Going on a cruise is a great way to spend your vacation. But if this is your first time cruising you might want to take a few thoughts into consideration. Things like the length of your cruise, what time of year it is, and what type of activities you would like to do will come into play when trying to find that perfect destination.
I usually recommend the Caribbean for anyone’s first cruise. The islands are beautiful and there are plenty of things to see and do on those island days. But there are eastern Caribbean cruises and western cruises. Here are some of the key differences:
Usually eastern Caribbean cruises spend less time at sea and more time hitting the islands since the islands are so close together. These islands include St Martens, St Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and a few others. Because you will spending more time on these islands you can plan for more excursions like para sailing, water skiing, snorkeling and other water activities.
The western side of the Caribbean is a little more spread out so your cruise ships will have more time out at sea. If you are hitting the westerns side you can also choose to leave from ports in New Orleans or Texas instead of leaving from Florida. The destinations you can hit on the west are Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Belize, and Costa Rica. If you want to see a rain forest or see some more tropical climates or ancient ruins you will enjoy a Western Caribbean cruise.
Since this is your first cruise you will probably be better off doing a shorter one. Instead of a 7-10 day, go on a 3-4 day trip. Not only are they a lot cheaper, but if you find that you don’t like cruising or you get seas sick at least it will only be a short trip. But even if you DO get sea sick, many people find that cruise ships are so large that you don’t feel any of the ship’s movement. The newer ships have built in stabilizers as well. Otherwise they could not have things like ice skating rinks and ice shows on them.
The southern end of the Caribbean would include Aruba, Barbados, Curacao and a few other islands, but if you leave from a port in Florida it is not going to be just a 3-4 day cruise. These islands are beautiful and the weather is great most of the year, but I would not recommend a longer trip like this for a first time cruiser.
Get on a Newer Ship
One of the best pieces of advice I can give you for going on a cruise for the first time is find a cruise ship that is newer. The newer ships have better stability and also have more modern amenities that will make your trip more luxurious and more enjoyable. The rooms will also be updated and feel cleaner. Most of the new ships are huge and only offer 7-10 day trips, but there are still some ships that will offer exactly what you want for 3-4 days.