For certain vacationers, only a tropical destination will do, and few places are as tropical as the Eastern Caribbean. If you’re interested in island hopping, a Carnival cruise is the perfect option. Whether you set sail for a long weekend or 10 blissful days, the area beckons with soft sand beaches, swaying palms, sparkling waters and plenty of sunshine. Before booking your Eastern Caribbean cruise, learn what’s special about the top spots.
Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas
Part of the Lucayan Archipelago featuring 700+ islands and cays, The Bahamas attracts snorkelers and scuba divers from all over the world with its vibrant reefs, underwater caves and coral gardens. With colorful 18th-century architecture, azure-blue waters, white sand beaches and a melodic calypso beat, this island nation offers a feast for the senses.
Must-dos in The Bahamas: Buy kitschy souvenirs at the straw market, and climb the historic Queen’s Staircase in Nassau. Take a luxury sail off the shores of Freeport, or navigate Lucayan National Park by kayak.
Golfers, beach lovers, history buffs and underwater explorers will all enjoy a getaway to Bermuda, making it a popular destination for family cruises too. With historical lighthouses, underground caves, 34 fabulous beaches and world-class golf courses, it’s easy to find your happy place in this British island territory.
Must-dos in Bermuda: Sip rum, see the sights and learn about local history on a sunset cruise. Drink in magnificent natural beauty with a visit to the Crystal Caves of Bermuda.
A French Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles, Martinique offers beautiful white or black sand beaches, tropical gardens, lush rain forests and thriving banana and sugarcane plantations. At the north end of the island sits magnificent Mont Pelée, an active volcano.
Must-dos in Martinique: Sample delicious creole dishes like colombo, a Caribbean meat stew. Tour the historic city of St. Pierre followed by rum tasting.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
For a pleasant mix of big-city excitement and Spanish Colonial charm, visit the island of Puerto Rico and its exciting capital city, San Juan. Here, you can find cobblestone streets and historic colonial fortresses, along with lots of galleries, shops, restaurants and bars. After seeing the sites in San Juan, board one of the cruise ships bound for ports such as Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.
Must-dos in Puerto Rico: Visit the famous distillery in San Juan for a history lesson and rum tasting all in one fun trip. Step back in time and enjoy amazing views of the San Juan Harbor with a trip to Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix has it all: from beaches and underwater reefs to rainforests. Due to its unique past, the island offers a blend of French and Danish influences and lots of adventures for history buffs.
Must-dos in St. Croix: For a lesson in Danish Colonial history, explore the town of Christiansted on the north end of the island. Take a walk through St. George Botanical Garden in Frederiksted for natural beauty at its finest.
Don’t forget your camera when you visit St. Kitts. This Eastern Caribbean island promises plenty of photo ops, from old windmills and British forts to white, gray and black sand beaches. Here, you can swim with dolphins, zip line over the rain forest and sail catamarans along the shoreline.
Must-dos in St. Kitts: Taste tropical fruits like mangoes and guava fresh from the vine. Spend the day snorkeling and sunbathing at the beautiful Nevis Beach.
With charming fishing villages, vibrant forests, volcanic beaches and luxury resorts, St. Lucia is one of the best Eastern Caribbean cruise destinations. Whether you’re into shopping the Central Market in the capital city of Castries or escaping your cares in a natural mud bath, you can find plenty of ways to enjoy some bliss on this scenic island.
Must-dos in St. Lucia: Enjoy stunning views of the Gros and Petit Pitons, the island’s cone-shaped twin mountains, with an afternoon cruise. Experience a rain forest adventure you won’t forget with hiking, zip lining and a ride on the aerial tram.
Grand Turk of the Turks and Caicos Islands
If lavish resorts and lots of shops and restaurants sound appealing, head to the Turks and Caicos Islands just southeast of The Bahamas. This tropical paradise offers plenty of quiet beaches, along with a barrier reef and sea shelf for first-rate snorkeling and scuba diving.
Must-dos in the Turks and Caicos Islands: Spend the day swimming and sunning at Governor’s Beach on Grand Turk. Explore historic Cockburn Town, and don’t forget to sample the local beer and rum punch.
If you’re dreaming of a tropical vacation, a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean delivers. With picture-perfect settings and loads of enjoyable things to do, all of these destinations promise a truly memorable getaway.