The Western Caribbean, a common destination for cruises departing from the southeastern U.S., offers first time cruisers adventure, relaxation and good food. From Grand Cayman to Cozumel, Mexico, a Western Caribbean cruise visits a unique mix of cultures and tropical locales. There are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your first cruise.
Don't Overbook Excursions
It may be tempting to try everything from the all-day snorkeling jaunt in the Cayman Islands to the jungle horseback ride in Cozumel. Because there is such a range of destinations on a Western Caribbean cruise, there are numerous excursions to experience. However, if you book them all, or just too many, exhaustion will keep you from enjoying any of them. Book no more than one or two excursions per day. If you take day-long excursions, plan something low key one day, like a beach day or a local boat tour, and something more adventurous the next, like a zip line tour through the jungle. You want each excursion to be a quality experience that you can treasure.
Prepare to Spend Time at Sea
You will likely spend more time at sea on a Western Caribbean cruise than you will on an Eastern Caribbean cruise because the destinations are further apart in the Western Caribbean. Therefore, plan accordingly and enjoy the cruise ship's amenities while at sea. There are a number of activities available for cruise passengers, from massages in the spa to clubs that offer a non-stop dance party. You can get a workout in the gym, read on the deck, swim, play basketball and more. Of course eating is one of the biggest activities on board and most cruise ships offer non-stop food choices to meet every taste.
Put Safety First
The Western Caribbean cruises take you into Mexico, which can be a dangerous place for tourists. Stay within the popular resort areas and refrain from venturing out alone. Moreover, if you stop in Belize and take one of the rainforest tours, keep in mind that you are not in a controlled environment and it is important to heed the advice of your tour guide. Don't venture off alone into the jungle to explore because you may encounter a wild animal or unstable environment and your inexperience will put you in peril.