A well-known, highly popular cruising destination, many visitors to the Caribbean simply go to enjoy the pristine beaches and sunny weather. While relaxing in the Caribbean is of course a fantastic way to holiday, there is so much more to this part of the world just waiting to be discovered. Here are ten facts you might not know about the Caribbean.
1. The sunny island of Barbados is reportedly the only foreign land that former US president George Washington ever visited. This was in 1751, when he was just 19, when he visited with his half-brother Lawrence, in order to try to ease Lawrence’s tuberculosis.
2. The Caribbean is home to some of the world’s hottest chilli peppers. The famed Moruga Scorpion chilli is native to Trinidad; measuring more than 2 million on the Scoville scale, this is the world’s second hottest chilli – falling behind the California Reaper.
3. The Caribbean Sea is one of the deepest seas in the world (discounting oceans). At 7,686 metres (25,220 feet) deep, it’s over 2,000 metres deeper than the Mediterranean Sea which measures in at 5,267 metres.
4. Princess Juliana Airport in St Maarten is renowned for its close proximity to Maho Beach. The beach has become a popular tourist attraction not only for its white sands and warm waters, but because tourists can sit and watch planes fly between just 100 and 200 feet or so overhead!
5. While only around 26 of the Caribbean islands are widely recognised tourist destinations, there are actually over 7,000 islands in the archipelago! The largest is Cuba, and the smallest inhabited island is thought to be Saba, which is just 13km2.
6. Beautiful St Lucia boasts many stunning things to see and do, but one of the most unique is the drive-in volcano. Known as Sulpher Springs, or Soufriere Volcano, it’s possible to drive right up to the crater and see the exhilarating volcanic action for yourself.
7. Although the English, French, Dutch, and Spanish have all had Caribbean colonies over the years, it was originally just the Spanish who settled there - after Christopher Columbus discovered the land in 1492. Other nations took control after the collapse of the Spanish Empire in the 17th century.
8. The warm climes of the Caribbean make for a great environment for various produce to grow. The main exports from this part of the world are bananas, sugar, coffee, and coconuts. Fuel, tobacco, and rum are also exported all over the world from the Caribbean islands.
9. Those interested in modern aviation are in for a treat in Barbados. One of British Airway’s retired Concorde jets remains in their Grantley Adams International Airport, and it’s possible for tourists to go and see this majestic plane.
10. The Caribbean is well-known for the prominence of pirates throughout history. It’s likely that most islands would have seen some activity, but the three main hives were Tortuga Island (close to Haiti), Port Royal in Jamaica, and Nassau in the Bahamas.
On a cruise to the Caribbean, be sure to get chatting with locals and no doubt you’ll discover plenty more interesting facts and secrets about the islands. Stay in touch on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you find out!
Cruising in the Caribbean with Carnival Cruises
There is a wealth of choice when it comes to who to cruise with for a holiday in the Caribbean, but if you’re travelling with family, Carnival Cruises could be a great option for you.
With more than twenty ships to choose from, and a fantastic array of Caribbean itineraries, you can be sure that you’ll find the perfect cruise for all of you. From fun and exhilarating kids activities, to fine dining, and spectacular entertainment, there will be never a dull moment onboard.
Our highlights of a Caribbean Cruise with Carnival Cruises include the Waterworks Park, which boasts some thrilling waterslides for children and big kids, the delicious New England style Seafood Shack restaurant and the hilarious Lip-Sync Battle contests!
With so many of their ships sailing in the Caribbean, Carnival Cruises have become experts in this part of the world. As such, they know just which areas to take cruisers for them to see all the best places. There is a fantastic range of Caribbean excursions that can be done with Carnival, from active options like horse riding on the beaches of Antigua or a jeep adventure in Curacao, to relaxing in the hot springs of Dominica.