Updated February 2017
We take a look at the Mediterranean vs Caribbean cruise debate, to help you decide what's right for you on your next cruise.
The Med and Caribbean offer two very different cruise destinations — apart from the stunning coastlines and amazing weather and the fact that they remain the two most popular cruise destinations on offer. But what makes them such great places to visit on holiday and which destination is right for you?
Med cruises are incredibly popular for a great variety of reasons, but the proximity to the UK is a major player in that. With great weather throughout the summer and a range of excursions, cosmopolitan cities and ancient ruins, Med cruises offer a little of something for everyone.
With the peak season running through the British summer, Mediterranean cruises offer a great option for summer sun holidays and are great for families during the school holidays. With short flights, Med cruises offer an a easier way to join a ship with the kids in tow — and even more simple if you cruise from the UK!
Cruise from the UK
The fact you can board a cruise to the Med from a UK port — meaning no luggage restrictions and less hassle. There's also no jet lag to content with as the time difference only changes by a an hour or two in most ports. With minimal effort you can bask in stunning sunshine and visit great destinations on a no fly cruise.
History & Culture
The Med is filled with ancient history and historic cities. Shore excursions take you to temples, ruins and gorgeous cities. The Greek Isles and Balearic Islands boast gorgeous beaches, even comparable to the Caribbean if you know where to head. There are also overnight stays in port with an increasing number of ships offering the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife and evening culture of Barcelona, Rome and Istanbul.
Food is also a big attraction. For every person out there who loves to widen their palette there is someone who prefers recognisable foods and home comforts. The themed evenings are usually relative to the ports of call, offering a variety of Italian, French, Spanish and Greek food. So, from popular pizza and pasta through to gastronomic feasts, there will be great food to suit every palette onboard.
The Caribbean is known for its year-round sunshine, sandy white beaches, turquoise sea, friendly locals and vibrant culture — just think of the smells, sounds and great atmosphere of Notting Hill Carnival but in a more stunning and much warmer environment!
Caribbean cruises offer an altogether different experience. Though the summer offers great weather, winter sun is a huge draw for the Caribbean with peak season falling from January through to April. Average temperatures from January to April are 25-26°C, offering a hot, but bearable holiday. The summer is hotter with average temperatures around 30°C — which can sometimes hit closer to 40°C — but summer also brings more rain, making winter the ideal time to cruise in the Caribbean.
Beaches & Activities
Though there is great culture to explore in the Caribbean, the shore excursions are often based around activities as opposed to historic sites. Snorkelling, sailing and diving in the warm seas are among the most popular activities, with quad biking, jet skiing and parasailing also on offer.
Cruise & Stay
The vast majority of Caribbean cruises are based on fly cruises that will include an overnight stay in a hotel in the departure port. Giving you the chance to travel into vibrant cities like Bridgetown, Orlando and Miami before joining your cruise. Caribbean cruises are also great for cruise and stay holidays, giving you the chance to visit places like Universal Orlando® Resort or Walt Disney World — ideal for a family holiday.
The Med and the Caribbean offer very different, but very popular cruise experiences. Are you looking for an action-packed holidays filled with vibrant culture or are you looking for ancient history and cosmopolitan cities? Either way, great weather, fantastic beaches and beautiful coastlines will be on offer.
Top 10 cruises to the Mediterranean | Top 10 cruises to the Caribbean
We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA for your financial protection.
You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.
View Our Awards
What our customers say
"The Cruise was very good along with the food throughout the trip, great value. Further more I have to compliment the IGLU Sales Consultant Scott Brown - really great job in sorting everything out for us...” A. M. (March 2017) Read more feedback