For many people, a Caribbean cruise is the ultimate dream vacation. Once you experience the warm tropical weather and beautiful beaches for yourself, you’ll soon understand why the islands of the Caribbean Sea attract thousands of honeymooners, families, and solo tourists each year. Since there are so many islands to choose from, it’s understandably difficult for first-time visitors to pick where to land on their Caribbean cruise.
Each island in the Greater and Lesser Antilles has its own unique personality, so choosing your ideal island has a lot to do with what you’re looking for in a Caribbean vacation. Let’s take a look at the major vacation destinations in the Caribbean to help you choose the best island to visit on your Caribbean cruise.
Answer: Different Islands Suit Different Temperaments
Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer to what island is best for a Caribbean cruise. Choosing your dream Caribbean getaway depends on your dreams. The best all-around island for American tourists, however, is the US Virgin Islands. Positive features about visiting these three islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas) are that you can get in without showing a passport, you can speak English, and you won’t have to change currencies. The US Virgin Islands have everything you could want in a Caribbean vacation: easy access to beaches, colonial architecture, luxurious resorts, and plenty of snorkeling spots. Plus, St. Thomas is heavily commercialized, so you won’t have to worry about sacrificing your creature-comforts on a trip here.
People who want to be a bit more adventurous on their Caribbean vacation should look into booking a vacation to Cuba. Since relations between the US and Cuba have eased in recent years, this historically-rich island is just starting to open up to foreign tourists. People interested in historical architecture, retro cars, fine rum, as well as nightlife will really enjoy a trip to Cuba’s capital of Havana.
Although many Caribbean islands have great kid-friendly resorts and attractions, a few of the best islands for families include the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and Turks & Caicos. On the other hand, if you’re going to the Caribbean to get married and/or on honeymoon, you’ll probably have a better time on islands like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, or the British Virgin Islands.
Planning a Caribbean cruise can get really complicated really fast. That’s why it’s a good idea to look up as much information beforehand to ensure you’re making the right travel decision for your preferences. Thankfully, there are many fantastic resources you could check out for free to help you better understand the pros and cons of different islands in the Caribbean. Here are three of the best websites to look into today:
- Condé Nast: Editors at travel website Condé Nast recently published this article on how to pick the best Caribbean island for your needs. As you scroll down this list, you’ll see lovely pictures from many popular Caribbean retreats as well as helpful tips on flying into each of these lovely locations.
- Travel + Leisure: The award-winning magazine Travel + Leisure recently put out this article. It focuses on several caribbean islands and how they are perfect for a getaway. Whether you want to get off and visit during a cruise is completely up to you!
- Lonely Travel: Yet another helpful article to read on the Caribbean islands is this piece put out by the travel organization Lonely Travel. In addition to giving you details on the major Caribbean destinations, Lonely Planet editors reveal their favorite tourist attraction on each island.