The Caribbean is incredibly diverse. Choosing just one destination is hard; will you explore the lush rainforest of Belize or discover the white-sand beaches and rugged cliffs of Barbados? Admire the waterfalls in Jamaica or the vivid coral reefs of Bonaire?
Do all of these things sound amazing? You don’t actually have to choose! The best part of a cruise is that you get to discover so many different destinations all in one comfortable trip. Down below are the most frequent ask questions to prepare for your Caribbean cruise in the best way.
Step 1 When to book?
Caribbean weather is great all year round at all destinations. Winner for the absolute best weather is the island of Anguilla. The sunniest season of the year is from December to April. If you like to minimize your chance of encountering any rain, plan your cruise in these months. If possible, try to avoid cruises in August and October because in these months hurricanes are most likely to occur, even though the change of a hurricane happening at the exact time and location of a cruise is actually fairly slim. One of the biggest perks of a cruise over a hotel is that cruise ships can move around bad weather and cruise lines will adjust the route if rougher weather might occur.
The rainy season starts from May to the end of November. However, rains tend to be brief unless a tropical depression is moving through. When you get seasick easily it is best to avoid the rainy season. At this time of year the water will be a bit rougher due to the stronger winds.
Step 2 Pick a destination
If you're inspired by the wide variety of possibilities a Caribbean cruise has to offer, you probably wonder what spots are worth visiting the most. With more than 7000 islands, the Caribbean is a great place for all types of tourists. One of the most popular Caribbean destinations and known for its beaches and shopping is Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico, Grand Turk and St. Thomas. Destinations that are highly praised for their beauty are Barbados, Jamaica and Dominica. The most affordable destinations for a Caribbean cruise are Curacao, Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada and Dominica.
Even though the Bahamas aren’t located in the Caribbean sea, the destination often is included in Caribbean cruises and is a true wonder. Visiting the Bahamas is very suitable for when you like to go for a shorter cruise.
Step 3 Finding deals
Before booking, visit more than one website to get a general idea of what the cruise should cost on average. Make sure to check what’s included in the price. Even though all of us prefer to pay as little as necessary for our holiday trips, it’s sometimes better to pay a little bit more to get a better quality and carefree cruise. Reviews from previous customers are widely available on the search engines.
Just like other vacations, the closer you get to the departure date, the cheaper the cruise becomes. A last minute booking can be a way to get the most value for your money. With booking a last minute, make sure that there is still enough time to get all the vaccinations and travel documents you might need for your trip to paradise. If stressing to prepare for a last minute trip is not your ideal vacation, booking a cruise far in advance can give you a great discount too. An early booking usually also provides other advantages when it comes to options for your cabin.
The busiest and most expensive time for cruising in the Caribbean is when the weather is best from December to April. Especially spring break can cost quite some extra in comparison to other dates. You get better deals when it is rainy season, but this comes with the risk of more stormy weather during your trip. You can also find bargains for cruises that depart in April or May.
The best way to score a great deal for your Caribbean cruise is to be flexible and open minded when it comes to the time, room and itinerary. It can also be worth considering beverage packages and to book onboard entertainment ahead of time. Also discovering ports on your own instead of going with a guided program can save you some money.
Step 4 Documents to bring
What travel documents you need depends on what your destinations will be and in what country your cruise starts and ends. Most cruise lines will advise you to pack a valid passport for your trip. A visa could be needed, depending on what your destinations will be. If you are not a U.S. resident and leave from, or arrive at an American port or if you have a layover on an island that’s a protectorate of the United States, you need an ESTA.
To find out what travel documents you need to bring, contact your cruise company. When any of these documents is required make sure to apply for them as soon as you can to avoid not getting your travel documents in time.
Step 5 Vaccines
Health is the most important thing in the world. Before booking your cruise, it’s essential to check which vaccines you need for your destinations. The CDC and WHO recommend these vaccines for all Caribbean islands: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, yellow fever and other routine vaccinations. Before departure consult with your doctor to discuss what vaccines and other measures you should take to ensure this Caribbean cruise will be a great holiday!
Step 6 Booking your Cruise
In order to find the best possible cruise for you at the best possible price, we recommend visiting all the major cruise line websites and comparing their offers. A good place to start is to do an online search for Caribbean cruise lines.
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