Almost as popular as the Western Caribbean, the Eastern Caribbean has a unique atmosphere all its own. Well-known for its scenic destinations, charming architecture and great shopping, this cruise region appeals to those looking for quaint towns, beautiful beaches and great water sports.
Most Eastern Caribbean cruises depart from sunny port cities in Florida, and a few leave from cities along the East Coast of the U.S., including New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, although cruises from these departure cities are seasonal and usually last longer than the standard 7-night voyages. Depending on distance, most cruises to this region include a few days at sea at the beginning and end of a voyage with several back-to-back stops in between.
Ports commonly found on Eastern Caribbean itineraries include St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan in Puerto Rico and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos, as well the Dominican Republic, Nassau in the Bahamas and sometimes Key West, FL. Occasionally, the Southern Caribbean ports of St. Kitts and Antigua are included on Eastern Caribbean itineraries as well.
Walk the cobblestone streets in Old San Juan or spend a day browsing the duty-free stores of St. Thomas. Play a round of golf at Mullet Bay in St. Maarten or explore the small island of Grand Turk, a newer port on many Eastern Caribbean itineraries. Many cruise lines own private islands nearby and schedule stops so guests can enjoy resort-style beaches, barbecue and all sorts of water activities.