How Do I Choose the Best Caribbean Cruise?

Christina Edwards

The right Caribbean cruise should be chosen based on your budget, lifestyle, and preferences. The price of cruise packages can vary greatly, depending on a number of factors, including the time of year. You may also want to choose any one of the specialty cruises that many cruise lines offer, such as a family cruise or a singles cruise. Look into each different cruise line before you make a decision, since the different companies may offer different prices and itineraries.

A globe showing the Caribbean.
A globe showing the Caribbean.

Generally, you should not spend more than you can afford on a Caribbean cruise. A number of things may affect the price of a Caribbean cruise. You may be able to travel at a more reasonable price, for instance, if you choose a cabin without a spectacular view.

Various factors, such as budget and lifestyle, should be considered when choosing a Caribbean cruise.
Various factors, such as budget and lifestyle, should be considered when choosing a Caribbean cruise.

You should also consider what is included in cruise packages before you choose a Caribbean cruise. Some “all-inclusive” cruises may not be. You may find that after you board, your drinks, meals, or entertainment are not included. Be sure to talk to a cruise line representative before you choose a cruise package, and find out exactly what is included. True “all-inclusive” cruise packages may come with a higher price tag, but you will also not be surprised with an outrageous bill at the end of the cruise.

The time of year is another thing that you may want to consider when choosing the best Caribbean cruise. Cruises during the peak season may be a little more expensive. The weather is usually much nicer, however, and there is usually more activity at the different ports.

Cruises that sail during the off-peak season, usually during the summer and fall in the Caribbean, will generally be less expensive. During these times, cruise lines are usually just trying to fill the cabins, so you may be able to snag a deeply discounted Caribbean cruise. Since this is hurricane season, however, there is a chance that your cruise will either be canceled or rained on.

If you have a flexible schedule, you may also consider a last-minute Caribbean cruise. Since cruise lines do not usually like to sail with any empty cabins, they will offer large discounts to people who book late. Choosing a last-minute cruise, however, will not usually work if you have a certain week set aside for a vacation.

You may also choose a Caribbean cruise full of similar passengers. Family cruises, for instance, are typically very kid friendly. Singles cruises, on the other hand, are geared toward single adults looking for a good time. Gay and lesbian cruises are also available, along with cruises for elderly passengers and college students.

Before booking a Caribbean cruise, be sure to that the cruise line you choose is reputable. If possible, get recommendations from friends or family members. Online reviews can also help you sort out the quality cruise lines from the less reputable ones.

Different cruises may also have different itineraries. Many large cruise lines will make sure that their ships dock at a few of the major ports, for instance. Some of the smaller cruise lines, which may be more economical, may stop at some of the smaller, lesser known ports. You may also consider the length of time that a ship for a Caribbean cruise stops at each port. Be sure that you will have enough time to get off the boat, stretch your legs, and explore if you wish.

Caribbean cruises might make stops at several beach locations.
Caribbean cruises might make stops at several beach locations.

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