Cruising is a relaxing and stress-free way to explore the Caribbean. You can visit multiple islands without having to deal with the hassle of packing and transportation. Plus, you can enjoy all the fun activities and amenities on board your ship.
But which is the best Caribbean cruise company? There are so many Caribbean cruise lines that it’s hard to answer that question definitively. A lot will depend on your personal taste and the type of experience you want to have.
The best Caribbean cruise lines for adults, for example, will be very different from the best Caribbean cruise lines for families.
In this article we’ll talk about the 10 top choices for best Caribbean cruise line so you can decide which one is right for you.
One of our personal favorites, Virgin Voyages is a newer company that is fast becoming known as one of the best Caribbean cruise lines for adults. With an 18-and-up requirement plus a relaxed and upscale vibe, Virgin does things differently from other Caribbean cruise lines.
It’s almost completely all-inclusive (except for alcoholic drinks, which are reasonably priced), has incredible service, and features more than 20 cool dining options that serve amazingly good food. Passengers also love the wellness-focused amenities like workout areas, group fitness classes, and a luxe spa. There’s plenty of entertainment, including nightclubs, music venues, live shows, and a casino (as well as a tattoo parlor!).
Widely considered to be top of the list of the best Caribbean cruise lines for families, Disney can also be a fun choice for adults. Not only will you find the expected incredible offerings for families like amazing kids’ activities and amenities, huge family-friendly staterooms, character interactions, and that magical Disney touch, but you’ll also find adult-only pools, deck areas, and bars.
Even the Disney private island features family and adult-only sections. Choose from a range of itineraries throughout the Caribbean, including special themed trips during the holidays, with cruises lasting between 4 and 10 nights.
This luxurious cruise line is known for its smaller ships, elegant staterooms, personal service, and gourmet restaurants. They also sail to lesser-known Caribbean destinations and offer unique excursions that really get you involved in the local culture and cuisine. Many itineraries offer overnight stays in the ports.
Onboard, you’ll find a range of interesting activities like art classes, cooking demonstrations, educational presentations, and wine tastings, as well as nighttime entertainment. Amenities also include casinos, spas, and libraries. While children are allowed on Oceania cruises, there aren’t any kids’ clubs or child-oriented activities, so this line is probably best for families with older children.
This upscale cruise line focuses on providing a luxury experience for all and offers a variety of amenities for adults and children. These include pickleball and other sports, kids’ camps, multiple pools and whirlpools, spas, casinos, outdoor movies, classes, wine tastings, and nightly entertainment.
Celebrity Cruises feature award-winning cuisine in a range of elegant gourmet restaurants (it has been voted the best cruise line for food and dining) plus sophisticated staterooms and public areas, all designed to make you feel like a celebrity.
This company has some of the best Caribbean cruise ships for couples, families, and groups who crave nonstop activity and excitement. Featuring some of the largest ships ever, Royal Caribbean cruises have tons of fun amenities like bumper cars, skydiving simulators, surfing simulators, ice-skating rinks, enormous waterparks, and more plus top-notch entertainment options like Broadway shows, comedy and music shows, dance performances, casinos, and nightclubs.
They also offer unique “virtual balconies” in their inside staterooms, which give you the feeling of a window by providing real-time exterior views. Royal Caribbean has a variety of itineraries in the eastern and western Caribbean; many include stops at a private island in The Bahamas.
This cruise line offers some of the best Caribbean cruise ships for couples who want a more intimate experience, since they hold fewer passengers than the mega-ships other cruise lines have. Staterooms are larger than on many other cruise ships, and swanky restaurants serve gourmet cuisine.
Delivering a more laidback experience, Holland America ships feature pools, spas, clubs with live music, and theaters in addition to adult-friendly activities like food and wine tastings and cultural programs. Their elegant interior design even includes antiques!
Princess Cruises are known for their award-winning excursions and experiences at the various ports of call. They often stay longer at a port than other cruise lines, even offering overnight stays in some areas. This makes them one of the best cruise lines for those who really like to explore multiple destinations.
They’re also famous as the inspiration for “The Love Boat,” which makes them some of the best Caribbean cruise ships for couples who want that romantic experience, which includes high-end cabins and upscale dining. Another aspect of Princess that many cruisers like is the “Dine My Way” program, which lets you choose when and where you want to eat—you can even have food delivered to you.
Norwegian Cruise Line
One of the best cruise lines for those who like to set their own schedule, Norwegian is popular because of their “freestyle dining,” which lets you choose when and were you want to eat. They also don’t have strict dress codes for the restaurants. While not as jam-packed with activities and amenities as some of the other ships on this list, Norwegian ships offer lots to do including waterslides, rock climbing walls, bowling alleys, casinos, and live shows.
Couples love the swanky and spacious Haven suites, which have large balconies plus spa-like bathrooms with separate tubs, as well as butler service and access to a private pool, restaurant and lounge. Solo travelers love the “studio cabins” designed especially for them, which are found in a special zone for solo travelers on several Norwegian ships.
Although a European-based cruise line, MSC also offers a selection of cruises in the eastern, western, and southern Caribbean. Many include a stop at the private Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in The Bahamas.
These cruises are pretty upscale and laidback but still feature plenty of activities like live shows, a Formula 1 racetrack simulator, casinos, video arcades, and 4D movie theaters. There’s also an elegant bar and library for a more serene, adult experience. Families love that the kids’ club and babysitting services are included in your rate.
Carnival Cruise Lines
The best Caribbean cruise line if you’re on a tight budget, Carnival offers affordable pricing as well as more options for departure ports than most other cruise lines. This makes it likely that you’ll be able to drive to a nearby port rather than have to fly. You can choose from a huge variety of Carnival cruise itineraries throughout the Caribbean.
There’s plenty to do on a Carnival cruise—they do call them the “fun ships,” after all—including waterparks, giant waterslides, cool rollercoasters, and the unique “SkyRide” in addition to casinos, adult-only areas, live shows, nightclubs, and more.
Now that you’ve read our picks for the best Caribbean cruise line, which one appeals to you most? Let us know in the comments!