Pristine beaches, swaying coconut trees, glistening sea under the tropical sun, gentle gushing of the waves against the shore, sense of tranquility as the oceanic breeze caresses your hair…these are some of the mesmerizing and hypnotic beauty of the Caribbean, making it one of the most popular destinations for cruise travel in the world.
Caribbean cruises usually are planned as longer trips so that travelers get to soak in more of its natural beauty and usually last for at least a week. Caribbean cruise itineraries are divided into three different general regions – Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean. Choose a Caribbean cruise itinerary according to your schedule, budget, likings and interests. Do remember these useful tips if you want the best Caribbean cruise experience!
Caribbean cruise length
The first and most important factor that you need to consider is the length of the Caribbean cruise that fits your schedule before you speak to your travel agent or book your Caribbean cruise online. Most Caribbean cruises last more than a week or longer that includes three to four ports of call in their cruise itineraries. If time is not in your favor, you may then have to consider the three day Caribbean cruise that visits only one port of call. Since the length of the Caribbean cruise will also determine the price that you have to pay, check your calendar and budget before calling your travel agent.
Caribbean cruise activities
The next crucial factor that you need to consider is the facilities of the Caribbean cruise ship and the activities provided on board the ship before you make your ultimate choice and speak to your travel agent. Different cruise ships have different facilities on board as well as different cruise routes, itineraries and activities. For example, some cruise ships have rock walls while some cruise ships have tennis courts. Hence, you should check out what the cruise ship can offer you and your travelling companions so as not to be disappointed.
If you are travelling with children, you should select the Caribbean cruise that has activities that can entertain your children or even has babysitting facilities while you and your spouse enjoy a twosome time together. If you are travelling with your family of different ages, you should select the Caribbean cruise that has entertainment activities suitable for the entire family. If you are going on a Caribbean cruise vacation with only your spouse or friends, then you can opt for adult specific Caribbean cruises. As the Caribbean cruise activities on board and at port of calls may affect your budget, plan your budget before calling your travel agent.
Plan your budget
The prices for cruise packages including most Caribbean cruises will cover meals on board, some up to 5 meals a day plus tea, coffee or water. The prices that you pay also include the use of the fitness gym, swimming pools, Jacuzzi and other entertainment onboard. However, you will have to pay for expenses on alcohol, other special drinks, some fine dining restaurants, spa or beauty packages and any other luxurious facilities on board the cruise ship. If you are joining the excursions or land tours organized by the cruise ship, you will also have to bear these additional tour packages expenses as well as the entertainment and dining expenses at the port of call. Some cruise lines may require additional service charges or taxes that are not included in the original cruise prices that you paid for. Hence, it is important that you clarify and check beforehand about the prices and the facilities included in the prices of the Caribbean cruise that you are going to book. On top of that, you should always plan before hand the amount that you intend to spend on board your Caribbean cruise. This will help you plan and stay within your planned budget as well as select the right Caribbean cruise without bursting a big hole in your pocket.
Book in advance
As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm – Hence, if you plan your Caribbean cruise holiday well in advance and make your booking months ahead, you can get to qualify for early bird discounts offered by the cruise lines. Most of the Caribbean cruise lines have this special advance booking offer for many of their cruise itineraries where a special early bird rebate is offered if the passenger booked and paid months ahead. On top of the discounted rates that you enjoy, booking your Caribbean cruise early also allows you more freedom to select your preferred suite or cabin along with the desired cruise route and cruise ship that you are interested in.
If you missed the chance to be the early bird and enjoy early bird rates, then plan your Caribbean cruise vacation as a group and you may be eligible for group discounts instead. Invite your relatives, friends, former colleagues or classmates to a gathering in the mesmerizing Caribbean. Remember – there is power in being united so book your Caribbean cruise for the entire gang and enjoy discounted rates.
Off peak travel
If you book your Caribbean cruise during off season or off peak timings, you will not only enjoy a less crowded, more pleasurable cruise but you will also be able to enjoy discounted rates without extra peak season surcharges. Hence, check the calendar before you contact your travel agent to better enjoy your Caribbean cruise vacation.