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6 Reasons to Skip the Cruise and Plan your own Caribbean Vacation

The following article was written by me on behalf of Choice Hotels and I was paid to write this post. However, the opinions are entirely my own.

6 Reasons to skip the Cruise and Plan your own Caribbean Vacation

When it comes to planning a trip to the Caribbean, a cruise is a great option. A cruise is mainly all-inclusive, meaning transportation, lodging and most, if not all meals are included for one price. It sounds heavenly, but with the price and convenience come a few drawbacks.

Why you should Skip the Cruise and Plan your Own Caribbean Getaway 

  1. You’d rather get to know a single destination- not multiple ports.

A cruise is great for people who want to experience multiple destinations, but if you’d rather take time to immerse yourself in a single destination, skip the cruise and plan your own getaway. It’s hard to get to know a destination if you only see the port town and cruise planned excursions in the time you’re allotted between anchoring and sailing into the sunset.

  1. You don’t enjoy the socializing that a cruise entails.

A cruise is a lot of fun for someone who is outgoing and enjoys mingling, but if you’re an introvert, spending that much time on board a ship with hundreds of other people, it can really pull you out of your comfort zone and not in a good way. Unless you plan to spend a lot of time in your cabin, you may want to reconsider a cruise as a mode of transportation to the islands.

Restaurant in St. Maartan

  1. You look forward to authentic local cuisine when you travel.

Food on cruise ships has certainly come a long way, but if a highlight of your vacation is experiencing the local cuisine, a cruise may not be the best option.

  1. You’re prone to sea sickness.

If you want to leave the Dramamine at home, book a flight and leave the cruise to someone who doesn’t get queasy when the wind and waves kick up.

  1. You seek a more authentic travel experience.

I don’t mean to imply that a cruise is not authentic travel. I’ve been on several cruises and I’ll go on more, but if you’d rather connect with local people to experience the culture, maybe a cruise is not for you.

  1. You seek more comfortable accommodations.

Let’s face it, a standard interior or even ocean view room can leave a bit to be desired and you may not want to spend the money it would cost to upgrade to a balcony room or a suite. The normal rooms are pretty bare bones, after all, you’re not supposed to spend a great deal of time in your room on a cruise ship. If you’re like me, after a couple days at sea you may begin to miss the bath tub or coffee maker you have at home.

Comfort Suites Paradise Island- Paradise Island, Bahamas

Comfort Suites® Paradise Island– Paradise Island, Bahamas

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get that real world Caribbean experience. There are many reasonably priced hotels in prime locations that offer the key amenities you look for such as Choice Hotels® properties. Amenities vary at each hotel and can range from free WiFi, breakfast buffets, on-site restaurants and outdoor pools, nearby casinos, swim-up pool bars and cocktail hours, spas and wellness facilities, white sandy beaches, to gift shops and tour desks to help you explore your island destination. Choice has a host of options throughout the Caribbean to allow you to explore new and exciting destinations in locations like Aruba, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and more.

St. Maarteen

Do some research plan your own trip and spend your days relaxing on the beach or exploring the nearby towns. Visit the churches, museums, and markets. Talk to the local people and enjoy your time surrounded by people you love.

Visit to learn more and book your Caribbean getaway.


Which Caribbean island would you love to visit and who would you take with you? 

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*All images supplied by Choice Hotels


Friday 19th of August 2016

Although cruises can be a great way to experience several different destinations in a 'quick hit' (and most people want to try and miximise their vacation time!), I agree that it also tends to mean that you're not enjoying the depth of the destination and its cuisine/culture/history. If you really want to enjoy a cruise as part of your Caribbean trip, why not at least try and add a few days in one destination at either end - that way you can do a little more exploring at your own pace.

Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

Friday 8th of April 2016

I have never taken a cruise and always plan my own trips. I have always thought I would feel 'trapped' if I took a cruise, I like my space, I like the beach, I like trying different foods and doing things 'off the beaten path' - sounds like I have been right all along! LOL :-)

Seattle Travel Blogger

Wednesday 6th of April 2016

This presents a nice counter-argument to the articles I have seen toting the cruise ship. And I have to agree with some of the good points made here.


Wednesday 6th of April 2016

I used to figure that a cruise would be the least expensive way to go. Nice to know that it can be done affordably! I would much rather stay in a comfortable place than on a boat.


Tuesday 5th of April 2016

I so need a vacation. This is totally making me hunger for home (Jamaica) Protection Status
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