The Ultimate Cruise Travel Guide: Caribbean & the Bahamas

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Still the world’s most popular destination for cruise holidays, the Caribbean and the Bahamas are as close to heaven on Earth as possible. With a number of paradise islands separated by beautiful, sparkling seas; the Caribbean offers an unbelievable array of options for holidaymakers from all around the world.

The famous relaxed Caribbean way of life is always best explored from the waters, taking in the crisp white sands backed by the lush tropical landscapes.

Fast Facts

sea shells and cruise ships Caribbean travel guide

Countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Navassa Island, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Venezuela

Number of Port Cities: 74

Busiest Port: Nassau – 3.4million Passengers/Year

Popular Ports: Nassau, The Virgin Islands, Saint Martin, Bridgetown, Roatan, Castries, Falmouth, La Romana, Havana, San Juan

Regular Visitors: Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Epic, Independence of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway, Queen Mary 2

Must Visit Cities

san juan caribbean travel guide

Haiti’s capital and most populous city, Port-au-Prince, is built in an amphitheatre layout with all the commercial districts located close to the waters, and the residential regions dotted in the hills beyond. Significant efforts have been made to rebuild Port-au-Prince following the devastating earthquake of 2010.

One of the region’s most vibrant and exhilarating port cities, San Juan is the second oldest European-established capital city in the Americas. With a longstanding and charming European flavour, the Puerto Rican capital still proudly boasts the architecture and blue cobbled streets from the Spanish colonial era.

bahamas caribbean travel guide

The busiest port city in the region and the fourth busiest in the world, Nassau city dominates the entire island of Bahamas. With beautiful beaches aplenty and a vibrant downtown region, Nassau offers a bewitching mix of relaxation and entertainment.

The capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic, Santa Domingo is perhaps the cultural epicentre of the Caribbean. The Zona Colonial district of the city is rich with notable landmarks, including an impressive collection of 16th century buildings. The Alcázar de Colón is an absolute must see – the first castle in the Americas.

Hidden Gems:

Grenada’s Carriacou Island has largely operated outside of the tourism industry, with fishing still the major contributor to the economy. This has helped protect this island from the swathes of visitors. Visiting during the August regatta provides a beautiful insight into traditional Caribbean life – with sailing contests, live music and donkey and crab races (not against each other).

us virgin islands caribbean travel guide

Incredibly remote, beautifully romantic and almost too peaceful, the Venezuelan island of Los Roques is generally only visited by native Venezuelans. A huge array of beaches and lagoons make up the coast of this beautiful island retreat, which pink flamingos in their droves call home.

The impeccably named Water Island is the unofficial fourth member of the US Virgin Islands. Water Island is the perfect place if your ideal holiday includes avoiding people wherever possible, with stunning beaches, flat terrains and WWII-era forts to explore.

Made up of a patchwork of brightly-coloured villages, surrounded by stunning golden beaches, Iles des Saintes of Guadalupe provides a wonderful taste of the Caribbean with a distinctly French influence.

We have some fantastic deals available on Caribbean cruise holidays – browse our finest here.

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The Ultimate Cruise Travel Guide: Caribbean & the Bahamas
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The Ultimate Cruise Travel Guide: Caribbean & the Bahamas
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Be inspired by our travel guide to the glorious Caribbean and Bahamas - the quintessential cruise holiday destination!
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Belinda Goodman

Cruise 1st veteran Belinda has a passion for travel, especially cruising. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years, including a 3-year stint working on cruise ships as a croupier. Belinda regularly writes for the Cruise 1st blog, with a focus on company news and advice for first-time cruise travellers.

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