Choose between Eastern, Western and Southern all-inclusive Caribbean cruises. (Photo: antigua caribbean beach image by Andrew Howard from Fotolia.com )
Cruising is the most affordable way to see multiple destinations in the Caribbean. The all-inclusive nature makes it easier for you to budget and know exactly how much you'll be spending on lodging, food and entertainment. Veteran cruisers warn that there are some surprises along the way if you're not careful, as not everything is included.
There are several different types of inclusive Caribbean cruises offered, says Cruise Critic. Eastern Caribbean trips visit destinations like San Juan, St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Tortola. Though crowded, you'll shop, swim and sight-see local monuments. Southern Caribbean trips stop in places like Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Dominica, Grenada, Matinique, Trinidad, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. These remote itineraries offer true getaways to rainforest and desert islands. Western Caribbean trips sail to islands such as Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Roatan, Montego Bay and Ochos Rios. See ancient civilizations, take eco-tours, drink strong rum punches and relax on beaches.
Sherman's Travel reports that there are over 20 cruise lines vying for your Caribbean cruise booking. Kid-friendly ships like Carnival and Norwegian pack their itineraries with onboard entertainment and offer many different shore excursions. Smaller lines like Arabella or Island Windjammers cater to passengers who want an off-the-beaten-path cruise to smaller ports and a hands-on approach to sailing. Luxury lines like Cunard and Regent Seven Seas cater to affluent crowds with five-star dining and added amenities.
With any mainstream all inclusive Caribbean cruise vacation, the fare covers a basic room to sleep in, breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, tea, tap water, daily room cleaning service, entertainment and transportation aboard the ship to each scheduled island port. Luxury lines such as Silversea, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn and SeaDream Yacht Club also include gratuities and all beverages in their fares, says Sherman's Travel.