The southern is by far my favorite. The islands are more remote, less "commercial" and overall, more laid back. You also have more time aboard the ship and a variety of itineraries. You can do a true southern that will get you to Bonaire, Antigua, St. Lucia or one that includes a partial Panama Canal transit.
I feel the eastern and western Caribbean itineraries are great for one or two times but after that they seem to lose their newness and to me they have become far too commercial and the ports are more like shopping malls then island ports.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
I'll jump in as well, love doing the Southern. Only drawback is the long flight to SJU, but well worth it once there. For cruisers that enjoy a lot of "sea" days, there just aren't on a good Southern itinary, but you get more exciting islands with more options to do at each.
Or take a longer cruise out of Florida to southern Carb. DH hates flying, which takes the fun anticipation out of it for him, and hence me, so we go on longer cruises to get there. If you shop around, the price isn't much more than cost of flight to San Juan.
Yes, they do have the longer ones for about the same as the difference in air. For people that can take a 10 or 11 day, those are great, but if you only have 7 days, then flying to San Juan fits the bill.
You are quite right. I was just suggesting another option for people who might be able to spend more time on board. Personally, I would love to fly to San Juan for a day or 2 first, but Love my cranky DH more!