From the Newsroom: Cruising along in the Caribbean – The Columbian

Posted: February 29, 2020 at 11:04 pm

If you are reading this, it means I am on yet another cruise!

Like more than 11 million people per year, I am visiting the Caribbean islands this time, and, although I wrote this in advance, I will bet I dont have a coronavirus. While its a major concern in cruising Asia, I am not concerned about the outbreak infesting Caribbean cruises this month.

Were only gone for a week, which is the most common length of Caribbean cruises. If you leave from Florida, like we did, a week gives you enough time to visit three or four ports (one actually may be in the Bahamas or the Florida Keys, not the Caribbean.) There are a lot of different ships to choose from when booking a Caribbean cruise, but most of them visit the same islands. Eastern Caribbean trips often call at St. Thomas, St. Maarten and perhaps San Juan, Puerto Rico. Western cruises commonly visit Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico or ports in Central America.

The distance of the islands from each other and the cost, quality and availability of the harbor and docking facilities play an important part in where ships visit, so thats why you see all of the different cruise lines visiting the same places.

In other words, book a Caribbean itinerary more because you like the ship and what it has to offer, and not because it visits Cozumel or St. Thomas.

My first purely Caribbean cruise was in 1991, and since then the ships and the crowds in the ports have grown enormously. If you decide to make the trip, youll notice that the megaships now often dock in very controlled places set up like a sort of an amusement park catering to North American expectations.

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From the Newsroom: Cruising along in the Caribbean - The Columbian

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