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Royal Caribbean Private Islands

19th November 2019

Famed for their unrivalled passion for adventure, Royal Caribbean’s private islands are no exception. Each offers something for families, couples and solo cruisers, boasting exhilarating activities from North America’s tallest waterslide to a number of outdoor pursuits. [More]

Highlights of P&O’s Upcoming Winter 2019-2020 Season

12th March 2018

P&O Cruises have released the details of their winter 2019-2020 cruises, and the collection is stocked full of happy holiday firsts! Expect more opportunities to experience a calypso Christmas in the Caribbean, kaleidoscopic New Year’s Eve fireworks in Dubai, and plenty of blissful short breaks departing from the UK. Here’s a roundup of all the highlights of the upcoming season:

 

 

More Chances to Explore Dubai & the Arabian Gulf

This part of the world is one that captures the imagination of many. On a cruise to Dubai and the Arabian Gulf, guests will uncover some truly special treasures and experience all sorts of holiday firsts. Bask in the beauty of the Khasab fjords in Oman, and experience bliss like never before while paddling along mangroves in Abu Dhabi. The season offers a range of 7-14 night cruises in the region, and some itineraries include stops in India and even a magical New Year’s Eve in Dubai.

 

See More on Your World Cruise

P&O Cruises’ adult-only ship, Arcadia, will be embarking on an impressive world cruise on 3rd January 2018. Lasting for a total of 99 nights, guests will see a fantastic array of breath-taking destinations the world over. Some of our favourite stops include Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and an overnight in Shanghai. Vibrant Auckland and the wild and wondrous Bay of Islands are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

 

 

A Longer Season the Caribbean

P&O Cruises are offering guests more opportunities to spend time in the sunny climes of the Caribbean in winter 2019/20. The season has been extended for both Azura and Britannia, meaning families have more chances for some brilliant holiday firsts together in the Caribbean, and can make a tonne of memories to last a lifetime.

 

 

East Coast USA & Panama on a Caribbean Cruise

In addition to exploring the beautiful islands of the Caribbean, in winter 2019/20 P&O Cruises guests can opt for a cruise that includes Panama and various ports in North America’s east coast. Some people consider the intricate Panama Canal to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and those fortunate enough to experience it will soon see why. Tick this brilliant feat of engineering off your bucket list on your next Caribbean cruise.

 

See More of Europe on a No-Fly Cruise

Those who don’t like flying, and those who don’t have plenty of time to play with, will benefit from the range of no-fly European cruises departing straight from the UK. Choose from a variety of cruises ranging from short breaks to longer stays in the Canary Islands, Norway for the Northern Lights, and some wonderful European Christmas Market itineraries.

 

 

Early Booking Benefits

Those who choose P&O Cruises Select Fare, before 30th April 2018, could be in for some fantastic savings:

• Secure your booking with just a 5% deposit (with Select Fare or Early Saver Fare) – deposits being 15% after 30.04.2018

• Past passengers receive a 5% discount on their cruise (T&Cs apply)

• Members of the Peninsular Club can also receive further added benefits

Find out more about P&O Cruises’ loyalty scheme – The Peninsular Club – and discover all the advantages of being a frequent guest with P&O Cruises.

With 181 new holidays to choose from, you’ll have plenty to consider when it comes to booking your winter 2019-2020 cruise. Be sure to pre-register with us today to help enhance your chances of securing the one you want.


So You Think You Know the Caribbean?

1st February 2018

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.


Top Tips for Cruising the Caribbean

12th January 2018

Many people deem the islands of the Caribbean to be among the most idyllic and relaxing places on earth. There you’ll find just what many of us want when on holiday; warm weather, white sandy beaches, friendly locals, and great food. Sounds perfect, right? Well, just to make sure you have the absolute best Caribbean holiday possible, we’ve put together this list of tips to consider.

 

 

Choose the right cruise ship

 

You’ve made up your mind and your heart is set on the Caribbean, so next you need to think about which cruise line and ship is right for you. Fortunately, due to the popularity of this destination there are many cruise lines that cruise the Caribbean. If you like traditional British-style cruising P&O Cruises could be your ideal choice, for families Marella Cruises and Royal Caribbean are a great option, or for a little bit of luxury, consider Azamara Cruises. Remember that you will be spending a fair amount of time onboard, especially if you have opted for a no-fly cruise.

 

Choose your islands

 

With over 26 islands to choose from, it can be tricky to narrow down the top spots you want to see on a Caribbean cruise. It’s important to do your research and figure out what you’re interested in – maybe you just want to lie on a beach and relax, or do some snorkelling, or see some history. There are plenty of options when it comes to things to see and do, so depending on what you’re interested in you might prefer one island to another.

Some cruise lines even have their own exclusive island for guests onboard Caribbean sailings, such as Virgin Voyages, Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and more. These stunning locations are designed to offer plenty of opportunities for relaxation, delicious dining and activities for the adventurous. Whether you're a family of four, a laidback couple or going solo, there are plenty of islands to choose from. See our concise guide of some of the best islands to visit.

 

It will be hot!

 

You can rely on the islands to have sunny skies just about all year round, so when it comes to what to pack for a Caribbean cruise, your simple shorts, tees, sun dresses and the like are a safe and easy option. As well as appropriate clothing, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared for bright skies and beaming, strong sun. Be sure to remember:

 

• High-factor sun lotion

• After-sun lotion – just in case!

• Cap or sun hat

• UV-Protective sunglasses

 

When is the best time to cruise in the Caribbean?

The ideal time to cruise in this tropical destination is between December and April. If you go in this period you should miss the majority of the rains, and will see warm temperatures averaging 26°C. Also, remember that cruising in these months means you’ll escape some of the cold and wet winter weather in the UK. If you want to find out more, check out our blog on the best time to cruise the Caribbean.

Take your phrasebook

If you intend to explore the islands and perhaps meet some locals, you might need to practice a few choice phrases before stepping into port. While English is likely to be the first or second language most of the time, French, Spanish, and Dutch are also spoken on various islands. Making an effort to learn some basic language – such as please, thank you, and hello – can go a long way toward making friends in new places.

 

 

Other things to pack for a cruise in the Caribbean:

 

• Swimwear

• Sandals or flip flops

• Comfortable shoes, if you plan on doing active excursions

• Thin cardigan or shirt for the evenings

• Formal wear, if your cruise line hosts formal nights

• A small bag for days spent in port

• A camera!

If you're new to the game, or even just want to make sure you're in the new when it comes to getting the most out of your cruise holiday, take a look at our top tips for first time cruisers.


Best Caribbean Islands To Visit

3rd January 2018

The islands of the Caribbean have remained high on the list of top cruising destinations for many years, and it’s easy to see why. With stunning white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, great weather, and friendly locals, cruising in the Caribbean is something that everyone should treat themselves to at least once. With so many to choose from, we've put together a guide to the best Caribbean islands to visit to make things a little easier.

 

 

The Caribbean is stock-full of exciting excursion options and places to eat, drink, and relax. If you’re thinking about cruising in this spectacular destination, or even if you’re already booked and ready to go, our useful guide to some of the islands should give you the information you need to have the time of your life.

 

Choosing which of the best Caribbean Islands to visit

 

Because of the nature of the layout of the islands, cruises in the Caribbean tend to involve stops in a number of them. There are in fact over 7000 islands, 26 of which are recognised countries. It can be tricky to know which islands to visit, with each one offering a unique and interesting culture, and varying food, drinks, festivities, and traditions. Many cruise lines even own private islands with exclusive access to their own guests. Each island boasts sandy beaches, delicious cuisines and a range of fun-filled activities, such as snorkelling, parasailing and other water sports. Others are more catered towards adults only, such as Virgin Voyages, who offer private, relaxing cabana's, luxurious bars and wild pool parties after dark. See below for some inspiration about some of the popular stops.

What to do in Curacao

 

The Dutch island of Curacao has a distinctly European feel to it, with pretty, pastel coloured, Dutch style buildings lining the streets of the capital, Willemstad. There are fascinating museums and historical relics to see, or, if preferred, the island boasts 35 picturesque beaches where you can enjoy the clear waters and bask in the Caribbean sun. Otherwise, there are also some national parks where you can see various wildlife and incredible vistas.

Curacao was not affected by the 2017 hurricanes, and is open for tourism.

What to do in St Maarten

 

St Maarten offers a unique blend of Dutch, French, and Caribbean culture which captivates all visitors to the island. The port town of Philipsburg is home to some pretty colonial buildings, and is close to the ruins of 17th century Fort Amsterdam. As well as getting your history fix, here you can take part in exhilarating activities like kayaking, snorkelling, biking, and even sailing lessons. Alternatively, you could spend time on the beach, or wandering round the hundreds of duty free shops.

St Maarten is recovering from damage caused by the 2017 hurricanes, and is open for tourism.

What to do in Barbados

 

One of the most popular ports on a Caribbean cruise, Barbados leaves visitors with a genuine longing to stay for ‘just another few nights’ every time! Along with a wonderful array of beaches, a stop here means some mouth-watering cuisine, rum punch at every corner, and the sound of singing, dancing, and laughter almost following you. See the fascinating shipwrecks around the coast while scuba-diving or snorkelling, try all the local delicacies at Oistins fishing village stalls, or see various sites leftover from colonial times.

Barbados was not affected by the 2017 hurricanes, and is open for tourism.

What to do in Nassau, Bahamas

 

Well-known for being an important pirate hub in the 17th and 18th centuries, Nassau boasts a great number of interesting things to see and do. As well as the wax-work museum, today you can visit several forts that played an important part in the history of pirates. Other popular things to do on the island include swimming with pigs, snorkelling, trying out the best local bars and restaurants, and whiling away the hours in the absorbing art galleries.

Nassau was not affected by the 2017 hurricanes, and is open for tourism.

What to do in Cozumel

 

Off the southeast coast of Mexico lies Cozumel, a beautiful sun-kissed island that offers the perfect mix of adventure and opportunities to relax. With clear surrounding waters, and an abundance of marine life, Cozumel is a great place for scuba diving and snorkelling. Otherwise explore the island on a jeep safari tour, take a speedboat ride, or simply enjoy the perfect beaches with a book and a cocktail.

Cozumel was not affected by the 2017 hurricanes, and is open for tourism.

What to do in Falmouth, Jamaica

 

Found in the north of Jamaica, Falmouth is believed to hold the largest quantity of British colonial architecture in the Caribbean. In its historical district visitors can explore the streets and see Vermont House – which is now the post office – the court house, and The Albert George Market. Other things to do include chilling out on the beaches, enjoying local rum cocktails and foods, or, about a one hour drive away are the beautiful Dunns River Falls.

Falmouth was not affected by the 2017 hurricanes, and is open for tourism.

What to do in St Thomas

 

One of the US Virgin Islands, St Thomas is a pretty and bustling island, full of life and lively Caribbean culture. Here you will find the chance to shop ‘til you drop, try all sorts of fantastic cuisines – both local and international in style – and dance the night away in one of the many bars or clubs. Of course here too there are beaches aplenty, or for a more original view of the island, consider taking a ride on the cable car, paddle boarding, or a yacht trip around the coast.

St Thomas is recovering from damage caused by the 2017 hurricanes, and is open for tourism.

 

Who to cruise with to the best Caribbean islands

 

Many holidaymakers who seek a cruise to the Caribbean often opt to do so with the eponymous Royal Caribbean. With a fleet of 26 ships, there are generally several different itineraries you can choose from at any one time. The cruise line are very family-friendly, offering an array of different dining, entertainment, and activity options onboard their ships. Some of their most popular features include the well-known FlowRider – an invigorating surf simulator that can be enojoyed by guests of all ages – the rock-climbing wall, and some amazing, fun-filled shows including Grease and Hairspray.

Take a look at Caribbean cruises with Royal Caribbean to find out which islands you can discover with them.

Now you've read our guide to the best Caribbean Islands to visit, all that's left to do is browse our fantastic Caribbean cruise deals. Alternatively, if you want to find out more about what to do in the Caribbean, be sure to read our pick of the best Caribbean shore excursions.


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