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This is the Essential Cruise Tips Podcast with cruise expert and author Gary Bembridge. Full of tips, advice and ways to plan and get the most from your cruising vacation.

Sep 5, 2014

Gary Bembridge author of "The Cruise Traveler's Handbook" provides another 60-Second Cruise Tip. For more visit and subscribe free to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and TuneIn Radio.


Cruising the Caribbean

The most popular cruise region is the Caribbean. Many ships sail out of Florida, mostly Miami and Fort Lauderdale, although there are frequent cruises from other USA ports - and occasionally from Europe. 

East Caribbean cruises go to islands like Saint Maarten, Saint Thomas, and Antigua. Western ones visit places like Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. Cruise lines often alternate these routes offering back-to-back trips around the region.

Here are some considerations when choosing a Caribbean cruise:

    •    Ports can get busy with thousands of cruise passengers visiting at one time. This is especially common on the northerly islands close to Florida like Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas and Saint Maarten when seven or more ships can be there together. I prefer cruises to the more southerly islands such as Barbados, Dominica and Saint Lucia as they tend to be quieter and offer a more genuine Caribbean experience.
    •    Check if the islands you are visiting are owned by the cruise line and uninhabited. These are purely entertainment destinations and you are not seeing authentic destinations.
    •    Do more than just beach and catamaran excursions and see some cultural and historical attractions to appreciate the differences between the islands.