Highlights of the Western Caribbean
Visiting anywhere in the Western Caribbean is fantastic! You'll experience wonderful culture, delicious local food, and wide beaches with soft sand and turquoise blue water. It's one of my favorite destinations to cruise. We've taken a few cruises to the Western Caribbean and enjoyed ports such as Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mexico, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I've included below highlights and suggestions of fun things to do when visiting these ports.
Although, if you are looking to fly to the Caribbean and experience a longer stay, you'll find a fantastic selection of upscale accommodations. From my website, you've already discovered that I'm all about the ease and convenience of vacationing where I can get unlimited food, drinks, activities, and entertainment. So, of course, the next best thing is a luxurious all-inclusive resort. This is a terrific option for families, as well as couples who want to take a few days away and surround themselves in upscale living.
If you are cruising to the Caribbean, why don't you explore a resort for a day? This is a great way to discover where you might want to visit next. I like to use ResortForADay.com in order to book my visit in advance. Resort for a Day has availability in Western, Eastern, and Southern Caribbean.
Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Don't miss infamous and breathtaking 7 Mile Beach with it's crystal clear water and fine sand. The water can be so calm that you float on a raft (available for rent at many points along 7 mile beach) and feel like you are in a swimming pool.
In March 2016, we visited Tiki Beach, an area of 7 Mile Beach. They have water sports, beach chairs and a great restaurant (terrific rum punch, too!) Despite our off and on cloudy and rainy weather, it was definitely a fun visit.
Take a look at this unbelievable wildlife right on the beach. They were just locals, minding their own business.
We were trying to hold off for lunch on the ship, but after looking at the Tiki Beach menu and seeing local Grand Cayman specialties, we couldn't resist. They had hot and cold selections from classic to Caribbean. Everything on the Tiki Beach menu was surprisingly very good - although unfortunately they don't take your SeaPass!
Snorkeling was a lot of fun. Bring your own snorkeling gear and there are fantastic spots right off the beach. The coral is broken up, but very pretty with beautifully colored fish swimming around. Grand Cayman truly has some of the most crystal clear water I've seen.
Cozumel is a terrific port to visit. You'll find beautiful water (water sports, snorkeling and more) with numerous historic, adventurous, and culinary activities available. There is something to do for everyone.
Virtual Tip: Looking for the perfect souvenir for a cooking enthusiast? Cozumel has incredible vanilla extract - wonderful depth, color, and rich flavor. Make sure it's labeled with 100% pure vanilla and grab a bottle or two to bring home.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Jamaica is one the most beautiful places in the Caribbean with the friendliest locals. There are many shopping areas within a short walking distance and places to sample local food right off of the ship (including Jamaica coffeehouses with free WiFi.) Or if you are looking for an active day, there are numerous excursions offered by the cruise lines ranging from adventurous water sports, outdoor hiking, or culinary tours. Before you visit Jamaica, take a look at Visit Jamaica to plan your visit.
The purple arrow below shows where the cruise ships dock in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. You can see that it's close to many shopping areas and restaurants. Many resorts close to the cruise ship dock in Ocho Rios Jamaica also offer day passes that you can purchase ahead of time. Cruise over to Resort For a Day to purchase and learn more.