Cruise Tips: Picking a Caribbean Cruise Itinerary

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It's a common misperception that Caribbean islands and itineraries are pretty much the same. Each island has its own personality and style, some derived from their colonial culture, others from their geography. It's quite possible to take as many as four or five Caribbean cruises and repeat very few islands.

One-week Caribbean cruises come in three distinct flavors: Eastern, Western, and Southern. Short cruises of less than a week generally include ports in the Bahamas and sometimes Key West, Florida.

The Eastern Caribbean is often the choice of first-time cruisers and those veterans who relish more at-sea days. Three, sometimes four, ports of call generally include:

·  St. Thomas

·  St. Maarten

·  San Juan

·  The cruise line's private island

The Western Caribbean offers the best options for passengers who consider snorkeling and scuba diving a high priority. Typical Western Caribbean ports include:

·  Key West

·  Jamaica

·  Grand Cayman

·  Cozumel

Southern Caribbean cruises afford the choice of more island destinations---usually as many as five. When sailing from a Florida port of embarkation, a Southern Caribbean cruise is generally longer, often 10 to 12 nights. San Juan is also a popular embarkation port for ships on Southern Caribbean itineraries, which often make stops in:

·  Antiqua

·  Aruba

·  Barbados

·  Tortola

·  Virgin Gorda

·  Curacao

·  Grenada

·  Martinique

·  St. Barths

·  St. Kitts

·  St. Lucia

·  St. Thomas

·  St. Maarten

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