Why the Caribbean Remains the Preferred Region for Cruise Travel

Sponsored by MSC Cruises
by Kerry Tice
Why the Caribbean Remains the Preferred Region for Cruise Travel

MSC Seaside will sail the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Photo: MSC Cruises.


When it comes to cruising, it’s no secret that the Caribbean is the preferred destination of the majority of travelers. In fact, according to CLIA research, the Caribbean is by far the most popular region for ship deployment, making up a whopping 34 percent of the market.

The Caribbean appeals to so many and doesn’t discriminate, as not only Americans, but travelers from across the world continue to flock there for its picture-perfect setting, ideal climate, glorious sun-kissed beaches, azure waters and welcoming residents. Does your client need more convincing? Here are more reasons why recommending a Caribbean cruise is the way to go in 2019.

Perfect for families
Time spent together is no doubt memorable regardless of where you are, but the perfect location can make these moments that much more special. From warm climates and sandy beaches to beautiful sunsets and shared activities like swimming with stingrays, snorkeling, diving and ziplining, the Caribbean almost seems like it was hand-picked for families. With so many diverse islands and activities to choose from, you would be hard-pressed to not find something for everyone in every age group.

And that’s just on shore. Factor in the activities onboard the ship geared towards both adults and children, and everyone wins. While your spouse hits the casino, you can hit the spa, all while the kids are occupied in the waterpark. Consider booking a Caribbean cruise for multigenerational vacations or celebrations, and your clients won’t be disappointed.

The best kind of sampling
Sometimes it’s hard to know what we want, which is why when choosing to cruise to the Caribbean, travel advisors are giving their clients a taste of it all. Unlike locking in one location for travel, a Caribbean cruise provides the perfect sampling of multiple islands and adventures all rolled up into one. If your client can’t decide where to go, tell them they don’t have to — they can just pick the itinerary that includes all the islands on their wish list.

Jami Turner, owner of The Travel Fanatic in Odessa, Texas, draws a comparison to sailing Europe. “The fact that you can get on a cruise ship and sample each one of these islands is ideal because it allows you to see a lot in a short amount of time. Many people don’t know where they want to go in Europe, so they choose to cruise there rather than take a land tour — it’s the same idea with the Caribbean. And sometimes if you’re unsure about a location and you don’t want to commit for a full week, it allows you to get what I call ‘an appetizer experience.’” 

Convenience and value
With accommodations at every price point, fine dining, first-rate entertainment, transportation, activities and on-shore experiences, cruising is just plain easy. And the all-inclusivity of it makes it affordable. One price translates to more time for fun and less time reaching for your wallet — not to mention the hidden value that comes from a bundled fare. But a bundled fare doesn’t necessarily mean each cruise experience is the same. Options to upgrade are readily available, taking accommodations and service to a whole other level. 

Unpacking once is yet another reason why people love traveling from one exotic location to the next via these floating hotels. No suitcases to carry once onboard and the opportunity to wake up in a new location each day means taking a cruise is by far the easiest and best way to explore this region. 

Forging new friendships
Do you like new people from around the world? Between the friends you encounter in the lounge, at the pool or at dinner, and the locals you encounter on the islands, a cruise is a virtual melting pot of nationalities. Many long-term friendships have been forged at sea — and what could be better than finding a pen pal who will open your eyes to a whole different perspective of the world?

Sylma Brown, director of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) USA, Inc., summed up the reasons why cruising to the Caribbean outpaces all other destinations: “On the surface, the Caribbean’s status as the preferred cruise destination for many North American vacationers is a factor of its proximity and convenient port locations as well as the variety of cultures and experiences afforded on a single itinerary. But cruising is a lifestyle, not a mode of transport, and these types of travel decisions are rarely dictated by logic alone. Our success should also be attributed to the emotional response conjured by the Caribbean brand. Our image as a vacation region combines the spirit of adventure with the laid-back, stress-free attitude that is the cornerstone of our brand — a recipe that embodies everything the cruising lifestyle aspires to be.” 

FROM THE SPONSOR: Sail the Caribbean with MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line. MSC Cruises has the world’s most beautiful ships sailing worldwide, including four ships sailing the Caribbean in 2019: MSC Seaside, MSC Divina, MSC Armonia, and MSC Meraviglia. MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and MSC Meraviglia will sail the Eastern and Western Caribbean visiting exotic destinations including Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve (an exclusive MSC Cruises island), the U.S. Virgin Islands, Aruba, Panama, and more. MSC Armonia sails the Western Caribbean and includes a two-day stop in Havana, Cuba, the newly desired cruising destination. Sail on one of our ultramodern cruise ships and experience international cuisine, culture and more. Sail from Port Miami now and you’ll get even more: unlimited drinks and free WiFi. To learn more about this promotion and give your clients the desired Caribbean cruise they’ve always wanted, click here.

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Tip of the Day

As travel advisors, we have to be curious. Curiosity leads to impactful connections that pave our road to success.

Jenn Lee, VP of Sales and Marketing, Travel Planners International

 

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