Approximately 22 million travelers worldwide cruise the Caribbean annually, per research from The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association. Why? The Caribbean islands offer unbeatable attractions and experiences. This is particularly true of the Eastern Caribbean, where beautiful beaches and bustling boutiques reign supreme, according to Cruise Critic. Plus, this region is relatively easy for U.S. travelers to access, with many cruises departing from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. If you are planning an Eastern Caribbean cruise, consider scheduling shore excursions on these popular islands:
Saint Martin and Sint Maarten
The Netherlands and France share this popular Eastern Caribbean Island, which hosts an estimated 1.8 million cruise passengers per year, according to researchers for the Department of Statistics of Sint Maarten. The Dutch oversee the southern portion via the capital of Philipsburg. Here, you can experience quaint Dutch architecture and even gawk at the massive jet liners that fly into Princess Juliana International Airport, whose runway borders the beach. Approximately 2.5 miles north of Philipsburg, Rainforest Adventures at the Rockland Estate offers the steepest zipline in the world, according to Travel+Leisure. The French portion of the island boasts world-class restaurants and pristine tropical beaches.
This remote British island is recognized internationally for its 33 white-sand beaches, per the Anguilla Tourist Board. These stunning shoreline features and Anguilla’s laid-back charm make it the ideal destination for travelers who want an authentic and leisurely Caribbean experience. This may be one reason Anguilla often hosts celebrities, most of whom escape to the isle to avoid prying eyes, Vanity Fair reported. In addition to beaches and potential VIP sightings, you will also find great seafood, all of which is harvested locally and prepared in accordance with regional recipes. There are also plenty of European offerings available on Anguilla, including French bistro fare.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
You will encounter rich history on the shores of Saint Kitts, which many call the Gibraltar of the West Indies due to its significance as colonial-era military outpost for the British and the French, according to Saint Kitts Tourism Authority. The island’s most popular tourist attraction, Brimstone Hill, is an immense 17th century fortress and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Kitts also features an open-air train that circles the island, offering visitors unforgettable Caribbean scenes, and divers can explore nearby coral reefs and shipwrecks. Nevis lies southeast of Saint Kitts and is known for its natural features – Nevis Peak, an active volcano, rests at the core of the island, fueling the local hot springs, per Cruise Critic – and is reachable by ferry. The nearly circular island was also the birthplace of American statesman Alexander Hamilton.
This Eastern Caribbean island is among the 40 landmasses that form the Turks and Caicos archipelago. Grand Turk stands out as the political epicenter of the island chain, home to its capital city, Cockburn Town. Grand Turk, which has the second-largest population of the archipelago, is likely the first location Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus encountered when he made landfall in the New World. Grand Turk is an easy-going destination where there are more bikes than cars and the snorkeling spots are plentiful, Conde Nast Traveler reported.
Once an upper-class British sea station and longtime Hollywood home-away-from-home, Barbados has transformed into a care-free holiday spot for all, according to Conde Nast Traveler. The island rests on the eastern edge of the Caribbean, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Bridgetown, its capital city, features Gothic revival-style parliament houses and a 17th century synagogue, along with restaurants that serve local cuisine and food from around the globe. Barbados is an ideal location for off-roading, which you can participate in by renting a four-wheel-drive-vehicle. It is also home to over 200 shipwrecked boats, which you can view while diving.
As you consider your potential Eastern Caribbean cruise, be sure to look into each of these locations and schedule shore excursions that will allow you to experience everything they have to offer.
A ‘Boarding Pass Mistake’ No One Should Ever Make
It’s easy to get into a solid airport routine if you’re someone who travels frequently, but for those who don’t fly often, even just existing in the airport can be totally overwhelming. From checking baggage to navigating the TSA to finding your gate, there’s a lot to figure out if you haven’t flown in awhile… but even the most experienced travelers will make mistakes sometimes. We’re only human, after all.
But maybe now you won’t make this travel mistake next time you fly, Don’t throw away your bording pass. This is because the information on the boarding pass includes many personal items that can be accessed if in the wrong hands. this includes a way to access your airline’s private details about you and your airline travel points program.
You might think the limited info on the pass isn’t revealing anything, but as it turns out, it actually does. Not only will the barcode share more information, but there’s a PNR (passenger name reference) number that hackers can use to find your passport information and possibly even your credit card information.
Don’t leave it on the plane either, even after we’ve already taken our flight and don’t need it anymore. Don’t throw it into a public trash can. Take it to a shredder and destroy it. Absolutely don’t post a photo of it online either.
Try as we might to go totally digital and we know, many travelers now use their phone to board the plane with, when it comes to boarding passes, sometimes, we do still end up with a paper pass from a gate agent.
Instead of just throwing it away after you land, shred it to be safe.
Better safe than sorry!
How to make the most of a delayed flight Delayed flights are often considered a traveler’s worst nightmare. Canceled flights give passengers more time to find alternative options and most airlines provide accommodation if the cancelation is overnight. Delays, however, can leave travelers sitting in the airport for hours – many times without a confirmed new departure time, as flights can continue to get pushed back. Instead of getting frustrated and making a poor situation worse, why not take advantage of the time you have? Enjoy unique airport amenities Airports have started to cater to travelers spending multiple hours waiting for their flights. For example, major airports offer massage treatments and spas for those looking to unwind before a long flight. Many offer nail salons and beauty parlors that allow people to treat themselves instead of sitting at their gates for several hours. Are you on business travel? First-class business lounges are also an option at a price. For many frequent flyers, joining an airline’s VIP club is worth the expense. A lot of these lounges feature luxury bars, free Internet, showers, places to rest and other sources of entertainment like pool tables and televisions to pass the time. Business Insider recommended that business travelers consider looking into the VIP lounge offered by Qatar Airways. At the premium terminal at the Doha International Airport in Qatar, you can snack on gourmet meals, including top-of-the-line sushi platters and buffets. Travelers will also find a dessert bar and massage chairs for the ultimate pampering experience. Similarly, the Virgin Atlantic JFK Clubhouse in New York features a bar, a snack room and even complementary pajamas to ensure you’re fully relaxed. Make the most of what your airline owes you If your delay has lasted for several hours, this is considered a major inconvenience by most airlines. Although they don’t technically owe you anything, most of them will provide perks like meal vouchers for their passengers, according to USA Today. It’s always worth asking representatives at your airline’s counter to see if they will compensate you in some way. It’s also smart to determine the cause of the delay, as this will give you a better idea of how much longer you’ll have to wait. If the cause is something related to your plane or your airline in particular, it may be worth it to ask your carrier to book you for an alternative flight at the same price. Go shopping Whether you completely forgot or didn’t find anything you liked while on your trip, the airport is the perfect place to grab last-minute souvenirs. Although they may be pricier than they would have been at a local shop, airport stores often know what kind of souvenirs travelers like to bring home and make a point to sell them. The only downside is you can’t get anything breakable, unless your suitcase is small enough to fit in your seating area with you so you can ensure it won’t break. It may even be worth it to check out the airport’s vending machines. CNN noted that many of the world’s largest airports have introduced vending machines that dispense some unique items. The source explained that there are machines in airports in the United Arab Emirates that allow you to purchase gold nuggets. There are also vending machines that provide you with travel essentials you may have forgotten. Many airports across the world offer everything from headphones to snacks and hand-sanitizers so you can grab all of your last-minute products for your journey. Get some rest Another new feature that many international airports have introduced are sleeping quarters that can be paid for by the hour. Sheremetyevo International Airport in Russia and London’s Heathrow Airport are just a couple examples that have begun offering sleeping pods. These enable people to relax in the midst of the often-chaotic environment – no one likes to try and catch some shut eye in a mass of people while lying on the floor. The other great aspect of these new sleeping options is that you don’t have to worry about watching your luggage to make sure it isn’t stolen. According to Conde Nast Traveler, the self-contained pods at Germany’s Munich Airport include everything from a bed to sleep on to a small working space for business travelers. For maximum privacy, there are blinds and flight information boards inside each pod so weary travelers are notified if their flights have been delayed again. The Snoozecubes found in the Dubai International Airport integrate nature with the relaxation experience. A large painted mural of an outdoor setting is displayed in each space, so you feel you’re putting your feet up in a sunny paradise. You’ll also get free Wi-Fi, a bed and a touchscreen television.