Made up of over 5,000 islands, the Caribbean has a variety of attractions, hidden gems and incredible sights to see. As such a huge region, each island is different, and you can have a completely unique experience based on what you want to get out of your holiday. The great thing about a Caribbean cruise is that you get the opportunity to visit a number of different islands – and the ones you visit depend on the cruise you choose. If you’re not sure on the best itinerary for you, you can always get in touch with one of our expert cruise concierge who can help planning your trip.

To help to choose the best Caribbean cruise for you, we’ve put together this Caribbean travel guide.

What is the Best Time to Visit Caribbean Islands?

It is important to consider timing when planning a visit to the Caribbean for a number of reasons. First of all, visiting in peak season tends to be more expensive so if you are looking to budget we would recommend visiting just out of peak season. It is also worth considering the weather throughout the seasons on Caribbean Islands and what time of year is suited to you.

During the months of May to November the weather tends to be hot and pleasant whilst being off-season for the Caribbean, so tends to be a little cheaper to visit and slightly less busy. The months of December to April, tend to attract a higher number of tourists due to people flocking here to avoid the winter weather back at home.

5 Caribbean destinations which are sought after throughout the year for their Summer heat and pleasant Winter sun includes:

  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curacao
  • Dominican Republic
  • Barbados

Best Caribbean Islands to Visit

Anyone who has visited will agree that it is difficult to decide on the best places to visit in the Caribbean. Each island offers a completely unique experience, and the best islands will depend on what it is you are looking for from your holiday.

Some of the most popular destinations include the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, St Lucia and Antigua but there are many more worth exploring.

Below we have rounded up some of the best places depending on what you are looking for from your trip.

Best Islands for Food:

  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • Dominican Republic
  • Puerto Rico
  • Barbados
  • Grenada
  • Turks & Caicos
  • Guadeloupe
  • Bonaire
  • Trinidad

Best Islands for Families

  • Bahamas
  • Virgin Islands
  • Curacao
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • Martinique
  • Barbados

Best Islands for Activities

  • St Lucia
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • Dominica
  • Martinique
  • Antigua
  • Trinidad
  • Tobago

Best Islands for Relaxation

  • Turks & Caicos
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Anguilla
  • Curacao

The Caribbean truly has something for everyone and there are plenty of things to do in Caribbean cruise ports for all the family. As well as the typical tourist activities there are plenty of hidden gems exploring on the likes of St Kitts, Curacao and Dominica just to name a few.

Best Restaurants in the Caribbean

Caribbean cuisine is some of the best and most varied food in the world – with so many islands making up the Caribbean, no cuisine is the same. The Caribbean is a hub of culture and different influences which comes through in the food – whether you are dining at a fancy restaurant or grabbing a bite to eat on the beach, the Caribbean has it all.

Aruba – Elements Restaurant

Elements Restaurant, Aruba was voted the number 2 restaurant in the world for date night in TripAdvisor’s 2021 Travellers Choice Awards. This restaurant offers a variety of global cuisine that uses natural, organic ingredients to create sustainable seafood and meat dishes.

Antigua – Sheer Rocks

Situated on top of a rocky cliff on the west coast, Sheer Rocks restaurant boasts immaculate scenery for enjoying tapas and sunset dining.

Martinique – The Yellow

Martinique has long been considered the best Caribbean Island for cuisine – and The Yellow one of its top restaurants. This fine dining restaurant features a variety of French cuisine that has been revisited with local produce and flavours.

Barbados – The Lone Star

Sitting in the St. James neighbourhood, this beachfront hotel offers its own restaurant along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts the perfect spot for relaxed dining perfect for the whole family – they even offer a menu for ‘little stars’.

Packing for the Caribbean

What to pack for a Caribbean cruise will depend on the islands you visit, but for the most part it the following items will remain the same:

  • Casual clothing
  • Formal clothing
  • Swimwear
  • Footwear (casual and formal)
  • Accessories (jewellery and sunglasses)
  • Bags including plastic bags
  • Toiletries
  • Travel documents
  • Maps, travel guides, important phone numbers and addresses
  • Technology such as phones, cameras, tablets and headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Reading/entertainment
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • First-aid kit
  • Money
  • Beachwear
  • Raincoat

Preparing for a Caribbean Cruise

As with any trip, you do need to prepare in advance of your visit to the Caribbean. Once you have booked your specific cruise, you will know which of the Caribbean islands you will be visiting so the first thing we recommend is reading up on each of these – researching things like the culture, food, tourist destinations and excursions available can help you better plan your trip and get the most out of your visit.

Prepare your Travel Documents

Now, more than ever it is essential to make sure you have all the relevant documentation to travel. Check that you have the following:

  • Passport
  • Travel Insurance
  • Covid-19 Travel Pass/Vaccine Certification
  • Visa if required
  • Cruise Boarding Passes
  • Airline Tickets
  • Luggage Tags

It is important to check the individual visa requirements for your cruise, especially if it departs from an American port.

The Best Caribbean Cruise Lines

Most cruise lines offer cruises to the Caribbean – but there are the most popular options of Royal Caribbean, NCL and Princess Cruises for you to consider. The best Caribbean cruise line really depends on what you are looking for from your Caribbean holiday.

Certain cruise lines actually have their own private islands in the Caribbean, such as Royal Caribbean’s CocoCay which make a great addition to any family holiday. A cruise to the Caribbean offers unparalleled fun and excitement from start to finish – with activities available from the moment you set sail – from snorkelling to indoor skydiving the fun isn’t reserved for shore excursions!

Booking a Caribbean Cruise

Booking your ideal Caribbean cruise should be a breeze now that you have all the information you need! You can browse our range of Caribbean cruise deals here to find the best option for you. However, we know it can be overwhelming with so many Caribbean islands and cruise lines to choose from – so you can always give us a call and our expert cruise concierge can help to plan your trip for you!

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Bethany Ward

2 Responses to “Your Guide to Visiting the Caribbean”

  1. Mangat Bhardwaj

    Can you suggest a cruise with the maximum days at sea? Because of my limited mobility, I cannot go and do much onshore. Being at sea at night time is frustrating for me. I wish to enjoy being at sea during the daytime.

    Reply
  2. Ella Martin

    St. Maarten is the ultimate tourism destination that attracts people because of its dual nationalities, and other Caribbean islands can’t compare with it. It opens its arms for everyone and is home to almost 80 different nationalities. So no matter which part of the world you belong to, you will fit here just right.

    It is the perfect place to treat yourself if you’ve worked your whole life tirelessly and saved up some good money. Besides a relaxing atmosphere, you can enjoy luxury homes, fine dining, exquisite cuisine, and high-end shopping options.

    Whether you’re looking for a luxury villa, commercial real estate, or rental property you can find plenty of option there. I recommend BrightFuture Realty as one of the best real estate relocation companies in St Maarten that aims to go above and beyond for their customers. Their wealth of knowledge, and robust network of real estate contacts can help you find the best home in the Caribbean.

    Reply

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