From the warm tropical weather to exotic food and drink, jewel toned seas, white sand beaches, and charming accents. These are some of the hallmarks of a vacation in the Caribbean. No wonder Caribbean cruises still remain popular. With over twelve cruise lines that offer journeys to a number of island destinations, it is difficult to choose where to start your adventure with the Caribbean cruise.

Destinations
For a number of cruises in Caribbean, the gateway is Key West, Florida. Make a stop here before you proceed into the deeper waters. You can choose to go to any of the destinations that Caribbean cruise has to offer. They vary from the Bahamas which is close to distant ports such as the Netherland Antilles, off the northern coast of South America, Cancun on the eastern coast of Mexico and Barbados, eastern part of the scattering islands of the Caribbean. Popular destinations include the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, and Jamaica. Some cruise lines have their own smaller islands which are also destinations featured in the Caribbean. They include Coco cay in the Bahamas and Castaway Cay in Disney and are leased by the Royal Caribbean.

Routes
Many cruises follow several basic routes; eastern Caribbean routes which cover the islands located Southeast of Florida such as the Haiti, the Bahamas and the Virgin islands; western Caribbean routes which go west from Florida making stops at various places such as the Cayman island; and southern Caribbean routes which lead to the north coast of South America and makes stops at St. Kitts and St. Marten. Shorter cruises like those that cover extended weekends or go for four days include only one destination such as the Bahamas, the coast of Mexico or Bermuda.

Cruise Lines
Several cruise lines use the Caribbean. These include bigger and busier lines such as Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival Royal and Caribbean. These lines provide numerous selections from a week in the sea to short strict trips and longer cruise for more exploration. Other cruise lines are specific, they include the luxurious Regents Seven Seas, Disney Cruise lines for kids and the small boat yacht cruise of Sea Dream lines and Seabourn

caribbean cruise

Embarkation Points
The most popular cities for departure on a Caribbean cruise are Tampa, Miami, the Florida cruise ports of Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville. However, cruises may start their journey from numerous locations, including Baltimore, New York City, Alabama, Mobile, Texas, Galveston, and also Caribbean ports such as Puerto Rico, Barbados and San Juan.

Excursions
If you get bored of the sun and the beaches, there is plenty you can do when you make a stop in various ports. You can either take an eco-tour such as a jungle canopy tour or go kayaking. Some ports offer an opportunity to engage in cooking schools, culinary tours and soak in the local flavor with rum tastings or tequila. The resurgence of pirates has led to pirate-themed tourist destinations, sailing adventures and historical tour. A swim with dolphins is popular in various ports. Apart from these, plenty of other water-based activities such as snorkeling and jet-skiing exist.