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CARIBBEAN CRUISING WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN

CARIBBEAN CRUISING WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN

For many, the word Caribbean is synonymous with cruising. A collection of 7,000 differing islands set in azure seas, each with their own culture and style. The Caribbean has been shaped by its diverse history, with Africans, Europeans and Asians all leaving their mark. Geographically this corner of the globe is tailor-made for cruising, with the islands just far enough away from each other to allow cruise ships to arrive at a new port on a new island each morning. Most importantly, a cruise is the best way to see several islands in a single trip.

 

With Royal Caribbean’s choice of holidays at sea you can shop till you drop at the duty-free outlets in the Bahamas, sample Creole cuisine in St Maarten, soothe aching muscles at the hot springs in St Lucia, swim with dolphins in the Bahamas or simply chill-out on deck with a rum-laced cocktail and watch the sun go down. More adventurous cruisers can explore volcanoes in St Kitts, kayak along Grenada’s indented coast, zip-line above St Lucia’s rainforest canopy, snorkel with stingrays off Grand Cayman or dive with turtles in Barbados. Whatever you choose to do, the Caribbean is your oyster.

 

Whilst the Caribbean lives up to the luminous cyan-and-white stock pictures on tourist board websites, few cruise companies have a better appreciation of the bounty this region holds than Royal Caribbean International. No fewer than 21 ships of the company’s fleet offer sailings to this enchanted region on a series of cruises to the Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean on a variety of durations ranging from 3-night short escapes to longer 12-night in-depth explorations throughout the year.

 

Nestled on the northern coast of Haiti, Labadee is the ultimate private haven for cruisers as Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line that sails there. Adrenaline Beach is home to the Dragon's Tail Coaster, a thrilling 30 mile per hour ride with incredible views; there’s also the Dragon's Breath Flight Line - the world's longest zip line over water; not to mention the heart-stopping Dragon's Splash Waterslide. There’s also the chance to explore Haitian life, its coastline, flora and fauna on a shore excursion; alternatively kick back, relax and sip a Labadoozie on Nellie's Beach; or let the cares of the world drift into oblivion floating on the caressingly warm sea.

 

New for 2019 is Coco Cay - a private island where there’s the chance to thrill and chill. Hi-energy seekers can conquer the tallest waterslide in North America and snap a selfie from 450 feet up in a helium balloon; while lotus-eaters can cool down at the swim-up bar in the Bahamas’ largest freshwater pool or canoodle in the only private overwater cabanas in the Bahamas.

 

Throughout the world there are groups of islands caressed by gentle winds, ringed by white sandy beaches and glistening iridescent waters, but nowhere is there a pattern of islands quite like the Caribbean. As anyone who’s sampled a cruise to this ultimate outdoor playground can confirm, when it comes to fun in the sun, Royal Caribbean is in a league of its own.

  • 17th October 2018

Gary Buchanan

Edinburgh-born Gary Buchanan has been a travel writer for over 30 years. He has been a specialist cruise writer for 25 years contributing to leading British publications including national newspapers and consumer magazines. He is the author of five books about cruising and spends over seven months every year at sea sailing the world’s oceans.