch at Fort-de-France, though the lengthy lunch can consume an entire day in itself!
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Jamaica has long been one of the most celebrated islands in the Caribbean. A visit to Montego Bay, on the north coast of the island will let you know why! The beaches of Montego Bay are known for having great water sport activities and fantastic beach bars. Golfing is also very popular just outside the city, but if you are looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of excursions to take you kayaking, on a canopy adventure tour, or even to hidden waterfalls.
Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
Roatan boasts the world's second largest coral reef system, which makes it a popular place for divers and snorkelers from all over the world. Traffic lights do not exist in Roatan, but you can hail a water taxi to take you to any of the famous beach-front restaurants and bars. The white sandy beaches will ensure you will never want to leave this tropical paradise!
San Juan, Puerto Rico
With its historic Spanish forts and vibrant tropical colored buildings, Old San Juan is a wonderful place to visit! San Juan has a lot to offer—from beaches and shopping, to the nearby rainforest for day hikes and waterfall exploration. The local cuisine is phenomenal, too—with an abundance of seafood and the local specialty, mofongo, made from mashed plantains.