5 Best Caribbean Cruise Ports

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5 top best Caribbean cruise ports

With the harsh winters of many northern states, some of you may be planning an escape to something warmer. The Caribbean perfectly fits the bill, but with so many destinations and cruise ports, where would you go? As you may already know, cruises offer the best combination of port destinations and destinations of the ships themselves.

At Aurora Cruises and Travel, for this winter season, we have compiled our top 5 best Caribbean cruise ports.

Labadee, Hispaniola

This is a Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara specific product, none the less, one of our favorites for a few reasons. The Brand to date has two private paradises in the Caribbean that is catered to their guests, one in the Bahamas and then Labadee on the Northern Coast of Haiti.

The latter is their newest and most updated with amenities and activities. For those seeking their peace, Cabanas can be rented for up to 8 guests on either the beaches or hilltops with water access. For those seeking thrill and adventure, in addition to all the water activities, there is the Dragon’s Breath, the largest Zip Line over water in the world.

The long peninsula offers beautiful beaches on either side, one towards the warm gulf, and the other into the bay with a luscious landscape in the horizon.

One of the main reasons we chose this location for this list is because it is a private property of the Royal Brand, it is entirely protected for your safety and is integrated with your SeaCard should you have a drink package, so no extra charges!

St. Lucia

To me, St. Lucia is one of the most pristine and well preserved islands in the Caribbean. Its dramatic landscape of high hills and powder white beaches needs to be seen to be believed.

This island is one of the most southern of the Eastern Caribbean which means your typical 7 night round trip Florida cruises will not reach. This destination is for those cruise ships that either begin on another island, typically Puerto Rico, or have longer itineraries for those starting in Florida, labeled as Southern Caribbean routes.

With that in mind, it is easy to see how this beautiful island is not over inundated with tourists that some of the more popular islands such as St. Thomas visit. While still a busy destination with many resorts and hotels, this island offers natural as well as historic attractions to please everyone. The natural wonders of the springs, volcanoes, and rain forests are met with the local friendly hospitality and flavor.

Cozumel, Mexico

Been there, done that! But have you? There is a reason Cozumel is one of the biggest destinations in the Caribbean year after year.

Just about every Western Caribbean cruise will include this island in their itinerary. The island’s location gives the most options for a multitude of water activities that many others could not offer. On the Gulf side, the waters give more coarse seas, perfect for those active sports such as wake boarding or kite surfing.

On the channel side, the calm waters are great for leisurely wading and swimming. The island is also known for its snorkeling throughout. Many are curious to explore the Mayan Ruins.

For those just wanting an introduction, skip the long excursions that ferry you inland to Yucatan and just purchase a few hours pass into the national park in Cozumel itself for the very similar yet just as splendid tour then head over to the beaches!

For our active readers, the island is fairly small, so renting a scooter or Jeep will give you the mobility to touch through the different attractions of the city. Insider

Tip! The taxis on the island are all government controlled and unionized, which discourages any unfair pricing practices. The prices per person and by destination are set by the Unions, so you are always guaranteed to know your rates without worrying about tourist upcharges.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

While many of the Caribbean islands have rich histories and beautiful beaches, San Juan brings its beauty to a whole new level.

The colorful and well maintained streets reflect its diverse history. San Juan is one of the most metropolitan destinations of the Caribbean, yet its historical districts give a sensational contrast of new and old.

For cruise destinations, not too many contemporary liners visit this rich port city, rather this destination is found more often premium and luxury cruises. One thing to keep in mind is that for those looking to explore the Southern Caribbean, there are a number of cruise ships that are base out of this island. So if for example you are short on time, and can only do a 7 night trip, consider flying into San Juan rather than Fort Lauderdale for that extra special cruise to reach destinations you otherwise would not have.

Ochos Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica is a very diverse landscape and has a lot to offer to its tourists.

I would consider this destination to be one of the most active in the Caribbean. Dunn’s Falls is always a favorite among guests who return time and time again.

There are several lazy rivers in the area, some a little more active than others, as well as multiple scenic zip lines. The area offers plenty of water sports as well as Dolphin interactions and scuba diving. Not too far from Ochos Rios is Montego Bay, which is a more cityscape landmark, offering many duty free shopping centers and restaurants.

In this area you will also find some historic excursions through old plantation farms as well as notable buildings. This area is known for its beaches throughout.

In Conclusion: Cruise Expert Advice

The value of a travel  advisor is definitely in their knowledge of not only the ships, but the destinations they are selling. We aim to provide the most comprehensive information on  different cruise ports that we visited personally (sometimes many times!)

With so many other destinations within the Caribbean, make sure to contact us when planning your next cruise.

Nadia Jastrjembskaia
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Elite Cruise Counselor

Nadia Jastrjembslaia. PhD. is a CLIA certified Cruise Counselor in the highest rank of Elite Cruise Counselor and Luxury Cruise Specialist. CLIA stands for Cruise Line International Association. She is a managing director of Aurora Cruises and Travel - storefront cruise travel agency in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She experienced more than 80 cruise ships and sailings. Nadia is a published author with her new book Suite Cruising on Royal Caribbean Fleet is scheduled to hit market in March 2016.

Nadia Jastrjembskaia
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