The Caribbean Sea is dotted with more than 7,000 individual islands—with so much sand and surf, it’s no wonder the region is among the world’s top cruise destinations. But with so many beautiful and exhilarating options, how do you decide where to spend your days at sea and onshore?

A good way to start picking your Caribbean cruise destinations is by considering the length of your getaway.

Take a deeper dive into the Caribbean’s three regions: western, eastern and southern. Plus, get tips from AAA Travel Advisors to help make the most of your cruise.

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The shorter the cruise, the shorter the distance you can travel. The quick-to-get-to islands of the western Caribbean are a popular option for quick cruises.

Caribbean cruise destinations: A three- or four-night sailing from Florida, for example, might include one or two stops in nearby locales like Key West or Cozumel, Mexico. A five-night cruise may feature two ports and two relaxing days at sea. You’ll likely have about eight hours in destinations like Grand Cayman, with its white-sand beaches, or Ocho Rios, Jamaica, home to Dunn’s River Falls.

Got a week? Terrific! You can hit more islands—likely three or four—and have three days at sea.

Caribbean cruise destinations: You may want to venture a little farther east to the eastern Caribbean and enjoy seven- to eight-hour stays in Nassau, Bahamas, with its friendly dolphins and one of the world’s largest marine habitats; Philipsburg, St. Maarten, the Dutch side of the unique Dutch-French island known for its creative cuisine; or Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, where the shopping is as satisfying as the beaches are beautiful.

Lucky you! There’s time to sail farther still—to the distant isles of the southern Caribbean.

Caribbean cruise destinations: Among these more remote locales: Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, delights with green mountains and yacht-filled harbors, while St. Kitts boasts a stunning gray-and-black-sand beach. Dominica is a natural paradise of dense rainforests and volcanic terrain, and Antigua is home to 365 beaches and world-class sailing. Mountainous St. Lucia, welcoming Barbados and unspoiled Grenada also await.

Plan Your Caribbean Cruise

Your AAA Travel Advisor can help you plan a Caribbean cruise—and take advantage of member-exclusive benefits and savings.