Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. Also called the West Indies,the region consists of the Antilles, divided into the larger Greater Antilles which bound the sea on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), and the Bahamas.
With a population of nearly 40 million people,the Caribbean islands are an island chain 4,020 kilometres (2,500 miles) long and no more than 257 kilometres (160 mi) wide at any given point. They enclose the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean islands are classified as one of Conservation International's biodiversity hotspots because they support exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands.
Caribbean cruise vacations are very popular especially during the winter. This is perhaps because people want to feel warm when the weather back home is cold.
But cruise lines sail along the Caribbean waters all year round. If you don t want to go during the peak season, try booking during the summer because this is the best time to go bargain hunting.
There are a lot of cruise lines to choose from. Some of them include the Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Crystal Cruises. For those who find this to be way out of their budget, they can inquire at Seabourn Cruise Lines.
Let's talk a little bit about these companies.
The Royal Caribbean's fleet offers to the Eastern, Southern and Western Caribbean. You could be away for a few days to a couple of weeks. The Radiance of the Seas for instance sails round trip from Ft. Lauderdale to San Juan, Philipsburg, St. Thomas and Nassau.
Apart from the good food on board, there are activities that you can do once you reach port like snorkeling, nature trekking, scuba diving and Catamaran sailing.
If you happen to book a trip in January, February, November or December, there are festivals that you shouldn't afford to miss such as the Aruba Carnival Celebration, the Barbados Jazz Festival, Mustique Blues Festival, Bob Marley Week in Jamaica, Valentines Day, Tranquility Jazz Festival, Anguilla, St. Patrick's Day, Bahamas International Film Festival and St. Nicholas Day in the Dutch Caribbean.
The Norwegian Cruise line offers almost the same itinerary as the Royal Caribbean. You can choose the three day , seven day or fifteen day package to the Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean and Southern Caribbean aboard its large ships.
Crystal Cruises only has 1 package and this voyage lasts for 12 days. You depart from New York, then move on to Bermuda/Hamilton, then to St. Maarten or Phillipsburg, Antigua, St. John, Curacao or Willemstad, Grand Cayman or Georgetown before heading home to Miami.
The Seabourn Cruise has only 2 packages. You can choose to go on a Caribbean vacation that could last 7 or 13 days. Apart from Fort Lauderdale, you can also catch a ride in New York City and visit Charlotte Amalie (St Thomas), and Bridgetown, Barbados. The best part about being in a yacht compared to a big ship is that it is not very crowded.
You can find out more about these shipping companies by letting your travel agent do the research or browsing online yourself.
By doing so, you will be able to know when are the scheduled their trips, compare their prices and find out what is inclusive in their packages. Once you have confirmed your trip, all you have to do now is pack your bags and leave.
For those coming from the west coast or mid-west, don't forget to also plan your air travel so you don't miss the ship before it leaves port. Some of these companies already have air fare and transfers inclusive so there is nothing to worry about.
The Caribbean cruise vacation is one of the best places to go if you are on your honeymoon, celebrating your anniversary or simply need time away from the real world. Once you come back, you will feel refreshed and ready to continue what you were doing before that.
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