6 Cruise Destinations You Don't Want to Miss
By Donna Davis
If the economy has you rethinking that road trip across the United States, then turn your thoughts to the high seas. With food and lodging included in the ticket price, cruising the high seas has never been a better bargain.
Consider a five-night cruise to the Western Caribbean. Starting at $379 a person, you leave Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and head out to George Town in the Cayman Islands and then to Cozumel, Mexico. This trip offers the best of the Caribbean world. Residents of the Cayman Islands enjoy the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. With lenient tax laws, it has more registered businesses than residents. As for Cozumel, they say that this area has a Mexican heart and a Caribbean soul - the best of all worlds.
Start off with a visit to the Big Apple - New York City, New York. After taking in a Broadway show and staying up all night in the city that never sleeps, you can choose to leave for the Eastern Caribbean from two cruise terminals: Brooklyn or Manhattan. Ships leaving from both terminals are bound for the Eastern Caribbean, one of the most popular spots for North American vacationers. Typically, cruise ships make stops in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos during the summer. There you will find some of the best beaches in the world, each location with its own special flavor.
For sights you have never seen, consider a seven-night cruise to Alaska. Starting at $529 per person, you will board in Seattle, Washington, and then head out to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria. Remember that all prices are based on double occupancy and airfare is not included. Once in Alaska, take in all you can. Try to do Juneau in a day, seeing the glaciers, wildlife, having outdoor adventures and shopping.
In Ketchikan, you have a choice of hiking the Deer Mountain Trail or taking an interisland ferry to Prince of Wales. In Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, you will find something you may not expect in Alaska: lush green shrubbery, beautiful flower gardens and trees of every kind. This garden city is surrounded by the ocean and mountains. The city itself is full of historical sites as well as entertainment and seafood restaurants.
There is probably no place quite as exotic as the Mexican Riviera. A seven-day cruise, starting in San Diego, California, can start as low as $499 per person. From Southern California, you will cruise to the following ports of call: Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. In Mazatlan you can tour the Sierra Madre Mountains where they begin on a peninsula extending into the Pacific Ocean. You might also walk its miles of beaches or break out your fishing rod and join fishermen from around the world. In Puerto Vallarta, called the "soul of Mexico," you can visit some prestigious art galleries or dine in fabulous restaurants. In Cabo San Lucas, "the jewel of the Baja Peninsula," you will find fabulous sporting opportunities like world-class golf courses designed by Tom Weiskopf and Robert Trent Jones II.
Even Europe is within reach these days. Consider a seven-day cruise with stops in Venice, Dubrovnik, Athens/Piraeus, Izmir, Nafplion and Venice. Prices are as low as $699 for an inside cabin or as high as $1,349 for a suite. Venice is one of those world-class cities that you should see before the high tides destroy it. Before you start your cruise, spend a day on its canals and take in the sites you have read about. Four days in, you will find yourself in Athens and Piraeus, Greece. Take in the sights of the largest shipping port in the world against the backdrop of the Aegean Sea. The final day will find you checking out Izmir, Turkey, home of the famous International Fair.
If Europe is not exotic enough, consider a cruise to Australia - the land down under. For as little as $485 a person, you can leave Sydney, Australia, and spend three days on the seas, visiting Burnie and Melbourne. Burnie is a large port with some spectacular scenery including beautiful waterfalls, nature areas, art galleries and even the Lactos Cheese Factory, offering a fascinating facility tour.
In Melbourne, you will find more than you can take in. It has everything you would expect from a world-class city, including beautiful buildings, art galleries, wonderful shopping districts and special events - like the country's richest horse race, rugby and cricket. Because the city is home to people from more than 100 countries, you will find restaurants from Italy, Greece, Middle East, Africa and, of course, Australia.
Whether you've been on cruises before or this is your first jaunt, you're bound to enjoy one of the most relaxing ways to see the world.
Donna Davis is a freelance writer who writes about several topics including discount cruises
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.