When it comes to cruising, sailing through the Caribbean is among the most popular destinations desired by cruise travelers. In deciding where to sail, choosing between an Eastern Caribbean Cruise and a Western Caribbean Cruise is likely the first decision made when planning a cruise. Question is, which side of the Caribbean is better? Answer: EITHER! You can’t go wrong with a Caribbean cruise, no matter the location!
Popular Eastern Caribbean Cruise Destinations: Nassau (or an island in the Bahamas), St. John, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and St. Maarten.
Cruises sailing to the Eastern Caribbean typically depart from ports in Florida. Some also depart from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Islands found in the Eastern Caribbean are smaller, relatively close together, and often are prime stops for beach-lovers those hoping to enjoy shore excursions that include a myriad of water activities (like snorkeling, fishing, sailboat racing, and catamaran cruises).
Popular Western Caribbean Cruise Destinations: Playa del Carmen or Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Key West, FL; Belize; Jamaica; Roatan, Honduras; and the Dominican Republic.
Cruises sailing to the Western Caribbean typically depart from ports in Florida, Texas (like Galveston) or New Orleans.
The shore excursion options of the Western Caribbean are of a wider variety than the East. You can explore Mayan Ruins in Mexico, zip line through the jungles of Belize, swim with stingrays in Grand Cayman, or hike a famous waterfall in Jamaica (just to name a few popular shore excursions). If you prefer to spend your day sipping cocktails on the beach, you can do that in the Western Caribbean as well.
Take note: Most Caribbean cruise itineraries are 7-days in length. If you prefer a shorter cruise, many 3-5 night itineraries will only hit the Bahama islands.
Will it be East or West for your Caribbean cruise? Contact me today and let’s get planning!
Written by Casey Cote: Casey Cote is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. She loves planning incredible vacations at no cost to you. To book your next cruise, all-inclusive resort vacation, family getaway or honeymoon, contact at Casey@destinationstoexplore.com. You can also find her on Facebook!