Spring Break 2018 in Western Caribbean Cruise
SPRING BREAK in the Western Caribbean: has
long been a magnet for travelers interested in a unique blend of sun
and surf, the history of ancient civilizations, and eco-oriented
adventures. This itinerary is the MOST popular with
students, since you can experience a day of SPRING BREAK on each of the islands.
The Western Caribbean consists of islands south and west of the U.S. mainland, such as Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Jamaica, and destinations that belong to Mexico's Mexican Riviera on the Yucatan Peninsula, such as Costa Maya, Playa del Carmen and Progreso. These are staples on many ships' four-, five- and seven-night itineraries and offer a great sampler package for first timers. Key West, on Florida's southernmost tip, is another increasingly popular stop -- particularly for cruises that originate from the East Coast ports of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.
Here we'll crystallize the TOP 10 or so ports that comprise the Western Caribbean;
Costa Maya, Mexico
Costa Maya is the newest port in the Western Caribbean. Located on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, it feels more like a private island created from scratch expressly for cruisers. Costa Maya is what you'd expect if, say, Disney World decided to create its own private island in Mexico: a man-made tourism village with bars, restaurants, shops and pools at the ready. Beyond that? What's interesting is that in developing an entire destination out of scratch in a place whose only settlement was the nearby village of Majahual, 80 residents strong, the folks who created Costa Maya had to build everything. They worked with Coca-Cola to install water sanitation systems (and, yes, it is safe to drink water within the Costa Maya confines). They built brick-paved roads and concrete cottages for the employees who pretty much all come from elsewhere and needed housing.
Roatan is the largest of Honduras' Bay Islands. Almost 40 miles long and just 2.5 miles at its widest point, the remote island boasts white sand beaches, pristine bays and spectacular coral reefs. The island is a true melting pot. Its 40,000 people are a mix of Spanish, British, Paya Indian and African, the result of a stormy history that includes conquistadors, pirates and slave traders. For tourists, Roatan's charm is its barrier reef system -- the second largest in the world! -- and its appeal for diving and snorkeling.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
A mere 10 years ago, Playa del Carmen was referred to as a sleepy little village. It's certainly not that any longer! Across the waterway from Cozumel (which is accessible by ferry), this mainland town has been transformed into a full-fledged tourist destination complete with luxury resorts, dozens of fantastic restaurants, and enough clubs and live music venues to keep night owls occupied for weeks. But its main appeal is its proximity to many important historical and ecological landmarks, including several stunning collections of Mayan ruins, two eco-archeological parks and thousands of cenotes -- the systems of hidden caves and natural springs which ancient Mayans regarded as doorways to the spiritual world.
Belize City, Belize
Belize's 185-mile barrier reef is the largest in the Western Hemisphere, and the scuba diving is world class. But, even if you're not a certified diver, you can simply swim, or try snorkeling (cruise ships offer supervised excursions for beginners of all ages). One of the most popular snorkeling spots along the reef is Shark Ray Alley, where you share the water with nonplussed southern stingrays and nurse sharks (or rather, they share the water with you).
On a call at Cozumel, don't miss the great Mayan walled city of Tulum. Once a major center of maritime commerce, the sixty-acre site features stone carvings, archways and architecture with "sundials" that light up during the solstices. Tulum's main castle sits on a limestone cliff overlooking the Caribbean. The sweeping views alone are worth the two-hour trek (via ferry to Plaza del Carmen, and then by motorcoach).
George Town, Grand Cayman
Once your ship docks at Grand Cayman's capital, George Town, it may be tempting to simply veg out under the casuarina tress along the white sands of Seven Mile Beach. A more adventurous option involves a boat trip to the famous Stingray City Sandbar. As you snorkel in shallow water, tour operators provide buckets of chopped up squid for you to feed to the huge stingrays. The rays will eat from your hand, and are quite polite as long as you don't step on their tails. Save time for a quick run to the Tortuga Rum Factory on South Church Street. Admittedly, this is a prime tourist haunt where you'll be elbow to elbow with fellow cruise passengers. But, the factory's rum cakes are notoriously good. Even if you don't have a sweet tooth, you'll love at least one of its many permutations (flavors range from coffee to key lime). The cakes come in mini sizes for under 10 bucks, and make great gifts. Trust us, once you get home, you'll wish you'd bought more.
Key West, Florida
There's a lot of history packed into this tiny island (2 by 4 miles) first claimed for Spain by Ponce de Leon in the early 16th century. Make sure to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and the "Little White House," where Harry Truman relaxed. Key West's Mel Fisher Maritime Museum houses millions of dollars worth of treasure salvaged from a Spanish Galleon. At sunset, tradition requires heading over to Malloy Dock, to see it come alive in a celebration of jugglers, musicians and street performers as the sun goes down.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Known as "MoBay" to the locals, Montego Bay is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, such as Doctor's Cave Beach. But bucolic beaches can wait when there's a ghost story to be told. Take an excursion to the 6,000-acre Rose Hall plantation. The plantation's Great House, built in 1760, is said to be haunted by the ghost of its former mistress, Annie Palmer. It seems that Palmer's mistreatment of slaves (and the unfortunate end met by several of her husbands) earned her the moniker "The White Witch." Cursed by a slave, she still roams the halls of the great house -- or so it is said.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Dunn's River Falls is the adventure in Ocho Rios. Hike 600 ft. surrounded by lush foliage as the falls come crashing down onto a sandy beach. Instead of the traditional motorcoach ride to the falls, consider a shore excursion that arrives at the falls via sea kayak. You'll hug the coastline, and the lagoons and tropical vegetation along the way are spectacular. Another option is a bike trek to the Falls, which leaves you off atop Murphy Hill (and will certainly burn off all those calories from the rum cakes).
The Mayan city of Chitzen Itza is a short two hours from Progreso. With its intricate temples, the famous pyramid of Kulkulcan, a sacred ball court and astronomical observatory, it is certainly worth the trip to one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Americas. A closer option (90 minutes away) is the Mayan site of Uxmal, which also offers an impressive array of pyramids and plazas. Another important Mayan ceremonial center, Dzibilchaltun, is but 15 minutes away. If the ruins intrigue you, look for the face of the living Maya. Chances are, you'll need to look no further than the face of your tour guide. The descendants of the Maya still thrive here, having preserved their language and many of the ancient ways.
Western Caribbean Cruise Maps
Western Caribbean Cruise Spring Break Packages
CRUISE PACKAGE INCLUDES:
All passengers MUST BE 21 or OLDER to sail with Carnival. At least 1 person in each Cabin 21 with Norwegian.
OPTIONAL Air and Transfers available UPON REQUEST. (we meet you at the airport & take you to the Ship)
7 Nights Cruise Accommodations
All Port Taxes
24 Hours FREE Food, including Room Service!
Daily Ship Activities and Entertainment
Happy Hour Specials
FREE Bottle of Champagne & Chocolates for those who book by November 1.
FREE Cabin Upgrade if booked by November 1.
$50 on board Cabin Credit on select sailings.
Professional 24 Hour Staff on board to ensure a Great Cruise Vacation.
Cabins cleaned 3 times a day.
Theme Night parties out on the pool deck.
GENERAL CRUISE INFORMATION:
- Cabin Stewart & Dining Staff Gratuities of approximately $74 not included with price & payable on board the ship.
- All Drinks are additional except for coffee, tea, lemonade, Ice Tea and water.
- There are 2 Formal Nights. Men are asked to wear a suite or dress slacks and collar shirt. Ladies are asked to wear a cocktail dress.
- Spending money for OPTIONAL side excursions, activities, events and Casino.
- Credit Card required upon Check in, or Cash deposit.
- Air and Transfers are additional and can be purchased through us upon request, for as low as $250 per person. Simpy contact us for Current Rates.
CRUISE PACKAGE INCLUDES:
Western Caribbean Cruise VIP Parties
CRUISES do not offer a Student VIP Night Club Program,
since there are no admission fees to the bars & nightclubs.
Western Caribbean Cruise Meal Plans
CRUISES do not offer a Student Meal Plan, since all the ships already include
all you can eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks with the package.