Looking at cruise brochures, it have the right to be hard to differentiate in between the various Caribbean itineraries. Yet once you recognize what you’re spring at, distinct distinctions emerge. Here, us compare the most renowned two routes — Eastern and Western — come see exactly how they stack up:

 

Itineraries 

Seven-night, year-round cruises are the most usual option in both regions. Eastern routes sail indigenous ports in Florida or indigenous ports along the east Coast. Western itineraries sail native Florida or Texas, and sometimes brand-new Orleans.

You are watching: Difference between eastern and western caribbean

If you choose visiting as plenty of ports together possible, walk for eastern Caribbean sailings the depart from san Juan or St. Thomas — the moment you would have spent sailing from Florida is consisted of by preventing at 5 or six islands. Western Caribbean routes, ~ above the various other hand, rarely prevent at much more than 4 ports.


Our Pick: Draw. Various strokes for different folks. Western paths are best for background and nature, and Eastern ones rank high for beach hopping.

Beaches

You’ll find great shores on both routes: Jamaica’s Negril and Grand Cayman’s 7 Mile beach in the West, and also too plenty of to count in the east Caribbean’s British and U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly the perfect strips that white sand on Jost valve Dyke and St. John. The East’s tiny islands of St. Barts, Les Saintes, and Anguilla are additionally home come drop-dead gorgeous coastlines.


Our Pick: Eastern. This is a nearby one, but we’re going through the eastern Caribbean due to its amount of gorgeous strands.

Activities

If you need much more than sunbathing, shopping, and also bar hopping, then the eastern Caribbean itineraries might seem limiting to you. Yes, you deserve to work up a sweat ziplining in St. Martin or kayaking turn off the shore of Tortola, however generally speaking, Eastern paths offer much less to do beyond beaches and water sports.

Western Caribbean cruises room well rounded: In Mexico friend can explore pre-Columbian holy places or tube with underwater caves. Scuba dive turn off the coast of grand Cayman where dramatic underwater cliffs tempt abundant sea life, or shot horseback riding with the surf in Jamaica, an island v a heritage of horse racing.


Our Pick: Western. You deserve to crawl around old ruins, go bobsledding, and also tour coffee plantations — all on a one-week cruise. 

 

For Kids

Most youngsters love anything to carry out with beaches — play in the sand, talk waves, and taking banana watercraft rides. Both Eastern and also Western Caribbean itineraries offer great coastlines.

The west Caribbean, though, has an ext than good beaches: Mexico’s Mayan ruins, snorkeling and also diving follow me the coast of Belize, and climbing close to natural features like Jamaica’s Dunn’s river Falls. The east Caribbean boasts a few outliers, consisting of the awesome El Morro fortress in Old san Juan, but otherwise, the an ar is mostly around sand and also shopping.


Our Pick: Western. Amongst the water parks, rivers, and coral reef, these ports are ideal, especially for households traveling with active kids.

Weaknesses

Both regions have actually downsides: The Western’s cool Cayman deserve to be a dud, together the harbor is canceled reasonably frequently due to heavy winds and surf (ships anchor and also shuttle passenger ashore via soft boats), and also Jamaica is well known for vendors with aggressive sales tactics. Meanwhile, St. Thomas and St. Boy name on eastern routes can see an ext than 10,000 cruise passengers in city at the very same time, leading to epic traffic jams.


Our Pick: The eastern Caribbean has fewer downsides. If over there are just three or 4 ports ~ above a weeklong western Caribbean cruise and one is canceled, that’s a bummer.

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Overall

Our Pick: Western. The west Caribbean is more of a smorgasbord 보다 the Eastern, therefore our poll goes for variety.


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