Choosing a Caribbean Cruise
If you have been on a cruise before you might not need this help, but if you are cruising for the first time we suggest there are two main parameters to consider. They both are about you and what you want.
There are two things that make up a cruise, the ship and where it docks. Both need some thought.
Where you visit, what you want
If you are looking to see great places of interest on a trip then the Caribbean islands need choosing with care. It is not the Baltics where you could cruise over and over again and discover more each time. If you want a beach then add Antigua, if you want a great island trip Antigua might be way, way down the list as there is very little to see. If you want a complete summer mix then Key West is hard to beat, if you want theme parks Canaveral might be on the list though Canaveral also offers Jetty Park and Cocoa Beach. Cuba is fantastic with much to see, Barbados we never tire of. Tortola and the Azures have fewer options.
You might also consider some places are a beach treat, some places that you will look around. What you don't want to do is look around the ones with nothing to see, and sit on the beach when you should have perhaps been on a coach. Planning and choosing makes for great fun. That is where Doris Visits can help. Doris Visits can save you looking round Antigua when you should be on a beach, and will encourage you to find islands like St Vincent, Bequia and Sint Maarten for stops where there are choices you might like to make.
Here is Doris Visits top ten cruise stops from the 2015 / 2016 Caribbean season. Each of these has at least one long form film that can be found on this site.
You can also choose where you fly into, and with some negotiation you might be able to extend the stay at that transit stop for an additional week. Well, why not. The most common transit from the UK is Barbados and we have two films for the bearded one.
More cruises are using Key West to start and stop from, some use Miami, but that maybe few of the British operators. They might however use Canaveral and we advise you to take a look at that place which has so much to offer and such extremes.
Which Cruise Ship do I choose?
The secret is to choose a ship that is suited to you, and given the variety there will be one. It is like choosing which town to live in and they are small towns or villages. If you want to live in a small exclusive area then choose a ship like that, or a huge ship with lots of entertainment and many fine dining restaurants with exclusive areas.
If you are unhappy on a ship it is probably because you might have been able to choose a ship more suited to your needs and desires. It is important to get two things right.
- The ship has the areas you require.
- That the cost of everything you want has been calculated as the cost of your trip.
As an example, if you are of the opinion that once you have paid for your trip you do not wish to pay extra for fine dining, then we agree, the food in the free dining is fantastic and therefore you do not need a ship with fine dining options.
If you wish to have a quiet area and be waited on, never have to look for a sun bed but be shown to one, then you will require an exclusive adult area and private pool which comes at a premium. The bigger ships have these, and fine dining as well as all the free dining and free entertainment areas. Some ships like the Britannia has a wine and dining caber ate night club which has a premium. Add these all to the cost of your cruise.
So, if you like options, don't choose the smallest ship. If you don't need the options and are in bed early a small ship may be ideal. These are just extremes to help you focus on the incredible number of facilities a ship might have to offer.
So if you are new to cruising, there is a pub and karaoke downstairs and a self service upstairs and you never have to dress for dinner. Or, there are black tie and dress code nights for restaurants and bars and entertainment areas. And there are fine dining options and exclusive areas in the mid size and large ships.