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A Look at the Eastern Caribbean Cruise

by Shannon Kietzman, writer for Your Wedding

An Eastern Caribbean cruise is a great experience for the veteran cruiser as well as the beginner. Therefore, it makes the perfect honeymoon cruise no matter how experienced you and your sweetheart are with cruising. Most cruises take place in the Caribbean, with its white sandy beaches, tropical islands, and turquoise waters, it is little wonder. Western Caribbean cruises are slightly more popular, but Eastern Caribbean runs a close second.

Finding a Cruise Line for an Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Since the region has such a temperate climate, Caribbean cruises operate throughout the year. April through October, however, tend to be the busiest seasons because of spring breaks, summer vacations, and honeymoons. In addition, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Therefore, it is best to avoid April through November if at all possible if you are looking for a quite honeymoon cruise and want to ensure your trip will not be cancelled or delayed by a hurricane.

Since Eastern Caribbean cruises are so popular, it is not difficult at all to find a cruise line offering these trips. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland American Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruise Line, Costa Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruises, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line are among those offering Eastern Caribbean cruises.

An Eastern Caribbean cruise generally lasts anywhere from seven to fourteen days, with seven being the most common. Shorter voyages are uncommon because it takes time to reach the easternmost islands from the U.S. ports. Those departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, however, can be shorter.

Eastern Caribbean Cruise Ports

There are several embarkation ports available for Eastern Caribbean cruises. The majority of them require a great deal of travel just to get to them, they include:

• Miami, Florida – The cruise capital of the world, Miami offers dozens of ships from a number of cruise lines destined to the Eastern Caribbean.
• Port Canaveral, Florida – Port Canaveral is located east of Orlando on the Atlantic coast. Many who embark from Port Canaveral arrive early in order to experience the other nearby attractions and theme parks.
• Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Fort Lauderdale is near Miami and offers many of the same options, but is less crowded and hectic. There are, however, less cruise lines operating out of Fort Lauderdale.
• Tampa, Florida – An embarkation from Tampa means little sailing time to reach the Eastern Caribbean islands. Nonetheless, departures are limited.
• New York, New York – New York is a great port for northeastern cruises, an Eastern Caribbean cruise will require several days at sea to reach the destination.
• Norfolk, Virginia – Norfolk is convenient for those located in Midwestern and northeastern states, though the port offers limited variety.

Ports of call typical for an Eastern Caribbean cruise include:

• U.S. Virgin Islands – Itineraries including the U.S. Virgin Islands often stop at both St. John and St. Thomas. Each of these islands has gorgeous national parks with a number of trails. In addition, you can enjoy beaches, golf, and snorkeling.
• Bahamas – A Bahamas stop generally includes visiting Freeport and Nassau. Each has numerous shopping opportunities and cultural tours. Nassau also provides access to Paradise Island, which is where the world-renowned Atlantis hotel and casino can be found.
• Puerto Rico – San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of the Caribbean’s largest ports. Here, you can enjoy premier golf, historical tours, and shopping.
• St. Martin – St. Martin, which is shared by the Netherlands and France, offers a unique view into two cultures. You can participate in historical tours, test your luck at casinos, or enjoy elegant shopping.

An Eastern Caribbean cruise is comprised of the less popular Caribbean destinations, but is still full of culture, beauty, and fun.

© 2006 Your Wedding

This article was written exclusively for Your Wedding by Shannon Kietzman.

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Cruise Destination Options

Cruise destination options are limitless and depend upon your taste – be it the Mediterranean, Bahamas or Panama, the list is endless!

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