My first visit to the Caribbean was in 2013 and I was charmed by each island that I visited. So much so, I’ve been back several times and fallen in love with many other places.
Each island is different and has its own unique charm and characteristics, and one thing you’re never short of in the Caribbean is things to do! I’m going to share with you 4 of my favourite Caribbean islands and some of the best things you can do on each during your unforgettable Caribbean holiday.
The first island I visited and one that is still my absolute favourite. Your cruise line will offer numerous shore excursions, but a lot of things are easily doable on your own. My recommendation here would be to enjoy a beach day. Antigua has some incredible beaches, but my favourite is Dickenson Bay and it’s just a few dollars to reach by taxi. Golden sands, warm, clear waters and several beach restaurant/bar options.
Sting Ray City is also a favourite here. If you decide to do this, it might be best to book it as an organised excursion with your cruise line, just in case it’s a busy day on the island!
Jamaica doesn’t always get the best praises from cruise passengers, but if you book your tours with your cruise line, all you need to do is sit back, relax and look forward to enjoying one of the most colourful and vibrant islands in the Caribbean. It’s a great place and I always tell people to just see it for themselves before passing any judgement. I’ve visited twice and never had an issue.
There are several cruise ports, so excursions offered will be based on where you dock, but as an example, if you dock at Montego Bay, I would highly recommend a beach day at Doctor’s Cove. It’s truly one of the most impressive beaches I have ever seen! There is a cost, but it’s worth it and there’s an array of water sport options available. If you want to enjoy something more historic, then a visit to the Rose Hall Plantation is an absolute must.
If your ship docks in Ocho Rios, then the stand out tour here is of course Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s national treasures. The falls are approx. 150 feet high and extend across more than 600 feet. The entire site is natural, nothing is man-made, and the climb takes between 1-1.5 hours. It’s a fun way to be at one with nature and you can take it all at your own pace – stopping in several lagoons as you go.
One of the busiest (if not THE busiest) cruise ports in the Caribbean, Cozumel is your gateway to hundreds of fabulous things to see and do. It’s perfect for shopping, private beach breaks, diving and for delving into the rich Mayan history. The majority of tours offered here are based on the island, but you could also opt for something on the Mexican mainland and visit ancient sites such as Tulum. One of the noted highlights here is the El Castillo (The Castle), perched on the edge of the 2,500-ft. wall and overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
I also highly recommend the Cozumel Bar Hop, which leaves from Downtown. It is a 4-hour tour across to several bars on the East Side of the island, a place not frequented by many tourists and that has no electricity supply, so remember to take cash! The food at each bar is delicious and the beaches they overlook are stunning.
One of the lushest islands in the Caribbean, St Lucia is great for shopping, beach breaks, history and some one-on-one time with nature. Embark on an aerial tram ride through the rainforest canopy and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds. It’s a relaxing excursion option and also includes a short walk at the end to explore the floor of the rainforest. If you’re looking for something with slightly more adrenalin, you can also do a zip-line through the canopy.
Cruising the Caribbean
There are hundreds of Caribbean itineraries available and as there are a selection of sailings that are 10-nights or less, it’s a great way to enjoy a cruise and stay holiday. Embark in the Caribbean, or even Miami, and choose to extend your holiday either pre-or-post-cruise. The best option for this is usually a 7-night cruise itinerary mixed with a 7-night land stay.
However you decide to enjoy the Caribbean, you’re in for a real treat. It’s still one of my favourite places to cruise and I’m sure it will soon be one of yours, too.