Planning a cruise in the Caribbean? You should; it has great weather, incredible beaches, and seemingly countless islands and sights to explore. In other words, the Caribbean has something for everyone. To make the most of your stay in the archipelago, here are its top 10 cruise destinations that you should visit first.
Have you ever seen pink beach? Now’s your chance. But if you think that’s all Bermuda offers, you’ve got another thing coming. The place is loaded with places to visit: the Bermuda Maritime Museum, which is found in a fortress; Historic St. George, a town full of fascinatingly old buildings; and the breath-taking Crystal Cave, and much more.
If you have the budget, you should experience St. Bart’s, which is considered the tropical version of Paris, except with picturesque natural beaches. St. Bart’s offers haute cuisine, gorgeous villas, upscale designer shops, and the most luxurious hotels this side of the Caribbean. And wait till you see the place during New Year’s Eve.
Turks and Caicos
In Turks and Caicos, every corner you look is like a scene from a postcard. Its waters are blue as blue can be; the sand is like talcum powder; and posh resorts like Club Med Turkoise are a class unto its own. When you’ve finally picked your jaw up off the floor, we suggest you make a beeline for the coral reefs with your scuba gear—it’s one of the best in the world.
St. Martin/St. Maarten
People go to St. Maarten (or St. Martin, depending on which side of the island you’re on) for its spectacular beaches. There are 37 beaches to visit in all, with a hotel, bars or cafés on most of them. When you’re done sunbathing, enjoy the casinos, art galleries and duty-free shops in Philipsburg’s huge commercial area.
Like anything awesomely Caribbean, the Cayman Islands offer lovely blue waters, stunning beaches, bars, great dining options, scuba diving, and hotels and resorts. But what you really need to see here is Stingray City, a one-in-a-lifetime experience where you get to swim with stingrays. Mind blown.
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. John is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on Earth. That’s because most of the island (around two thirds) is a protected and maintained national park. Its beaches are one of the best in the planet, but you should also try the hamburgers at Skinny Legs—they’re out of this world.
The problem with visiting Aruba is that you don’t know what to do first because the 20-mile Caribbean island provides so many options: you can swim in its idyllic turquoise-coloured waters; lounge on its perfect beaches; explore and shop in the swanky stores of Oranjestad, scuba dive around the wreck of the sunken Pedernales tanker; or tee off at the Tierra Del Sol Resort.
It takes three words to describe a cruise to Barbados: tropical island paradise. Barbados has its own set of beautiful beaches, sure, but you’ll visit the island for its world-class water sports (e.g. surfing, scuba diving, and windsurfing), excellent flying fish cuisine, and Harrison’s Cave, the island’s most popular attraction.
The main draw of St. Lucia is its Sulphur Springs hot springs, which has a “drive-in volcano” where you can park your car in the crater. Another highlight is hiking through the island’s rainforests and up the Pitons. Just make sure you’re in shape—it’s quite a trek.
Beaches are a common sight in Caribbean islands, but Anguilla’s powder-like white beaches are one of the best we’ve seen anywhere. And the water? It’s clear turquoise; so clear that you can see really far, especially when exploring the island’s exquisite coral reefs. You can also splurge on food and lodgings here, but you don’t have to spend big to enjoy what Anguilla has to offer.