Caribbean cruises is a pretty broad classification. For our purposes, the Caribbean is the whole of the Caribbean basin which touches the Panama Canal and we will include some of the Pacific side of Central America.
The Caribbean Sea is one of the most cruised (if you can say that) bodies of water in the world. Tropical breezes, clear waters, beautiful sand, and friendly people - is there anything that you don't love about the Caribbean?
Many large ships - every one of the major cruise lines - spend a big part of their winter cruising in the Caribbean. In a small ship, the Caribbean takes on a different flavor - more adventure, more personal, more casual, and more private.
In the Caribbean you will find many small ships offering the "yachting" experience. You go to ports more often frequented by luxury yachts (rather than mega ships). You navigate around mostly deserted islands - maybe anchor in a cove or run the bow up on the sand. Snorkle in the clear water or explore the beach and the jungle beyond.
Other ships offer a sailing adventure, experiencing the wonders of a replica of a 19th century sailing ship. Some allow you to get involved with the sailing of ship: others suggest you sit back and relax as the ship glides around the beautiful islands that dot the Caribbean.
Blount Small Ship Adventures - in the winter time, Blount heads to the Caribbean. They have some wonderful snorkeling and diving cruises in the Western Caribbean. They are specialists in depositing their passengers on remote beaches with their unique bow ramp.
Sample Itinerary Belize
Lindblad Expeditions - emphasizes expeditions around the world. Their few Caribbean Cruises focus on Central America and the wonderful ecosystem that is found there.
Sample Itinerary - Caribbean - Sea Cloud
The Yachts of Seabourn - like Seadream emphasizes the luxury yacht experience in the eastern and southern Caribbean.
Sample Itinerary - 10 Day Caribbean Highlights
Star Clippers - can it get any better than a Caribbean cruise on a true sailing ship? Star Clipper operates a number of Southern Caribbean itineraries.
Sample Itinerary Grenadine Islands
Windstar Cruises - operate what are called MSY (motor sailing yachts) - they have sails but their motor is their prime means of getting about.
Sample Itinerary Costa Rica
Azamara - their ships are a little larger than the other "yachting experience" ships but they are offering similar itineraries.
Sample Itinerary National Parks and Canal Voyage
Seadream Yacht Club - probably the ultimate of the yacht like experience. Their small ships and casual atmosphere allow them to fit right in with the mega yachts that frequent the small island ports of the Caribbean.
Sample Itinerary Barbados to Barbados
Variety Cruises - one of their ships spends most of it's time in the Caribbean.
Sample Itinerary - Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal