With its beautiful beaches, vibrant mix of cultures, natural wonders and year-round perfect weather, Florida is a popular vacation destination for lots of sun seekers. Sure, you can definitely fill an entire week with new discoveries when you visit any of the Sunshine State’s main cities, but one of the top reasons vacationers visit Florida is to take advantage of its status as the cruise capital of the world. From Florida cruise ports like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando, you can set sail for some of the most amazing places in the tropics — like the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Mexico, The Bahamas, Aruba, and more. From weekend getaway cruises and last minute affordable cruises, to longer sailings that let you linger in the Caribbean for over a week, there’s truly nothing like a cruise from Florida. Read on to learn more about some of the destinations you can visit on your next tropical escape.
With its brilliant blue bays, forested hills and gorgeous golden beaches, St. Thomas is one of the most beautiful islands in the eastern Caribbean — and one of the most popular stops on some of the best cruises from Florida. There’s so much to see and do here, from exploring Blackbeard’s Castle and browsing the world’s largest collection of life-sized pirate statues, to soaking up panoramic views from the top of Government Hill and Drake’s Seat on Skyline Drive. If you just want to hit the beach, you’re in the right place — St. Thomas is home to some of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in the tropics. Head to Sapphire Beach for the best snorkeling, or opt for romantic Magen’s Bay if you’re looking for rest and relaxation.
If you’re chasing culture, history, natural scenery and amazing food, this lovely Dutch island checks all the boxes. Getting here is easy, too — it’s a stop on many Florida cruises out of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Tampa. No matter what Florida cruise port you sail from, you’ll enjoy plenty of time ashore to experience everything this top-rated tropical paradise has to offer. You can start your visit with a stroll through the capital city, Willemstad, which brims with open air cafes, bustling markets, and quaint Dutch colonial buildings painted every color under the sun. Then follow adventure to Shete Boka Park, home to incredible natural wonders like underground caverns, limestone bridges, and the Boka Tabla, where waves spray up like a geyser as they break high against the rocks. Craving some delicious local eats? Curaçao is known for its global cuisine, which highlights ingredients and dishes from places as far-flung as Africa and India. Meat-filled ayakas are always a hit, but for something a little more filling, try kabritu, a curried goat stew.
Exclusive to Royal Caribbean guests, this private island destination was completely reimagined to offer all kinds of record-breaking attractions, like the tallest waterslide in North America and the largest wave pool in the Caribbean. Not to mention unforgettable opportunities to soak up the sunshine and unwind, like a sprawling freshwater lagoon, a beach dedicated just to relaxation, and the first Floating Cabanas in The Bahamas. A fan-favorite destination you can visit on Florida cruises sailing from all of the state’s major cruise ports, Perfect Day at CocoCay is a popular option for families, couples and solo travelers. Whatever kind of vibe you’re going for — be it adrenaline-amping thrills at the island’s Thrill Waterpark, laid-back lounging on a private beach at the exclusive Coco Beach Club, or an action-packed pool party accompanied by thumping beats at Oasis Lagoon, a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay is a great way to level up your Florida cruise.
Bon bini (that means “welcome”) to Aruba, where Dutch heritage meshes seamlessly with laid-back Caribbean vibes. Though this tiny island measures only 20 miles in length, it’s full of amazing sights and experiences for every kind of vacationer. If you’re someone who loves outdoor adventure, make sure you choose a Florida cruise that stops in Aruba — there are plenty that sail from Florida cruise ports including Miami, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. Once you arrive at this southern Caribbean gem, you can set out on an off-road excursion past rugged natural rock formations in Aruba Arikok National Park before taking a dip in Conchi, a natural pool carved out by crashing waves. Or stick around in the island’s postcard-pretty capital and try some delicious dishes from Argentina, Venezuela, and the Netherlands before indulging in some duty-free retail therapy at Royal Plaza Mall and Renaissance Mall — both are great places to pick up traditional Dutch souvenirs. Getting around is easy too — just look for the free trolleys that chug along from the port to the downtown area and back.
St. Croix is nicknamed “The Garden of the Antilles,” and for good reason. The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, this sprawling tropical oasis is a paradise of towering emerald mountains, dense tropical rainforests, and windswept coastline kissed by turquoise waves. For the best views, head to Point Udall (also the easternmost point in the United States) and follow the path up to the summit. For a taste of local history, stop by the centuries-old Fort Christiansvaern in Christiansted — it’s the best-preserved Danish fort in all the Virgin Islands. Foodies will find plenty to get excited about in St. Croix, where Dutch, French, Thai, and West Indian flavors come together to create a vibrant culinary scene. And you definitely can’t leave without a stop at either the Captain Morgan or Cruzan Rum distilleries. Experts here will teach you all about the history of the Caribbean’s favorite spirit before letting you sample the goods. If St. Croix sounds like the perfect island escape for you, you’re in luck — you can reach it on lots of Florida cruises sailing from Miami, one of the top Florida cruise ports.
Ready to set sail on your best vacation yet? Start browsing itineraries departing from all the major Florida cruise ports and pick an adventure that will satisfy your wanderlust. No matter which port you choose to sail from and what destinations you visit, get ready to make plenty of incredible memories on your next Florida cruise.