Highlights of Caribbean
Cruising the azure playground of the Caribbean is a riot of colour, rhythm and flavours. Fewer than 10 percent of the Caribbean's 7,000 islands are inhabited – so you can get as close to, or as far from civilization as you want.
A few of the highlights of cruising the Caribbean:
- The dual-named island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is split into Dutch and French territory respectively, making a stop in its capital Philipsburg a chance to see two Caribbean cultures in one day. There are 37 beaches dotted around the coastline, from sandy stretches to little coves and clothing-optional spots. Locally-produced rum and spicy West Indian creole dishes make for a tasty treat ashore.
- Grand Cayman Island is the banking haven, fringed by calm azure waters that really are as enticingly aqua as the postcards claim. It's a perfect place for watersports lovers and a top spot to get close to various types of marine life, from turtles at Boatswain's Beach to Stingray City. 'Kissing' a stingray may delight or terrify you but either way, you won't forget it!
- Barbados' capital Bridgetown is inescapably English, given their influence since establishing a settlement there more than 300 years ago. For a glimpse into the island's colourful history, take a look at the Barbados Museum when you dock in Bridgetown. Barbados' east coast is the rugged, Atlantic-facing side of the island and the south has a lively pocket of restaurants and bars at St Lawrence.
The Caribbean really is a year-round destination. Temperatures seldom vary from the low to mid 20s Celsius (high 80s to low 70s Farenheit), with humidity hovering at the 70 percent level just about all year. The hurricane season, which officially lasts from June 1st to November 30th, can occasionally disrupt cruise itineraries.