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Best companies for an Eastern Caribbean cruise

Island-hop your way through the tropical waters and cultural wonderland of islands like Saint Martin and the Virgin Islands.

Updated

View of the Antigua Island on the Eastern Caribbean Coast

The Caribbean was made for cruising. Island-hopping by plane is pricey at best, prohibitive at worst, making cruising your next best option to experience multiple islands on one trip.

You can let the sun melt all your cares away as you laze on a picture-perfect shore or head inland to unlock the culture that’s been brewing away for hundreds of years.

Best Eastern Caribbean cruises

Whether you’re up for a quick jaunt or an extended stay, these cruise liners are sailing to the Eastern Caribbean throughout the year.

Budget Option

Best for quick budget getaway: Carnival

If you’re simply seeking a quick escape, you can usually grab a five-night Carnival cruise from $250. You’ll get meals covered and all the amenities you’d expect from a floating resort and get to visit two or three islands along the way.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
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Best for young families: Disney

In true Disney fashion, onboard you’ll find tailored kids’ programming, character dining, the Walt Disney Theatre featuring live shows, multiple pools including one specifically for the little ones, family-friendly cabins and multiple themed events including an epic deck party.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for onboard entertainment: Royal Caribbean

Whether you’ve got a toddler in tow, teens wanting to do their own thing or you’re looking for some adults-only time, Royal Caribbean’s got the four largest cruise ships at sea to entertain young and old alike. Think rock climbing walls, ziplining, surf simulators and water slides for the adventurous. Youth programs for the little ones and entertainment spanning stage, air, ice and water including hit Broadway musicals abound.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for luxury travelers: Regent

If nothing but the best will do, look no further than Regent’s all-inclusive midsize vessels. Winner of numerous awards including Best Luxury Cruise Line by CruiseCritic, you can expect flawless service and sophisticated entertainment. And the suites are definitely not an afterthought with their marble-lined bathrooms with tub, spacious sitting area and walk-in wardrobe.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for first-timers: Norwegian

Norwegian is a great all-rounder for cruising newbies looking to find their sea legs and figure out life onboard a ship. Whether you’re in it for the culinary delights (hello, 20+ bars and restaurants), onboard activities including waterslides, go-karts and virtual-reality play spaces or lazily luxuriating poolside, Norwegian’s easygoing style is sure to help you find your niche.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for your buck: Celebrity

Somehow managing to marry the floating-city experience of the mega-liners with the intimacy and service standard of smaller lines, a cruise with Celebrity is great value for your cruising dollars.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for all-suite ships: Seabourn

Seabourn’s suites make your cruise as much about the journey as the destination and you wouldn’t be blamed for whiling your days away in your cabin. Along with a personal suite stewardess and a fully stocked bar, you can have dinner delivered to your suite, course by course.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises.

When choosing cruises for this list, we looked at the quality of routes available from each cruise line, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around the Eastern Caribbean.

We also considered dining onboard, weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews. Finally, we weighed cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.

Additionally, we sought out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.

When is the best time to cruise to the Eastern Caribbean?

Eastern Caribbean cruises sail all through the year with many cruisers choosing to sail in the winter and spring months. Find your best time to cruise by considering several factors:

  • Fewer crowds on summer sailing. Summer isn’t as scorching hot as you might think, often only slightly warmer than the winter months with fewer crowds. If the prices are right, then a summer cruise could be the ticket.
  • Avoid hurricane season. Hurricane season runs from June to October with storms most likely to happen in August, September and October. However, unlike a holiday at a resort, a cruise can change locations with an adjusted itinerary in the event of a storm. But to make sure you’re not hit with any surprises, consider cruise travel insurance before you leave.
  • Late summer and fall for cruise bargains. Look out for deals in the late summer and fall months when kids go back to school.

What are the must-do cruise excursions in the Eastern Caribbean?

There’s plenty of beach time to be had while cruising through the islands but if you’re up for something a little bit different, we’ve highlighted some of the best sights and activities in the Eastern Caribbean.

  • Mangrove Lagoon, St Thomas. Kayak and snorkel through clear channels and calm waters as you spot local wildlife like stingrays and brown pelicans.
  • Maho Beach, Sint Maarten. Watch as the planes pass close overhead at this popular beach spot on the Dutch side of the island.
  • Food tour, Puerto Rico. Get a real taste of the island as you try popular dishes like mofongo and camarones con cerveza. Make sure you sample a piña colada in the place where they make it best.
  • 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua, Dominican Republic. You can either stay dry and admire them from afar or get wet and hike, swim, jump and slide along the waterfall route.
  • Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. Hop aboard a catamaran for a day filled with snorkeling, relaxing on a secluded beach, tropical cocktails and music as you explore the turquoise blue waters.
  • Ziplining, St Kitts. What better way to see the island’s tropical rainforests than soaring through the canopy, 25 storeys up? Make sure to keep an eye out for monkeys as you zip by.

Current cruise deals

Travelocity Travelocity

Over 75% off bookings with top cruise lines

Book cheap Royal Caribbean cruises from just $156 to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, South Pacific and more. T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.com Expedia.com

Save up to 90% off Royal Caribbean cruises

Cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mediterranean, Asia and South Pacific all on sale from just $156. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

6-night Caribbean cruises from $321 on Carnival!

Exclusive – up to $500 to spend on board, plus 10% off shore excursions!

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Avoya Travel Avoya Travel

Up to 75% off cruises to the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and Beyond

T&Cs apply

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Deal ends

CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

10 night Caribbean Cruises from $573 on Costa Cruise Line

Deep discounts & 10% off shore excursions

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Bottom line

Get your island holiday fix and so much more while you explore one of the Caribbean’s most popular regions. Stay on top of the latest cruising sales with these top cruise deals.

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