Whether in the middle of the seemingly endless stretch between the holidays and flip-flop season or it’s just about time to get away, you’re in luck: There’s a Royal Caribbean cruise that’ll whisk you away on an adventure any time of the year. And if it’s warm weather you’re looking for, you can choose from several of the most desirable destinations across the eastern, western and southern Caribbean.
Could use some inspiration? We’ve picked must-see locales in the tropics to add to your list. Plus, one of the best perks of a cruise—in addition to the restaurants, entertainment, thrills and more on every ship—is that you’ll only unpack once.
Read on for five of the best spots that offer picture-perfect beaches, good vibes and sunny, blue skies that’ll warm you up:
Average temps: Low – 73°F | High – 85°F
Get there: Sail from Florida and the Northeast, like the Big Apple and Baltimore, Maryland. You can have your pick of a lineup of cruises, from short three-night getaways to longer eight-night itineraries, that visit several idyllic locales. Set your sights on places such as Royal Caribbean’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau, The Bahamas; Cozumel, Mexico; and more.
Take it in: On Perfect Day at CocoCay, adults and kids alike can make their ideal vacation day a reality. You can thrill or chill with a range of experiences, from the exclusive Coco Beach Club—where you’ll find private floating cabanas—to the tallest waterslide in North America (one of 13 waterslides in Thrill Waterpark) and Up, Up & Away, a helium balloon that goes as high up as 450 feet. With miles of white sand beaches, there also are ways to take in The Bahamas’ natural beauty by kayaking, snorkeling and swimming.
Find adventures for all ages on a cruise to Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Average temps: Low – 69°F | High – 71°F
Get there: Sailing from Los Angeles, California, Navigator of the Seas is the new way to get away on the West Coast. If it’s a short escape you’re looking for, there are three- to five-night cruises that’ll take you to Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Catalina Island in California. Have more vacation time? Set sail to the Mexican Riviera for all of seven nights and you can add Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to the list of places you’ll visit.
Take it in: Ensenada is a charming city known for its stunning, mountainous landscape, vibrant culture and tasty cuisine. It’s also the gateway to Baja California’s wine country, which you can explore from one winery to the next on a tour of Calafia Valley. If you want to wander on your own, stroll down the malecon, a long stone embankment along the water lined with vendors and restaurants—it’s the best place to watch the sunset.
Discover Ensenada and other gems on the West Coast when you set sail on a cruise from L.A.
Average temps: Low – 76°F | High – 87°F
Get there: You can explore the beauty and rich cultures of Curacao as well as the rest of the southern Caribbean on your choice of seven- to 14-night cruises from Florida, Bridgetown, Barbados; or San Juan, Puerto Rico. Highlights of the destinations in store are Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Oranjestad, Aruba; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and more.
Take it in: Exploration in Willemstad, Curacao, goes a step (or a splash) underwater. You can take in the ocean from a unique perspective on a submarine-like adventure, thanks to an observatory that puts you 5 feet below the water’s surface. Look for stunning coral and marine life, like sea turtles, angelfish and spotted eagle rays. There are also caves and the city itself to see and experience: from a mystical underground lake and limestone formations at the Hato Caves, which natives used as shelter about 1,500 years ago, to the Dutch island’s rich architecture and history—even a famous floating bridge (aka the Queen Emma pontoon bridge).
Dive into Curacao on a Southern Caribbean cruise.
Average temps: Low - 74°F | High – 85°F
Get there: A bucket list destination, Bridgetown, Barbados, is the perfect jumping-off point to discover the isles of the southern Caribbean. Take your pick of five-, seven-, eight- and 14-night cruises that visit many other gems in the tropics, such as Fort de France, Martinique; Roseau, Dominica; St. George’s, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent; and the famous ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).
Take it in: The capital city of Barbados, Bridgetown has breathtaking beaches—even a pink sand beach—and historic sites, including UNESCO (aka the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) like the Parliament Buildings. Bridgetown, and all of Barbados for that matter, are also well known for delicious cuisine filled with flavor. Specialties include cod, jerk chicken and traditional rum punch, great for a beach day or a night out. There’s plenty to explore across Barbados’ 21 miles and 11 parishes.
Discover the best of Barbados and more idyllic isles when on a Caribbean cruise that sets sail from Bridgetown.
Average temps: Low – 75°F | High – 83°F
Get there: Take a five- to eight-night Caribbean cruise from destinations like San Juan, Puerto Rico or Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida—even Boston. Along with Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, several of the isles on these itineraries include Basseterre, St. Kitts; Perfect Day at CocoCay; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Croix; and St. John’s, Antigua.
Take it in: If you’re looking for views and adventure, hop on a tramway ride up to Charlotte Amalie’s Paradise Point. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the quaint town and its sparkling bays from the mountaintop’s observation deck. Closer to shore, enjoy the shimmering waters firsthand, which means diving to observe the underwater wildlife from afar or taking a catamaran cruise (with champagne on hand) to a top spot like Virgin Islands National Park. Plus, find time to visit some of the island’s most famous restaurants and the shops in town—it’s known as the “shopping capital of the Caribbean” after all.
Embark on an adventure to St. Thomas and beyond.
Ready to trade in your puffer jacket and hot cocoa for a swimsuit and sun-soaked shores? Start to chart your course and find your cruise vacation here.