Caribbean - Western

Combining some of the Caribbean's most vibrant cultures, natural wonders on land and in the sea, the rich historical treasures of the Mayan Empire, and legendary resort areas, the Western Caribbean ranks as one of the world's great vacation spots and offers extraordinary variety as a cruise destination.

Cruise ships depart for Western Caribbean sailings year-round from all the major Florida ports, including Tampa, as well as New Orleans, Mobile, Houston and Galveston on America's Gulf Coast, and Cancun, Mexico.

George Town, Grand Cayman Long famous among divers and once a favorite haunt of pirates, the Cayman Islands have become one of the most popular ports of call on Western Caribbean itineraries. Among the reasons are the many distinctive experiences available here, including: Swimming with Stingrays - Few cruise visitors miss the chance to visit the famous Stingray City and swim and snorkel among these strange and fierce looking creatures, who are actually quite docile and even friendly. Diving Adventures - Scuba divers rate the spectacular coral reefs and clear waters teeming with marine life in the Cayman Islands among the world's best spots, and most cruises that call here offer excursions for certified divers. Turtles and Tours - For those who don't want to go in the water, Grand Cayman Island is home to the world's first sea turtle farm, the spectacular limestone and coral formations known as Hell and the popular Seven Mile Beach. There's also golf, bicycling and horseback riding.

Key West The southernmost point of land in the United States, the "Conch Republic" of Key West also has a stellar history as the favorite haunt of artists, celebrities, presidents and literary giants such as Ernest Hemingway. It's easy to spend a day in Key West just soaking in the ambiance, but there are lots of other things to enjoy, including: Famous Places - Cruise visitors can easily spend a day touring the island's famous places, including the homes of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, Harry Truman's "Little White House" and the legendary Sloppy Joe's Tavern. Shopping - Shoppers can find anything from funky crafts to fine arts, along with specialties like Key Lime treats along Duval Street and its tributaries. Fishing - Its location makes Key West a perfect starting point for a day of fishing in the Gulf Stream, where anglers have an opportunity to hook a really big catch.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica The most popular of the cruise ports on the Caribbean's second largest island serves as an entry point to many of Jamaica's most famous and appealing attractions. Favorite shore excursions for cruise vacationers calling here include: Natural Wonders - Most visitors to Ocho Rios includes spectacular Dunn's River Falls, and a chance to climb up the waterfall, in their itinerary. Natural wonders abound in Jamaica, and a cruise visit offers ample opportunities to sample them. Arts and Artists - From reggae music to fine art, the cultural heritage and life of Jamaica ranks among the richest anywhere. Many cruises offer shore excursions that focus on the arts, usually including visits to museums, galleries such as Harmony Hall and tours of Noel Coward's beautiful retreat, Firefly. Sport and Adventure - Active vacationers can go river rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, golfing or any from an almost endless selection of active pursuits during a day at Ocho Rios.