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Caribbean fun

Chills after thrills: Combine a Caribbean cruise with a Florida vacation

Relax on a laid-back trip to the Caribbean after an action-packed vacation to New York or Florida.

Words by Karen Pasquali Jones

Anyone who’s been on vacation to America knows a fortnight there is so hectic that you need another vacation to recover. So while we all love the sightseeing and shopping in glittering New York, and the non-stop thrills in fun-filled Florida, it should come with a compulsory chill-back-and-relax trip to the Caribbean to recharge our batteries.

After all, who doesn’t think those sun-drenched, laid-back islands aren’t the perfect addition for families and couples who want to add something totally tropical and special to their visits to Orlando and the Big Apple?

From three and four-night getaway sailings from Port Canaveral to some of the Caribbean’s most stunning shores, including Royal Caribbean’s private island Perfect Day at CocoCay and Nassau in the Bahamas, to week-long cruises out of Miami and Cape Liberty, these voyages give everyone the chance to unwind.

But that doesn’t mean the excitement stops there. After flying all the way to the USA for an action-packed vacation for all the family, a few more days of sun and games before flying home means the memories – and tans – last even longer.

Head to the Western Caribbean and you’ll be able to get jammin’ at Jam Rock, better known as Falmouth, Jamaica. Nestled between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, this is the perfect island escape where you can join in with the locals listening to live reggae at Water Square or climb the famous Dunn’s River Falls at Ochi.

Head to one of the nearby rivers to ride down on an inner tube taking in the incredible scenery that Jamaica has to offer.

No visit is complete without tasting the island’s world-famous jerk chicken and rice, washed down with an ice-cold Red Stripe lager, or heading to The Shoppes at Rose Hall where duty free bargains on designer jewellery, watches and luxury goods are waiting to be had.

Go East out of Miami, however, and as well as stopping off at Perfect Day at CocoCay, where you can swim in the Bahamas’ largest freshwater pool, chill with a book in the only private overwater cabanas and plunge down the tallest waterslide in North America, there’s the paradise idyll of the Bahamas to explore.

The fantasy island for sun and sand seekers boasts underwater caves visible through crystal clear waters, a colorful coral Rainbow Reef in Bimini and mysterious shipwrecks including Sea Star Wreck in Grand Bahamas. Go wall diving – where you can explore deep reef edges – in New Providence and if you want to get up close to marine life, head to Atlantis and its exhilarating waterpark Aquaventure.

Later, feel the ocean breeze on your face as you browse the craft centre in Bimini, Grand Bahama’s straw market or the exclusive hub that is Crystal Court in Atlantis. After all that, you can return home feeling totally refreshed and ready to plan your next vacation.

Set Sail

Eastern Caribbean Antilles with Virgin Voyages

Duration: 8 nights

Where: Miami | Puerto Plata | San Juan | St Croix | Beach Club at Bimini | Miami

Ship: Valiant Lady

Price: From $1,196 pp

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Book Cruise
Published 07.04.23