Travel Magazine

Set Adrift on Caribbean Bliss

By Eyeandpen @eyeandpen
Picture High up on most people’s to-do list is a Caribbean cruise. It’s no wonder really, with the chance to visit several sun-kissed paradise islands all within the space of a few days. Who could pass up that golden opportunity?
Thankfully, Caribbean cruises are much more accessible these days than they ever have been, with lower costs and many durations and routes on offer. The downside is of course long-haul flying, generally to Miami or Orlando, with possibly a drive from there to Fort Lauderdale. The travel is of course worth it, and there are ways to cut down on the effects of long-haul travel before you even board the plane.
A night in an airport hotel might be just the ticket, with the opportunity to really relax and start your holiday in style. Cut out the stress, stock up on shut-eye, and forget your travel worries – what could be better? There are hotels at most large UK airports, in fact many have a large range, from luxury to budget. I can certainly vouch for the range of Heathrow Airport hotels, with fantastic customer service as standard. Alternatively, there are many Gatwick hotels, all offering the same value, so check out what’s available near you.
Wherever you set sail from, why not combine it with a few days on land before heading off on your high-seas adventure? A popular choice is to stay for maybe a week in thrill-seeking Orlando, before heading off to Fort Lauderdale to meet your ship. There are some great two-centre deals on offer, as well as many with a city stay in Miami, before or after your cruise. Two-centre holidays really do make a holiday of a lifetime.
The large number of cruiseliners these days means a huge choice of itineraries. You can choose anything from four days upwards for duration, with days at sea occupied by on-ship facilities, with spas, swimming pools, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, shops, beauty salons … the list goes on. You might not even want to leave your ship!
Once you dock at one of your destinations, you’ll find excursions galore, but it might be worth doing a little research into your islands first, as you’ll probably be able to arrange tours to meet your ship locally. The cost of ship excursions can be considerably higher than when booked locally, although this does come at a slight risk with regards to getting back to your ship on time etc!
Seeing a large amount within a short amount of time is a quick way to experience a lot. Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, St Martin, the Dominican Republic, Antigua … it goes on. They all have one thing in common – complete jaw-dropping natural beauty. Swaying palms, white sand, hot sun, translucent seas, amazing marine-life, laid-back vibes … the vision is one that hits you with complete relaxation and a way to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Of course, there is much history and architecture to take in too, so don’t go thinking it’s all about the beach!
Your preferences will lead your decision on route, and there are many to choose from; you can pick up some cheap four day cruises from Miami quite easily. Whichever you choose, remember your ‘long-haul’ combat versus tiredness, by pre-booking an airport hotel, so exhaustion won’t become a problem on your adventure. To combine with cheap flights out of the capital, check out the range of Heathrow hotels on offer, and prepare to sail one of the seven seas in complete and utter bliss.  
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(This post was written by Sam Morgan)

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