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Best Eastern Caribbean Shore Excursions
The eastern reaches of the Caribbean are a unique blend of melding cultures and tropical waters, as well as territories that remain a part of the United States. Eastern Caribbean shore excursions are also a blend of familiar beach days and more unique and adventurous sights and activities. It's a part of the world with a surprising amount of history if you wish to unlock it, but miles of sand stretch before you if you'd rather not think about anything at all. Before the sun melts all your cares away (including the ability to make decisions), we mapped out some of the best Eastern Caribbean cruise excursions so you can sprinkle your next sailing with the right amount of exploration and relaxation.
Eastern Caribbean: Top 9 Cruise Ports to Snorkel and Dive
The Eastern Caribbean provides variety for divers and snorkelers, from Florida's underwater state park in Key Largo to some signature wrecks like the RMS Rhone in the British Virgin Islands. The mostly shallow shorelines of the islands listed here make Eastern Caribbean a perfect itinerary to get your face wet. If you plan on diving more than once or twice, it's worthwhile to bring your own gear (if you have it); even casual snorkelers might consider bringing their own mask and snorkel for both fit and hygienic purposes. Newbies can take a Discover Scuba Diving "resort" course -- offered by many dive shops -- which takes uncertified divers down to a depth of 40 feet, accompanied by an instructor, of course. Here are some of our top cruise port choices to explore life underwater.
Island Hopping in St. Maarten
Arguably, St. Maarten is one of the Caribbean's most popular ports of call. There's a pretty good chance your first Caribbean cruise called here. After a couple of return visits, you probably started looking hard for the offbeat, the unusual. Two more visits and you figured you could conduct a ship's port lecture singled-handedly. So, here's an idea you might not have thought of: A great thing to do for repeat visitors in St. Maarten, might actually be to leave the island. Why? Besides being a frequented destination for cruisers, St. Maarten is a popular base for yachters and other island-hopping vagabonds. That's because being positioned amid a clump of nearby islands -- many very different in ambiance, resources and personality -- makes a great jumping-off point for a day trip. Since many voyages arrive in St. Maarten early and depart late, ranging far afield would seem both easy and economical. But while you can use St. Maarten as a departure point from which to venture to neighboring islands, you'll want to do a bit of homework before heading off. Ferry or flight delays (should you choose to fly) could mean missing your cruise ship's departure, so you'll want to have an alternate plan in your back pocket, in case your day trip does not go according to schedule. Itching to try something new during your next call at St. Maarten? Why not opt for visiting one of the following?