Cruise News7 Best Cruise Ports in the Caribbean

7 Best Cruise Ports in the Caribbean

What are the cruise best ports in the Caribbean?  We asked our readers to vote on which cruise ports were their favorites in the 2014 Cruise Fever Fan Awards and the following 7 cruise ports finished with the most votes.

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7. Roatan – Roatan is an island off of the main coast of Honduras that is a divers and snorkeler’s dream due to the second largest coral reef in the world that is found here.  The crystal clear water and year round temperatures in the 80-90s make it easy to understand why Roatan finished 7th in voting.

6. San Juan – The port in San Juan, Puerto Rico is not only a port stop on many cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, but many cruises to the Southern Caribbean leave and return here.

There is so much to love in San Juan.  From the cobblestone streets in Old San Juan, 400 year old forts, and the El Yunque rainforest, this port stop has something for everyone.  A stop in San Juan is a highlight of many cruises.

5. Grand Turk – Grand Turk is an island in the Turks and Caicos Islands that is located south of the Bahamas.  Just off of the pier is a palm tree lined, white sandy beach that gives cruisers the perfect spot for tropical relaxation.

Want to visit this port that was voted the fifth best port in the Caribbean?  You will have to visit it while on a Carnival Corp. (Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Costa) cruise ship since they own and built the port.

4. Grand Cayman – Take one visit to Grand Cayman and you will quickly find yourself looking for a return visit.  The clear, blue, warm waters are popular with snorkelers and divers.  Stingray City and the Turtle Farm are two of the most popular attractions in Grand Cayman.  If you have to choose just one, visit Stingray City for an experience you will never forget.

The island is also a great place for shopping since the locals are not aggressive at all, you can shop in peace without being harassed. The only drawback to visiting Grand Cayman is that there are no piers for cruise ships to dock at so you must take tenders.

3. Cozumel – Virtually all cruises to the Western Caribbean stop in Cozumel, Mexico.  This port stop is a great island to rent a Jeep, car, or moped and tour the island on your own.  You can visit different beaches, shops, and restaurants on your own schedule as you follow the scenic coastline.

2. St. Thomas – One of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is one of the most visited cruise ports in the Caribbean.  Long been known to be a shoppers paradise, the real paradise is a short ferry ride away to St. John.

The scenic overlooks on the road to Trunk Bay provide magnificent views of the the island and the neighboring British Virgin Islands. Get away from the crowds at Trunk Bay and go snorkeling at Waterlemon Bay, you are almost guaranteed to see several sea turtles.

1. St. Maarten – The cruise port voted the best in the Caribbean by the readers of Cruise Fever was the island of St. Maarten.  This beautiful island is actually two different countries, St. Maarten (Dutch side) and St. Martin (French side).

One of the most popular areas to visit is Maho Beach.  It isn’t the beach itself that makes it so popular since it is extremely small by beach standards in the Caribbean.  It is located directly across the street from the island’s airport and gives you the opportunity to stand 100 feet or less below airplanes as they come in for landing.  It is an unbelievable experience and amazing photo opportunity, especially when the larger 747s come in.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise News7 Best Cruise Ports in the Caribbean


  1. I think my most favorite Island is Grenada. So, beautiful, white light sand, crystal water, fresh spices, having a sunhat made from a palm leaf off tree while sitting next to you on the beach.

  2. These are all great ports, but there are a few missing. Grenada, Dominica, and St. Lucia. I know it’s hard to narrow down the “best” because each have their own unique identities. Grenada has Flamingo Bay (diving/snorkeling) the Grand Anse Beach and the rain forest. Dominica has Champagne Beach (diving/snorkeling) Trafalga Falls and the Emerald Pools, and driving around the island. St. Lucia has the Petons, Pigeon Island, and locals that actually like Americans.

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