With over 30 ports to call at, there’s more to Caribbean life than beaches and rum cake (though both are very important). There are also Mayan temples, raucous cities, thrilling raft rides and swimming with dolphins. Not to mention the glorious cuisine, charming locals and epic beach sports. So how does one shoehorn some of this variety into your daily excursions when on a cruise holiday? Checking out the following ports would be a fine move when planning your Caribbean cruise itinerary.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Known also as MoBay, this port city offers Jamaican culture in scores, along with natural highlights like the pure waters of the Doctor’s Cave Beach. Pick up some souvenirs and fiery jerk chicken in the very Jamaican Hip Strip, also known as Gloucester Avenue, and then visit the Rose Hall Country House for a view of the former grandeur of plantation life. If you prefer something a touch more active, get into the swing of things with a round of golf at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, or ride bamboo rafts down the Martha Brae River to let off some steam and cool down under the shady jungle canopy.
Visit the Isla Cozumel and you’ll find a relaxed, elegant haven from the lively cities of Mexico and other Caribbean islands, with pretty colonial houses and beaming sunshine setting the tone. The port does have the degree of tourist facing intensity to be expected from a major cruise stop off, but if you hit the coastal spots you’ll discover some of the most diverse diving sites in the Caribbean, with coral reefs, rocky outcrops and even underwater caverns to explore. Before re-embarking, take an excursion to San Gervasio, the Mayan ruin site, which is the perfect size to be explored in half a day.
Another place of snorkelling and diving excellence, if you’re lucky, you can swim with whale sharks off the coast of the long island of Roatan in Honduras. When you’re not hanging out with giant fish big enough to swallow you whole (if they were so inclined), this former pirate haunt has plenty to delight landlubbers. Wander through the lavishly scented plants nurtured in the Blue Harbour Tropical Arboretum, check out the Bay Islands Underwater Museum or take some selfies with the friendly little Capuchin monkeys in Gumbalimba Park. There’s a photo opportunity around every corner on this picturesque isle.
These are terrific ports to include on your Caribbean cruise itinerary. Visit them and you can be sure of a memorable trip.