Updated September 2018
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 Mediterranean and Caribbean are two very different cruise destinations — apart from the stunning coastlines, 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, and which destination is right for you?
Mediterranean cruises are incredibly popular for a variety of reasons, but the proximity to the UK is a major player in that. With great weather throughout the summer, 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 are a great option for summer-sun holidays and are perfect for families during the school holidays. With short flights, these cruises offer an easier way to join a ship with the kids in tow — and are even more simple if you cruise straight from the UK.
Cruise from the UK
Many passengers value the fact that it is possible to board a cruise to the Med from a UK port — meaning no luggage restrictions and less hassle. There is also little to no jet lag to contend with, as the time difference only changes by an hour or two in most ports. This means that with minimal effort, you can bask in stunning sunshine and visit great destinations on a no fly cruise.
History & Culture
This fascinating part of the world is filled with ancient history and important cities. Shore excursions take you to temples, ruins, and other impressive architecture. The Greek Isles and Balearic Islands boast gorgeous beaches, which are comparable to the Caribbean if you know where to head. There are also overnight stays in various ports, with an increasing number of ships offering the opportunity to enjoy the nightlife and evening culture of Barcelona, Rome, and Istanbul to name but a few.
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 onboard 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 passenger .
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 location!
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 warm and comfortable holiday. The summer is hotter with average temperatures of around 30°C — but it can sometimes hit closer to 40°C — but summer also brings more rain, making winter the ideal time to cruise in the Caribbean. If you want to learn more about the weather throughout the year in the Caribbean, read out blog on the best time to cruise.
Beaches & Activities
Though there is some 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. This gives you the chance to explore 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 Mediterranean and the Caribbean are very different, but very popular cruise experiences. Are you looking for an action-packed holiday 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 the agenda.
Alternatively, if you're looking for a luxury holiday, we've got a wide collection of luxury cruises that vary in duration and itinerary. Not only do we offer luxury Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises, but luxury Galapagos cruises and luxury world cruises.