Massive white cruise ship docked along pier that extends out into the water. People walking out to it.

Sail Away from Your Troubles on These Caribbean Cruises

Massive white cruise ship docked along pier that extends out into the water. People walking out to it.The Oasis of the Seas features the largest kids' area of any cruise ship out there.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / robertsgalleries

Sit Back and Relax on These Care-Free Cruises

The Caribbean is especially famous for cruising. But with so many cruise options out there, it’s difficult to know which to pick.

The first step in cruise planning is knowing what type of cruise you’re looking for. What are your priorities?


There are numerous options available, from family-friendly cruises to romantic cruises for couples to cruises that offer lots of fun excursions to those that are known for their abundance of on-board entertainment options.

Whatever you’re looking for, odds are there’s a cruise for that — and in the region you want too. While the Western Caribbean is popular for shorter itineraries and water sports opportunities, the Eastern Caribbean is typically favored for its stops at especially magnificent beaches for relaxing, as well as more rugged terrain for hiking and other land activities.

Here’s a look at some of the best Caribbean cruises to help you make your cruising dreams come true.

Top 3 Cruises for Families

Royal Caribbean: Oasis of the Seas

The Oasis of the Seas ship with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line offers itineraries in both the Eastern and Western Caribbean, departing from Cape Canaveral, FL. The ship features the largest kids’ area of any cruise ship out there.

Its award-winning Youth Zone spans nearly 30,000 square feet. Plus it boasts a wide range of activities for kids from as young as 6 months old to 17, including ice skating rinks, merry-go-rounds, a theater with acrobats, movies, story-telling and even a Pool & Sports Zone with zip line rides and a FlowRider surf simulator.

Popular characters from children’s movies even make an appearance, and picky teens are usually rather impressed too. Teenagers get their own section, away from the little ones, and get to enjoy a music room, DJ lessons, themed parties and Nintendo Wii stations.

All Disney Cruises through the Caribbean depart from Port Canaveral, Florida.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / landbysea

Disney Cruise Line: Disney Fantasy

Of course Disney Cruises are probably the first that come to mind when it comes to taking the family out onto the high seas. The kids, and the kid-at-heart, will get to cruise with the likes of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald and the gang.

This ship in particular, the Disney Fantasy, has a wealth of impressive features, including the AquaDuck, a massive roller coaster that takes riders for a 765-foot thrill in a translucent tube.

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Cristóbal, located in Panama, is one of the many ports of call you'll land in while aboard the MSC Caribbean cruise.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / icholakov

MSC Cruises

For families on a tight budget, MSC Cruises is ideal. Every child that shares a cabin with mom and dad is free.

While it was traditionally more known as a retiree cruise line, there are lots of family-friendly activities and entertainment. You can take advantage of everything from bowling alleys to water parks as well as the kids’ clubs.

These clubs are divided by ages, such as the mini-club for little ones aged 3 through 6. The junior club for kids 7 through 11 is staffed by professional entertainers who teach dance classes, put on performances, organize arts and crafts, and offer games such as Wii and Xbox.

Princess Cruises is also known as the "Love Boat" line.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / lya_cattel

Top 3 Cruises for Couples

Princess Cruises

You can’t go wrong with Princess Cruises; after all, it’s known as the “Love Boat” line. The very best are the Emerald Princess, Crown Princess and Ruby Princess that combines the more intimate nature of smaller ships with big ship amenities.

Suites are extra spacious and beds are luxurious, with Jacquard-woven cotton linens, cozy duvets and pillow-top mattresses. Plus, you two can take part in “Movies Under the Stars,” curling up together on padded loungers while snuggled up under a wool blanket on the private top-deck lounge.

Take advantage of a couples’ massage, and enjoy the Ultimate Balcony Dining dinner experience that includes a lobster dinner and Champagne.

Take in the sights of Philipsburg, St. Maarten while aboard the Wind Surf.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / hairandbeauty

Windstar Cruises: Wind Surf

The Wind Surf cruise ship with Windstar Cruises offers the best of sailing and cruising, with itineraries that focus on ports throughout the Caribbean. It carries up to 310 passengers, so it has a more relaxed ambiance, yet offers lots for couples seeking a romantic escape.

Enjoy stylish cabins, which feature high-end bath products, flat-screen TVs with DVD players and, in the Bridge Suites, you can also enjoy the massaging shower and Whirlpool tub. In the evening, dine on romantic candlelit dinners by the pool and then head to the cigar bar for a cocktail while gazing at the stars.

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This cruise line is perfect for couples, as the ship's dining rooms have table for two options.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / picmov

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its “Freestyle Dining” philosophy, meaning cruisers can dine without having to worry about tablemates or assigned times. It’s ideal for couples, with table-for-two options along with side-by-side loungers in the relaxation room at the spa.

For the ultimate in romance choose one of the Haven suites, which are situated in a private access area of the ship and offer lots of extra perks, including an exclusive pool area with a hot tub, butler service and VIP-only breakfasts.

This cruise line sails through the southern Caribbean.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / gydytojas

Top 3 Cruises for Excursions

Adventure of the Seas

With a name like Adventure of the Seas, it’s really no surprise that a wealth of adventures awaits. This cruise line sails through the Southern Caribbean, including exotic islands such as Dominica and St. Kitts.

Some of its excursion options include zip-lining, diving among shipwrecks and colorful reefs bursting with marine life, waterfall and garden tours, and even a helicopter ride over a volcano.

Swim with dolphins and interact with sting rays in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / jodijacobson

Carnival Freedom

Carnival Freedom has been ranked as one of the top cruise lines for excursions by passengers, with many noting that it’s the highlight of their cruise. Some of the options include snorkeling in Belize, visiting the gentle stingrays and schools of colorful tropical fish in the coral garden on Grand Cayman, and exploring the ancient city of Tulum on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast.

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Sailing and snorkeling in Antigua is one of many excursions available with Disney cruises.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / nightfrost

Disney Cruise Lines

Disney Cruise Lines also tops when it comes to excursions, ideal for families who are having a difficult time trying to please everyone. Just some of the Caribbean port adventures include swimming with the dolphins, snorkeling, diving, fishing, jet skiing, 4X4 adventures and even monkey encounters.

If you're looking for a wide range of live entertainment and elaborate production shows, this is the cruise for you.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / jcarillet

Top 3 Cruises for Entertainment

Carnival Cruises

Carnival Cruises’ Fun Ships, such as Carnival Freedom and Carnival Breeze, are the best for those looking for a wide range of live entertainment, including live music, elaborate production shows and highly rated comedy acts.

The shows are truly spectacular, with LED screens on stage and lots of impressive special effects. There are singing and dancing waiters in the dining rooms too, performing a variety of tunes, and even getting up and grooving right atop the serving stations.

Disney characters and huge shows will be a bit hit with the kids.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / jodijacobson

Disney Cruise Lines

Virtually all of the Disney Cruise Lines are top-notch when it comes to entertaining the whole family, especially the kids. There is everything from Disney character encounters to huge production shows, with Disney film favorites brought to life in Broadway-style performances.

Plus, one night during each cruise a massive themed (think “Frozen” or pirates) deck party takes place, complete with fireworks over the sea, dancing and interactive musical shows. There’s live music for the adults too in the nightlife districts aboard all of the Disney ships, including a piano bar and Disney Dream’s adults-only Evolution that includes cabaret, karaoke and dancing.

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Royal Caribbean practically invented cruise ship entertainment.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean practically invented cruise ship entertainment. It often introduces never-before-seen offerings, like the ice skating shows on its on board rinks and even water-based acrobat performances.

It also hosts Broadway shows such as “CATS” on Oasis of the Seas.