6 of the best luxury Caribbean cruises

Cruise Advice
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It is so easy to turn your nose up at the Caribbean, referring knowingly (and rather snobbishly) to lowest common denominator tourism, constant hassle to buy, grubby overpacked beaches, happy hour rum-based sticky umbrella drinks in neon colours, and the worst of tat-filled duty free shops. Really? The same sort of generalisation could be applied to any mainstream tourist destination.

But in truth the lovely islands of the Caribbean enjoy extraordinary natural beauty, amazing clear waters, idyllic beaches, a warm welcome from the local people, fascinating wildlife and a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle. As always, it's just a question of picking carefully.

Soufriere and the Pitons, Saint Lucia

Cruising in the Caribbean is, in our opinion, better still, as long as you roam a little from the beaten track. There are great options, and so many to choose from. Here are a few of our favourites...

1. Millionaire's yacht experience on Crystal Esprit

The 62 guest Crystal Esprit arrives in the Caribbean in November 2017 for year-round cruising on two 'butterfly style' 7 day itineraries from St Maarten. Beware, your little vessel will be dwarfed by the private yachts in St Barths! Enjoy all-inclusive pricing, outstanding dining, great watersports (including a submarine!) and a contemporary décor on this recently refurbished and stylish little ship.

Crystal Esprit - Watersports marina

2. In-depth Caribbean - 28 nights on Seabourn Odyssey

There are so many reasons to choose this extraordinary Season of Sun itinerary in January 2018 - not least the bliss of a direct flight into Barbados, followed by a leisurely circular trip around the Caribbean with no fewer than 21 different ports of call and not a single repeat. Seabourn Odyssey boasts lots of deck space to relax, spacious accommodation, and inclusive pricing.

Seabourn - Watersports marina

3. An outdoor lifestyle on SeaDream

The two 114-guest SeaDream yachts offer an al fresco experience that you will find hard to replicate on other vessels, with not just dining but also dancing and sleeping under the stars, great watersports from the platform at the back of the ship and a unique style of personal service you will never forget. As you enjoy the relaxed party atmosphere of the beach barbecue, you will understand that this is yachting, not cruising!

SeaDream Yacht Club - Balinese bed and Champagne

4. The most all-inclusive on Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Take the most all-inclusive cruise on the 'world's most luxurious ship', Seven Seas Explorer. Following her launch in July 2016, Seven Seas Explorer has wowed guests with her amazing accommodation, huge choice of dining options, Grand Hotel décor, and pricing that includes so much you won't have to spend another penny - flights, transfers, all drinks and gratuities, alternative dining and even shore excursions are included in the fare.

Regent Seven Seas Explorer - Pool deck

5. Best value with Windstar Cruises

The best small ship value in the lesser known islands of the Caribbean is offered by Windstar Cruises. Choose from the sleek little motoryachts carrying just over 200 guests, or travel romantically under sail with Wind Star or Wind Surf, with lots of itinerary choices, and all at great fares. Windstar's laid back unpretentious style is perfect for a Caribbean getaway, with plenty of departures to choose from.

Windstar Cruises - Wind Star at sunset

6. The perfect family Christmas with Crystal Cruises

Sailing from Fort Lauderdale on 21 December 2017 on Crystal Serenity, or from New Orleans on 22 December 2018 on Crystal Symphony, a Caribbean cruise itinerary is the perfect choice for families who prefer luxury. Crystal's excellent range of facilities, and upgraded children's clubs on holiday cruises ensure that this will be the holiday of lifetime for every member of the family, with no need for compromise by any age group.

Crystal Serenity pool
Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina

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