The Port of New Orleans has been making waves as a hot departure point for affordable cruise vacations to the Caribbean. Not only is the Bayou City a must-visit destination in its own right — it also serves as homeport to Majesty of the Seas®, a fan-favorite ship from the Royal Caribbean fleet sailing 6- to 8-night cruises to some of the most popular shores in The Bahamas and the western Caribbean. We’re talking destinations like Cozumel, Roatan, Belize City, Key West, Nassau, and Costa Maya — not to mention the top-rated Royal Caribbean private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas.
Ready to level up your vacation game? Read on for more information on 7 amazing tropical destinations you can check off your travel list when you cruise from New Orleans.
This private island destination by Royal Caribbean was always a hit among cruisers, but now it’s one of the top-rated cruise destinations to sail to in the world. Recently reimagined with all new attractions, including a helium balloon ride and the tallest waterslide in North America, Perfect Day at CocoCay brims with so much to see and do, you really have to go with a game plan. Unless your plan is to just kick back and soak up the sunshine — in that case, you’ll find plenty of tranquil shoreline to unwind along, not to mention the first floating cabanas in The Bahamas.
As far as tropical destinations go, Cozumel has it all. Its white sand beaches are legendary, and its extensive network of coral reefs draws visitors from around the world. There’s also plenty of history here, too. The ancient Maya ruins of Tulum are just about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Cozumel, nestled atop a rugged cliff that offers incredible views of the Caribbean Sea. And if you’re craving a beach break, just hit San Miguel, home to a colorful town square that bustles with tiny souvenir shops, street vendors and plenty of spots serving delicious bites and ice cold micheladas.
The largest of Honduras’s Bay Islands, Roatan is a true tropical paradise teeming with natural beauty. Emerald green pine forests blanket its hills, and sun-kissed beaches dot the coastline. It’s entirely surrounded by coral reefs, making it one of the best places in the world for snorkeling and diving. If it’s culture you crave, you’ll find it here, too — just head to sleepy Punta Gorda, a Garifuna community with a rich history and heritage where you can sample traditional food and drink, like hudut and sahou. Or chase adventure into the wild on a tour of Roatan’s jungles, home to monkeys, sloths, iguanas and more.
Belize City teems with history, culture, and all kinds of great outdoor activities. Onshore, you’ll find charming colonial houses and some of the best global cuisine in the region. And if you venture off the beaten path, there are plenty of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. This tiny Central American country was once the center of the Maya empire, and you can still visit the ruins of ancient Maya cities and temples on guided tours. If you prefer to spend your day in the water, dive Belize’s Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Or hit the trails on an outdoor adventure through the nearby rainforests.
Costa Maya is no hidden gem — its beautiful stretches of shoreline, Mayan sites and lush jungles are known around the world. And it totally lives up to all the hype. Though it is a go-to getaway spot for sun seekers and beachcombers, Costa Maya still feels a world apart from the crowded beaches and non-stop party scene you’ll find at its coastal counterpart, Cancun. Sure, Costa Maya has its share of great nightlife and beach clubs, but the best way to experience this popular destination is to venture out into its wild places — like the nearby Cenote Azul or the underwater Banco Chinchorro, the largest coral atoll in the northern hemisphere.
When you wander along buzzing Duval Street or past Key West’s leafy, candy-colored historic estates, it’s impossible to imagine a hurricane passed through here just a couple years ago. In keeping with the locals’ always-sunny, “keep-on-trucking” attitude, this idyllic island city has bounced back even better than before. Hop on a trolley and spend some time exploring postcard-pretty Mallory Square, snack on some world-famous conch fritters and cool key lime pie, or join a kayak tour and paddle out to the nearby mangrove islands for a look at the native wildlife. Even if all you’re after is a margarita paired with live music and waterfront views, you’ll find it in beautiful Key West.
Royal Caribbean offers lots of affordable cruises to The Bahamas from New Orleans. Most include either a stop at fun-loving Nassau, or its more laid-back sister port, Grand Bahama Island. Both are home to stunning beaches, an abundance of family-friendly activities, great food, and incredible snorkeling. Honeymooners usually opt for Grand Bahama’s more secluded shores, while those in search of lively beach bars head straight for Nassau’s much-loved Junkanoo Beach and Cable Beach. No matter which of the two is on your New Orleans cruise itinerary, you can look forward to blue skies, plenty of sunshine, and an unforgettable day.
Ready to sail away on an island getaway? Remember, these are just some of the sun-soaked destinations you can visit on a Caribbean cruise from New Orleans. Majesty of the Seas sails from the Port of New Orleans year-round, so there’s no wrong time to start planning your vacation. Start browsing New Orleans cruise itineraries to The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, and the western Caribbean now — you’ll find lots to choose from here.