Destination Showdown: East or West, which will win?
This week I am doing the first in a series you'll see monthly called Showdown--a comparison of popular travel topics. This week I wanted to showdown a question I get asked quite frequently "Which one is better: the Eastern or Western Caribbean?"
On an Eastern Caribbean cruise, ports include any combination of St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Tortola, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and a few others along the USVI and BVI regions.
1. History buffs looking to learn more about early colonialism in the Caribbean, as well as the famous stops of the Caribbean pirates
2. Avid shoppers looking for the best deals. St. Thomas is known as a port for the best pricing on jewelry *hint hint*
3. Beach buffs looking to get their tan on as these beaches tend to be less volcanic; also photographers looking to grab beautiful shots of the vistas
On the Western Caribbean route, ports include any combination of Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Belize, and Honduras, just to name a few.
1. Animal lovers looking to get up close and personal with some of their favorite animals. Grand Cayman has an actual "stingray city", as well as a turtle farm you can visit.
2. Snorkelers looking for a richer experience with beautiful coral and tropical fish. The Eastern may have beautiful vistas above ocean, but not below.
3. Archaeological avids looking to explore ancient Mayan ruins
Now would a history lover still be able to enjoy heading to the West? Of course-- because of the Mayan ruins. A snorkeler will also still enjoy heading to the East because there are many famous shipwrecks. Food and beverage lovers will be able to get their fill across the Caribbean as well.
I think what especially stands out to me between the two is the amount and variety of excursions there are in the West, compared to the East. That is simply due to land mass, as the East is filled with smaller islands and in the West islands are larger, or you will be visiting parts of Central America. This is what for me personally makes the Western Caribbean the winner, as I like to be able to try different experiences when I visit once, or revisit multiple time
Would the Western Caribbean win in your showdown? Let me know! I'd love to know what some of your favorite things to do in either itinerary, as well.