Trying to make a decision on a cruise and looking for some help from those more experienced than me. Looking at the Spirit in 3/2003, either the 8 day Western Caribbean or the 8 day Southern Caribbean. Any suggestions and/or experiences-good or bad?
Just my own opinion, but I like the Southern itinary best. It all depends on what you like to do and see?? Others will have their own preferences, so read about the different ports and go by that, either way, you'll be cruising, so enjoy!
This may sound strange, but I'm partial to ports that are hard to get to by plane. That's one of the great benefits of cruises, they can reach more remote areas. Where I live, there are many caribbean destinations that are easy to reach with a direct flight and are much cheaper than a cruise. So I feel I get the most for my money by selecting remote destinations.
I like the southern itinerary a lot more over Western or Eastern. The island are more lush and volcanic ala Hawaii...but again, it depends on personal taste. The Western & Eastern island are in general more developed and "americanized" for tourism.
Our first cruise was a 10 day Western Carribean. It was wonderful. I think you need to review each port of call and decide what interests you most. Each island we stopped at was distinctly different from the previous one and the only island we did not like was Jamaica (I know that is hard to believe but we did not have a great experience there). We visited Princess's private island, St. Thomas (terrific), St. Croix (nice but a long day), Jamaica, Grand Cayman (very, very expensive), Cozumel/Playa del Carmen. All of the islands offered good excursions (if somewhat expensive). Some other itineraries will take you to exotic island. Friends have gone to Aruba and found it too expensive, and also Martinique which was snotty. If you don't speak french they won't talk to you. But you should find the itinerary that takes you to the island you want to visit.
We have done both itineraries. The southern is very much more able to accomodate american tourists. There are more gift shops, tours and do it yrself available. The ports are usually considered "safe." On the exotic western you are dealing with new and or limited port oportuities. The tours tend to be more of an adventure/eco basis. Do a search on the various boards. Go to the library and decide what apeals most to you.
Does one or the other have more sea days versus port days? Which do you prefer? Like the others have said before...check out the islands and activities and then choose. Read the member reviews at CruiseMates from those itineraries to help with your decision.