Your Next Vacation Should be a Caribbean Cruise – Here’s Why

The Caribbean is a vacation oasis. With so many unique islands, exciting activities, delightful cuisines, stunning beaches, beautiful jungles, baby blue seas, and amazing history, there is something for everyone.

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, Belize

With so much to offer, getting the most of these incredible islands might seem daunting. However, doing so is no secret.

A great cruise itinerary will take you from one great destination to the next, making sure you get to visit and experience the best of the Caribbean in a convenient and comfortable manner.

Celebrity Apex

Plus, a cruise ship like Celebrity Cruise Line’s new Celebrity Apex is the perfect place to relax, dine, and recharge in between islands.

Here are the top reasons why a Caribbean cruise should be your next vacation.

Natural Beauty

The beauty of the Caribbean touches every part of the experience. It’s simply inseparable.

Mambo Beach in Curacao

Lovers of the outdoors will love hiking to stunning mountain views. Animal lovers will get up close and personal with eye-popping tropical fish and their coral reef homes. Beachgoers can relax on white-sand beaches and shimmering blue waters.

Exploring a jungle in Belize

Perhaps best of all, no matter the type of experience you are looking for, the natural beauty of the Caribbean is bound to be enhanced by it.

World-class meals can only taste better when they are served against a palm tree-lined sunset. A hike will overlook a vibrant island surrounded by sapphire seas. When you have volcanic rock formations, massive reefs, and colorful marine life to sail past, a simple boat cruise will be anything but ordinary. When you are in the Caribbean, the islands’ natural beauty will make any part of your vacation exceptional.

Sea turtles in George Town, Cayman Island

History

At the center of international trade, cultural exchange, and yes, even pirates, for hundreds of years, you are bound to find fascinating relics, stories, and heritage of the civilizations of old.

Fort Frederick in Grenada

The roots of the Dutch, British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, African, and indigenous peoples are all here. You can visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, ancient forts, museums, and churches.

St. John’s Church, Barbados

Cuisine

The Caribbean is a haven for foodies. The warm climates mean that the freshest, tropical, and exotic fruits are only a quick stop at a local fruit stand away. A year-round growing season means that foodies will never have trouble picking an ideal time to get a taste of the freshest, most vibrant flavors.

You may have tried coconut, refreshing pineapple, mangoes, guava, or papaya at home, but you haven’t had the whole experience until you have eaten the sweetest, locally sourced versions of these.

Legendary dishes like jerk chicken and Caribbean-style curries are world-renowned and available in their most traditional forms here. Foodies will love a trip to a rum distillery, cocoa farm, or local coffee tasting. Not only will you get to see where these iconic Caribbean tastes come from, but you will get an experience that you won’t soon forget.

A plate of food local to Belize City, Belize

Surrounded by the sea, it would be amiss to not mention the Caribbean’s seafood and shellfish. Just one taste of dishes like steamed snapper, shrimp, or fried fish will have you rethinking your favorite seafood meals back home. Adventurous eaters will have access to eats you can only find on the islands like conch or even shark!

A fried seafood dish served at Key West Smokin Tuna Saloon, Key West, Florida

Each destination, with its unique histories, culture, and plant life, will have its own specialty dish.

Try creative versions of mahi-mahi, lionfish, or grouper dishes in Aruba. Dutch flavors are infused here too, as seen in keshi yena, a ball of warm, steamed or fried cheese stuffed with meat.

A local dish prepared in Barbados

In Belize, savor grilled lobster or any number of dishes served with rice and beans. Try French favorites with a Caribbean twist on the French side of St. Marteen island.

A cruise that takes you from island to island makes sure that each of these dishes are on the menu.

Highlighted Destinations

George Town, Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman Island

With two distinct sides, George Town perfectly encapsulates the variety the Caribbean is known for. On one side is a vibrant resort town known for its financial district. On the other, find serene and secluded beaches.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Nature lovers will be at home on a stop to Tortola. Immerse yourself in the island’s tropical habitat and take in the island’s beauty from above on a hike along the Sage Mountain National Park.

Venture under the sea with a snorkel in tow and encounter colorful marine life as you have only seen in the movies.

Bridgetown, Barbados

Farley Hill National Park, Birdgetown, Barbados
Farley Hill National Park, Barbados

This island has it all. Former plantations and historic sites, beautiful island waters, and local dishes like coucou and macaroni pie means that a stop at Bridgetown will tick all of the boxes.

Variety

With so many options, planning a way to make the most of it can be daunting – a cruise takes away that hassle.

Each Caribbean destination is a world of unique cultures and experiences. None of the over 80 islands are exactly alike:

  • Antigua – Most will stop at St. John’s, Antigua. Whether you are a history buff or looking to relax beachside, this is the place for you. Visit Fort James or St. John’s Cathedral and walk in the footsteps of British and Caribbean history. There are plenty of beaches to choose from – in fact, you could visit a new one every day for a year and never repeat!
A beach in Antigua
  • Aruba – A top destination for visitors, this island’s motto of “one happy island” reflects in the crystal blue waters and every attraction. Visitors will love simply enjoying cocktails on the world-ranking Eagle Beach or heading on an adventure that immerses you in nature. Climb to the top of the Hooiberg volcanic formation for sweeping tropical views. Or, get a glimpse into the life of indigenous islanders long before Europeans arrived at the National Archeological Museum.
The Aruban coastline
  • Belize – A paradise for travelers seeking truly unique experiences, visitors to Belize will be surrounded by fascinating marine life and lush jungles filled with ancient Mayan ruins. Check out the ruins of Xunatunich and step back in time through 25 temples to a 3,000-year-old Mayan civilization. Try snorkeling and diving at Hol Chan Marine Reserve to swim with colorful tropical fish. Nature lovers will bite at the bit to tube and kayak through ancient caves on the Caves Branch River.
The many jaw-dropping caves are a popular excursion in their lush jungles
  • Grand Cayman – Understand the history of this popular Caribbean destination by checking out the Pedro St. James Castle. This oceanfront mansion and historic site is known as the birthplace of Cayman Islands democracy. On Grand Cayman, the beaches are both beautiful and are littered with starfish. Head inland for a walk through Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park or a guided tour of the underground Crystal Caves.
A close encounter with dazzlingly colorful wildlife at Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
  • St. Marteen – With both a French and Dutch sides of the island, St. Marteen offers plenty of diversity within the confines of the island itself. Visit the remains of Fort Amsterdam to both take in the history and take in a beautiful sunset evening. For a bit of French flair, head to Marigot to check out the marina, cafes, restaurants, shops, and Marigot Market for shopping.
Celebrity Eclipse at port in St. Marteen
  • U.S. Virgin Islands – It’s often said that the best of the Caribbean is found on the islands of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Relax, swim, and snorkel at the renowned beaches. Shoppers will find not just a tropical paradise but a paradise of boutiques, souvenirs shops, and vendors of local products of all sorts. Get away from the bustling beach towns into natural and secluded beauty on an island tour by boat. Walk in the steps of the world’s most famous real-life pirate by visiting Blackbeard’s Castle in Charlotte – Amalie and climb the 99 Steps to see St. Thomas from above.
Snorkeling and scuba diving in St. Croix
  • Costa Rica – Costa Rican jungles are known throughout the globe for their lush rainforest habitats and their iconic sloth inhabitants. The value of wellness and pura vida lifestyle permeates through the island yoga culture, spas, secluded natural attractions, and peaceful beaches. Thrill-seekers will love exploring natural caves and ziplining through the rainforest canopy. The capital, San Jose, is worth a stop for its picturesque location amongst towering mountains. Visit coffee farms and taste the best of one of Costa Rica’s top export.
  • Florida – Many Caribbean vacations, cruise or not, will begin in Florida. Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Tampa Bay are all top departure ports with their own destination-worthy attractions, like Everglades tours and restaurants specializing in Cuban cuisine.
A trolley in Key West, Florida

This is just a start to all that the Caribbean has for you to experience. With so many options, planning a way to make the most of it can be daunting – a cruise takes away that hassle.

Cruise itineraries, like the ones offered by Celebrity, are expertly designed to take you to the best of each part of the Caribbean. There is no shortage of cruise itineraries to choose from, so you are sure to find one that will deliver the kind of experience you are after.

Colorful architecture line the streets and seas of Curacao

Choose a regional Caribbean cruise like a Southern, Western, or Eastern Caribbean cruise to travel from island to island and destination to destination, making sure you conveniently get as many different tastes of the region as possible. Or, dig your toes in the sands and focus on the specific islands you are most interested in on a more destination-specific cruise.

The coast of St. Vincent seen from a Catamaran Sail Cruise excursion

Cruises drop you off in popular port cities, usually bustling with restaurants, beaches, shops, tours, and have transportation to the rest of the island for more off-the-beaten-path adventures.

Plus, a cruise will have excursions tailored to each port stop ready for you to embark on, so you can focus on enjoying your vacation rather than, finding, booking, and traveling to your adventure. Celebrity Cruise Lines offers a variety of bookable excursions like “Hiking in Tropical Forest”, “Beach & Snorkeling”, or “Discover Scuba Diving”.

Your Cruise Ship, Your Home Base

Having a consistent place to return to, relax, and recharge while on vacation is a necessity. Cruise ships fill this role perfectly for Caribbean adventures.

One of Celebrity Apex’s staterooms

With so many sights to see, beaches to relax on, foods and cocktails to try, and sometimes strenuous outdoor activities to do, it is a relief to know that a comfortable bed in a well-appointed room is waiting for you. Since most Caribbean vacations involve hopping from island to island, a cruise is the only way to get to visit several destinations while maintaining the same lodging.

Plus, this means you won’t have to pack you and your family’s bags over and over to be able to go to your next destination.

Meet with friends and family on the Rooftop Garden

After an especially exhausting day, getting pampered without having to leave the friendly confines of your ship might be exactly what you need. To do so, check out an onboard spa, a common amenity aboard most cruise ships.

Celebrity Apex’s onboard spa

Much More Than a Flight

It’s not the journey, it’s the destination.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most cruise ships are overflowing with amenities and activities, meaning that your travels between ports are an attraction themselves.

When your vacation time is so valuable, why not make go on a trip that makes the most of it? Cruise ships let you turn travel time into unforgettable memories with your loved ones, making sure that dull moments are kept to a minimum.

Celebrity Cruise Lines sailings are an ideal return for Caribbean travelers. Thanks to their Always Included program, drinks, Wi-Fi, and tips are included on all sailings at no additional cost. Whether this means rehydrating with non-alcoholic beverages after a tropical beach day, unwinding with a cocktail, or connecting with friends back home, these convenient amenities help make your post-adventure experience a great one and set you up for another day of tropical activities.

Celebrity Apex from above

Onboard features, restaurants, and entertainment only add more to the experience. Take for example Celebrity Apex, one of Celebrity’s newest cruise ships. This ship takes onboard entertainment to the next level by bringing state-of-the-art technology and design to the seas in The Theatre.

The Tree of Life highlights the incredible entertainment technology aboard Apex’s The Theatre

Here, shows like The Tree of Life, Crystallize, and Rockumentary will give you a dazzling experience, unlike anything you have seen before thanks to incredible choreography, light shows, and music, all set on a 20-foot tall curved screen, 360-degree circular scrim, and eight 21K laser projectors.

Gather in The Grand Plaza, an Italian-inspired three-story venue that’s home to specialty restaurants and bars, all serving meals you won’t soon forget.

Celebrity Apex’s Grand Plaza is an ideal place to gather, relax, and eat
Meals come to life at Le Petit Chef and Family thanks to animated light-up tables

Meals are taken care of aboard at four unique complimentary restaurants, all serving their own takes on classic favorites and dishes from all over the world.

Meals with a view from atop your ship are available at The Magic Carpet

For a culinary experience, you won’t soon forget, visit specialty restaurants like Fine Cut Steakhouse, Le Grand Bistro, Le Petit Chef and Family, Raw on 5, Rooftop Garden Grill, Eden Restaurant, and the open-air The Magic Carpet.

When the Caribbean is your destination, a cruise ship offers so much more to the journey than a flight.

Ready to set sail?

Check out the latest deals on Celebrity Cruise Lines sailings to the Caribbean here. Right now, when you book with your AAA Travel advisor, any 2022 Caribbean cruise receives a $250 air credit per person on Flights by Celebrity + save 25% on all cruises and flights!