So you’re thinking about taking a cruise, but where should you go? There are endless options, but if you’re looking for some warm weather, the Caribbean or The Bahamas should be on the top of that list. The glimmering turquoise waters and perfect white sand beaches that both are known for offer infinite appeal, but with thousands of islands to choose from, finding the right destination can be a challenge. The best part about either is that, because of the year-round perfect temperatures, there is hardly a bad time to visit.
The Caribbean is uniquely designed to be the perfect destination for a cruise. There are countless islands to see, and yet it can be quite a challenge to navigate between them on your own. There isn’t much organization between the islands, so finding ferries or boats to go island hopping can be challenging or impossible. It is possible to fly, but this gets quite pricey and often involves complicated routes. With a Caribbean cruise, you have the opportunity to see a bunch of different islands without having to worry about organizing travel or accommodations.
Now the question is: Which islands do you want to visit? The Caribbean is deceptively large, and there are countless islands and ports to check out. You also have to think about how long a cruise you want to take or how much time you have for your vacation–a long weekend, a full week, or an extended 9+ day vacation all offer different, but equally exciting opportunities. And all in perfect luxury.
The Western Caribbean is comprised primarily of the Greater Antilles (Jamaica, Dominican Republic, the Cayman Islands, to name a few), the eastern coast of Mexico and Central America. This area is comprised of some of the largest islands in the Caribbean, and because of their proximity to the United States, they are also some of the most widely visited. Each of the ports of call in this region offer something unique and different to explore. From SCUBA and snorkeling in Cozumel, to Mayan ruins in Belize, to zip lining off of Mahogany Bay, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
The Eastern Caribbean includes the Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Saint Maarten and St. Kitts, and sometimes Puerto Rico will get tossed in there, too. These islands are a bit further out, so you’ll get a few fun days at sea where you can take advantage of everything the ship has to offer–restaurants designed by award-winning chefs, pool time and shows. No matter what your interests, you won’t be bored. Want to swim with the dolphins? This region is perfect for that. Being on the Atlantic side of the Caribbean, you’ll get some nice waves perfect for surfing. You also won’t want to miss out on exploring the beautiful, winding streets of Old San Juan, or the dreamy beaches of Grand Turk. Perfect beaches, here we come.
The Southern Caribbean is comprised of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) and some of the Lower Antilles (Bermuda, Dominica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and many more). These islands have some amazing attractions, and because of their distance from the US, are often less crowded. Aruba and Curacao are often called the gems of the Caribbean. If you are looking for perfect, pristine beaches, then look no further. You can relax the day away swimming and soaking up some rays. Dominica has become known as the adventurer’s island. Its lush rainforests offer a wide array of activities, from hiking to cliff jumping. It’s the ideal destination for the outdoorsy type.
Now to The Bahamas. With a multitude of islands and cays to choose from, and their proximity to the US, The Bahamas are perfect for a quick getaway. The laid-back atmosphere prevalent throughout the islands will encourage ultimate relaxation–getting you to slow down and escape from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. And with the cruise to take care of all accommodations and travel, you really will have nothing to worry about except where your next pina colada is coming from.
Nassau is a bustling tourist attraction and one of most populous city in The Bahamas. From here, you can explore the city (shopping, dining, etc.), take a Jeep adventure into the wilderness, or opt for a day of swimming and snorkeling with the dolphins off of a catamaran.
The true gems of The Bahamas are the private islands that you can get access to with a Carnival cruise. If you want true peace and serenity with glimmering waters and perfect white sand beaches, there is nowhere better than Half Moon Cay.
The Bahamas are also an ideal family destination, with activities designed to make everyone happy.
So, Who Wins?
While the Caribbean undoubtedly has more options as far as a destination, you can’t beat the convenience of The Bahamas. No matter which itinerary you go with, you’re going to see some amazing wildlife, lush vegetation and beautiful beaches.
The Bahamas are the perfect getaway for the whole family, because of the range of family-friendly activities. And because of proximity, Bahamian cruises can be idea for a quick weekend escape.
If you’re looking for a slightly longer trip where you can hit multiple destinations and still have a great time with the family, then the Caribbean is perfect solution. One thing that’s a guarantee: Whatever you decide, you’re gonna have a great time!