Cruise tips you can trust
Eastern vs. Western
Eastern is defined as east of Puerto Rico, and Western as everything else.
The Western Caribbean is generally better for snorkeling and diving. It also offers you a greater variety in culture, cityscapes, seascapes, and landscapes.
Because the distance between islands is often shorter than in the Western Caribbean, you spend less time traveling between islands. And the Eastern Caribbean is your best bet for finding beautiful beaches. Moreover, the islands are typically smaller and less developed than in the Western Caribbean, so you stand a better chance of enjoying a quiet, relaxing setting for your vacation.
Some cruise lines reclassified the Bahamas (along with the Turks & Caicos) into a new category, the "Northern Route". The Bahamas is conveniently close to Florida, which makes it geographically desirable for cruises originating in that state.
Also, some cruise lines moved Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Grenada, and Trinidad & Tobago into a new "Southern Route" category. Most of the area lies south of the classic hurricane belt.
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Best Caribbean cruise lines
22 cruise lines - Insights and links
Top 10 Caribbean islands
Best time to go
Top 10 shore excursion rankings
Itineraries - Routes & maps
Itineraries - Issues
Pronounce island names - East
Pronounce island names - West
More cruise tips & insights
Caribbean cruise facts & tidbits
OneCaribbean (official tourism website)