Taking a Caribbean cruise vacation is a truly wonderful experience, offering the traveler an opportunity to visit exotic destinations at their leisure while enjoying all the comforts of home – and then some. Today’s modern fleet of cruise ships offer relaxation with adventure by combining a stunning array of health and beauty treatments, fitness activities and entertainment with superb cuisine and top-notch service. Here are three great tips from veterans of Caribbean cruises to help novice cruise passengers make the most of their experience and have a great time.
Know your ship
When a particular cruise has been booked, it is most likely that diligent travelers will already have spent some time researching the islands the ship will visit. The Caribbean islands are host to a potpourri of cultures and the historic influences include those of African, Dutch, English, French, and Spanish settlers. What is often overlooked, however, is the benefit gained from researching the cruise vessel itself. Savvy travelers can save a great deal of time that could otherwise be spent on relaxation and fun by getting their bearings before they actually go on board ship.
When selecting accommodations, check the ship’s layout and book a cabin that will suit personal preferences; make certain to consider both cabin size and elevation as balcony views can be stunning. Find out where the central desk is and check out play areas and games arcades if traveling with the family, or the gym, spa, and solarium if interested in wellbeing and fitness options.
Take a taxi or a horse
Although cruise lines offer excellent organized trips, some independent travelers enjoy the experience of being escorted by local taxi firms, many of which tour the same popular sights as an excursion organized by the cruise line, as is the case on St. Martin.
On many of the Caribbean islands the government fixes tariffs, and in most cases prices can be agreed upon at the start of a journey, so there is no chance of being overcharged. When tariffs are not set, group bookings in larger vehicles such as a minibus or people carrier will help to keep costs down. On some islands, such as Nassau in the Bahamas, a horse and carriage tour is a great way to see the sights, especially when it comes to enjoying the more historic parts of Old Nassau and its unusual structures, such as the pink Parliament building.
Enjoy your own world
A cruise ship is like a gigantic village or a floating vacation resort – it has its own community for the duration of a cruise and many people make new friends and renew their acquaintances when back home, sometimes even deciding to book next year’s cruise together. Other people’s cruise experiences can be really useful when choosing future options.
Occasionally, of course, some passengers will prefer to tune out of the conversations conducted by their neighbors in order to enjoy their own space. This is when personal devices for listening to music or audio books really come into their own. Make certain to bring enough personal entertainment for the moments when jogging, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the majestic views of the sky and sea are just too difficult to resist.