Written by 2:45 pm Caribbean, Ports

Cruise Guide: Sun-drenched Caribbean voyages unveiled

By Michael Coleman

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to conclude that Caribbean cruise itineraries are the most popular in the world. 

Over the past few years, port calls in Alaska and Europe have gained momentum among travelers seeking to expand their horizons, but the hands-down winner is just a few hundred miles from the coast of Florida. Southern Caribbean itineraries have taken off, with a mix of exotic adventures often in less-charted waters to the Leeward Islands and beyond. 

“On Southern Caribbean cruises, travelers have the chance to visit islands renowned for their exclusivity, tranquility and African, Indian and European influences,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the primary marketing organization for 19 of the world’s leading cruise lines and nearly 17,000 North American travel agencies. 

“Unlike visitors to land-based resorts, cruise guests uniquely enjoy a selection of exotic natural environments and diverse Caribbean cultures in one seamless vacation.” 


Luxury lines eye sun

There’s a Caribbean cruise to fit every budget and every expectation, but if you’re looking for a Caribbean trip to remember, nothing beats a luxury cruise into the region renowned for its lore and impeccable beaches.

Crystal Cruises offers a selection of 7-to-14-day itineraries that visit deep Caribbean ports, sailing roundtrip from Miami. Destinations include Antigua, Bonaire, Grand Turk, St. Lucia and Tortola.

Queen Mary 2 sails two seven-day Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale in December. “Southern Caribbean Liner” and “Dreamers Western Caribbean” itineraries feature calls in Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Montego Bay and Cozumel.

Oceania Cruises’ Regatta offers travelers an array of itineraries roundtrip from Miami that visit St. Barts, Dominica, Antigua, Samana and the diving Mecca of Grand Turk.

Regent Seven Seas’ itineraries, meanwhile, call at Dominica, Grand Turk, St. Barts, St. Thomas and Tortola. Seven, eight, 10 and 11 days cruises are available from Fort Lauderdale.

The Yachts of Seabourn offer seven-day southern Caribbean voyages aboard Seabourn Pride from Barbados and St. Maarten in November and December and on Seabourn Legend from St. Thomas in early 2007.

Silversea Cruises features itineraries ranging from seven-to 12-days with departures from San Juan and Barbados aboard Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper in late 2006 and the first and last quarters of 2007.

Perhaps the best part of all is the fact these luxury operators have a crew that will not only remember your name, but your drink and dining preferences as well.

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