Getting to Know Caribbean Ports

More than Tropical Relaxation

Sponsored by Princess Cruises®

If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right?

Cruisers who have been to the islands, will quickly tell you this is a long standing myth! Each island has a different flare, its own personality due to cuisine, traditions and yes, even landscape!

Of course nearly every Princess® Caribbean cruise will offer a break from the rush of your daily routine, a cold drink and palm tree shade, but that’s just the surface of what’s available in the Caribbean.


Did you know that each island can also offer something different when it comes to the topography? One of our favorite parts of pulling in to port is seeing the islands approach and comparing the landscape differences! Find out where you’ll find the best beaches, mountains and more.

Aruba – Guests love visiting here because a day filled with sunshine is almost guaranteed since it rains less than on any other island. This also contributes to the island having large dessert areas and spectacular beaches.

Puerto Rico – This island has a more varied elevation, providing amazing hiking opportunities providing amazing views of the country and potentially cooler weather as your traverse the lush rain forests of El Yunque.

St Lucia – Home to natural mineral baths which are the result of underground hot springs pushing up through the Earth down a hill to create a magnificent waterfall that sparkles like diamonds, resulting the Diamond Falls! It has long been said that dipping in to a mineral bath can have therapeutic effects for chronic rheumatism, respiratory complaints and even ulcers.


Each island as their own unique flair when it comes to cuisine. Cruising gives you a chance to taste a variety of flavors onboard thanks to dedicated chefs and of course a new port each day means, you can sample local specialties and regional cuisine.

Here are a few other ideas to help you decide what’s on your must eat list.

Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico has a broad influence from Spanish, African, and American foods to their dishes. The most frequently used spices are coriander, papaya and cacao, which season plantains, meat, yams and coconut meals!

Barbados – Food here is a mixture of both American and African influence with the heavy use of marjoram, garlic, parsley, thyme, basil and spices such as paprika, salt, black pepper and clove. Dishes are also based around local foods like okra, asparagus, yellow fin tuna, snapper and barracuda.

St Maarten – Traditional goat stew of tomatoes, dumplings, green papaya, breadfruit and goat is actually the national dish!

Jamaica – Local food is the staple of traditional Jamaican food, which includes ackee fruit,  salt fish, fish tea and plantains. The ackee has a creamy yellow texture that contains wonderful vitamins and protein, but must only be eaten when fully ripe, so don’t attempt this one on your own.

Outstanding Excursions

Costa Maya – Located on the southern Yucatán Peninsula, you can explore magnificent ruins of the once great Mayan cities of Kohunlich, Dzibanché, and Chacchoben. Known for developing a written language as well as a complex system of calendars, the advanced Maya civilization can be traced as far back as 2600 B.C.

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands – We’ve all heard of a yellow submarine, right? Now is your chance to board a semi-submersible to explore the ocean. These ships are both above and below water, allowing you to sit alongside the large windows to watch the marine life or head back up if you need some fresh air. You’ll see schools of tropical fish, turtles, and the shipwreck of the fishing boat “Marignan”, which sunk 15 years ago and is a popular location for fish and nurse sharks.

Barbados – Board a luxury catamaran and indulge in a sumptuous complimentary buffet lunch and open bar, then slip into the refreshing tropical waters of Turtle Beach—a favorite nesting spot for the area’s wild sea turtles—and swim among these magnificent sea creatures in their native habitat. If you are lucky, you may even glimpse a hatchling!