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Pirates Ahoy! Destination: The Caribbean

Karen Cottle

When most people think of a summer cruise, the Caribbean is usually the first destination that comes to mind. Given that region has been a tourist getaway since the 1800s, it’s no wonder that they’ve become one of today’s best and busiest tourist destinations.

Planning Your Trip

With around two dozen island destinations available, planning a trip to the Caribbean can seem like a daunting task. In fact, we don’t recommend first-timers trying to plan a Caribbean trip on their own unless they have a specific island they know they already know they want to go to. What we instead recommend is booking one of the many different tour packages available first.

What To Eat

The Caribbean offers a wide range of flavors from the sweet tartness of tropical fruits, to the savory goodness of the Caribbean’s signature goat stew. The abundance of seafood should also be taken advantage of. However, be sure to check health alerts concerning seafood related issues, such as Red Tide.

For more experienced travelers looking for authentic flavor, local eateries and marketplaces are a definite must. A word of warning however, especially to those with sensitive tummies: eating too much, too fast of a new dish may shock your digestive system! Remember to take everything in moderation. Also avoid tap water when unsure of water quality.

Activities

Land, air, or sea, the Caribbean has something for everybody!

Being an island chain, many tours are done by chartered plane, offering an amazing view of the islands and the surrounding ocean. This is a good method for island hopping as the travel time is shorter and the smaller planes usually have shorter lines and are perfect for small tour groups that don’t really aim to socialize much. The main downside is that large groups will usually have to split up in different planes.

For those who would rather keep their feet on the ground, the Caribbean has quite a few golf courses, nature trails, ATV courses, and other terrestrial out door activities. Just remember to bring insect repellant! Tropical areas usually have a lot of mosquitos and other biting insects. Always best to be safe!

For those who want to take advantage of the wide-open waters of the Caribbean, there’s fun to be had both on and under the water. Island hopping cruises, jet skis, and surfing make up the surface activities, while scuba diving remains the most popular underwater activity. Just remember: while coral and starfish look great, don’t break them or bring them home! Protect the environment for future generations!

As you can see, the Caribbean has a lot more to offer than TV and movies lead you to think; a cruise isn’t the only fun to be had in this amazing chain of islands. If this is the destination you’ve decided on, remember: plan ahead so you don’t end up trying to cram too many activities and end up enjoying none of them, bring bug repellent, and vacation responsibly! When you get back, let us know how it went for you!