I see a lot of cruiseships in my every day life because I live in the Caribbean (5-7 on any given day parked outside my work). That also means I see a lot of cruiseship-ers, fresh off the boat and on the lookout for the true Caribbean experience and as part of #traveltuesday I thought I’d offer you some words of wisdom. Whether you’re going on a cruise next week or just wondering about it in the future, here’s what to expect when you make land on a cruiseship in the Caribbean.
Cruiseship Rush Hour
Most cruiseships release you at 8am at the earliest (dependent on day, provider, and where you are). If this is your first cruise you’ll be keen to disembark to make the most of the day. That’s great but when you roll off the ship be aware that it’s going to be busy, and not just with your fellow sea-farers. People go to work any time from around 6am to 9am — you probably know this already — but the important thing to remember is people go to work in the Caribbean too.
Personally, I quite like people watching in the traffic the cruiseships cause so my mornings are quite fun. I think a lot of people feel the same way too because we’re sharing this paradise with so many happy people. But rush hour combined with cruiseships means it is busy. When you arrive on the island it’ll likely be the busiest you’ll ever see it. Try not to feel overwhelmed. After 9am you’ll basically have the island to yourself for the day.
The best thing to do on a Caribbean island is explore. It’s nice to stay in the safety of areas close to the ships — they were made just for you so they tend to be very comfortable and familiar — and if you can’t get mobile for whatever reason there’s always a lot to do nearby using accessible transport. You’ll find you don’t need to worry about trying to locate transport or amusement if you don’t want as it will all come to you.
That said, if you can do it then it’s worth really exploring. There are a million hidden beaches where I work. People walk right by them all the time. While some areas of the Caribbean are less adventure friendly than others, if you’ve heard an island is friendly exploring can be a freeing experience. It also means you get to discover the real heart of the island too.
The heat is no joke here, and neither is the sun. Five minutes in the sun can be enough to give you a light tan so don’t forget to put suncream on before you hit the beach or basically go anywhere! There’s no need to get sun burnt or to get heat stroke. You’ll find that the locals wear a lot of sun protection too.
Sun screen lotion is expensive here (we have sun all year round!). Bring it with you where you can and drinks lots of water.
I have never met a group of more community based and friendly people than in the Antilles! You’ll find that the people you meet in the Caribbean are friendly, and care. They understand that they live in paradise. They’re excited to share it with you!