Cruising is in full force right now, and I recently did a poll in our Magical Vacations and More group on Facebook where the majority were dreaming of a Caribbean cruise. Why wouldn't they be? It's January and many are buried in snow!
So let's start by talking about the Western Caribbean
Depending on where you are departing from, the basic stops for a Western Caribbean cruise are:
Costa Maya, Mexico
Key West, FL.
And then a couple of the cruise lines private islands like,
Perfect Day at Coco Cay
Disney's Castaway Cay
The great thing about a Caribbean Cruise, is most of these ports are open year-round with the winter months being the busiest time to cruise. (can you blame them?)
Now usually when you think of these locations, you immediately think of crystal blue waters, and white sandy beaches, which in its own right we would take in a heartbeat on any given day. BUT what you may not think about is the history some of these places offer for you to explore, and learn!
Places such as:
Ancient Mayan Ruins
The town of Falmouth is 250 years old, and has historical walking tours
Dunn's River Falls is believed to have been the site of the famous battle of "Las Chorreras", fought in 1657 between the Spanish and the English for possession of the island
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins in Costa Maya
Historic homes in Key West
Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site by taking the ferry over to the ancient ruins of Tulum in Cozumel.
Volcanos in Columbia, and so much more.
Not that you could ever tire of the sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, but if History is your thing, those are some great options!
Ready for water?
Belize's 185-mile barrier reef is the largest in the Western Hemisphere
Take an excursion to Doctor’s Beach in Jamaica, It’s of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean
Take a Catamaran tour
Go Cave tubing in Belize
Swim with the stingrays in Grand Cayman
Climb Dunn's River Falls
Splash Splash to your hearts content with more activities such as paddle boarding, jet skiing, etc.
You could truly go on a Western Caribbean cruise and not see and do everything this unique blend of history meets sun and surf has to offer!
Fun fact: Did you know there is a place on Grand Cayman Island called HELL? "Hell" is a patch of pitch-black limestone that was formed by lime and salt over millions of years, but hey, you could tell people you’ve been to hell and back, literally.
U.S. citizens do not need a passport if their cruise starts and ends in the same U.S. port, however we always recommended traveling with one in case of emergency.
Some things you should pack, but might not think of!
Lots of REEF FRIENDLY sunscreen
Bathing suite cover ups
Lightweight clothing that drys fast
Snorkeling equipment (saves money from renting)
Water bottle with built in filter
SPF Lip Balm
After Sun Care Lotion
Waterproof dry bag
Portable phone charger