By David Barclay | June 28, 2023
Although we are just starting summer, I already have clients thinking about their fall and winter getaways. Since many of my clients live in states with cool or even cold winters, it’s not surprising that the Caribbean and Mexico (Riviera Maya, Cabo) are popular destinations. The resorts at Mayakoba near Cancun, Las Ventanas al Paraíso near Cabo, Baha Mar in the Bahamas, and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic are all very popular. While many of my clients are happy to stay on-property and lounge by the pool, others like to venture off-property to either visit local restaurants or see the island scenery. If you fall into the latter category and are thinking about some fun in the sun as the weather turns cooler, I’d like to suggest a luxury Caribbean cruise.
The luxury cruise lines deliver the same 5-star experience you would find at the resorts I mentioned above, but with the benefit of taking you to many parts of the Caribbean, Mexico and other destinations in Central and South America. You won’t have to spend 5-8 days in the same location, each day gives you a new place to explore and new experiences to savor. All shipboard suites have incredible ocean views and most will have a private balcony. Plus, the nearly all-inclusive fares of the luxury cruise lines mean you won’t have a hefty food & beverage bill at the end of your vacation (which has happened to many of my clients staying at land-based resorts).
If you want to start planning your fall & winter escapes to warmer weather, I’m happy to discuss which resorts might be best for you, but I’d also love to share a cruise itinerary or two as an alternative option to consider. Below are a few examples of itineraries offered on luxury lines with 5-star service, cuisine, and experiences.
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection (Evrima)
5-night Bridgetown to San Juan
Nov 26-Dec 1, 2023
Launched in October 2022, Evirma is the first of 3 planned luxury yachts for Ritz-Carlton. Known for its wonderful resorts and Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection brings the Ritz luxury experience to the seas. The Evirma is an all-suite yacht with a maximum of 298 guests, allowing her to visit many smaller ports in the Caribbean.
She is also an ideal option for families, especially those with children 12 & under, as Ritz-Carlton has included a Ritz-Kids club on board. Although not a large ship, the Evirma offers 6 unique dining experiences and plenty of outdoor space to lounge in the Caribbean sun. Many of my clients visiting the Caribbean or Mexico like to visit for less than a week and 5 nights is a very common trip duration. I like this itinerary since it is a 5-night itinerary, but also offers the option of a post-cruise stay in San Juan.
Explora Journeys (EXPLORA I)
8-night UNESCO Wonders of Columbia, Panama and the Caribbean
Jan 11-19, 2024
Explora Journeys’s brand new EXPLORA I will sail the Caribbean from November to March. The ship was built as a floating luxury resort and the interior feels more like a luxury hotel than a cruise ship. If sitting poolside for part of your vacation is critical, don’t worry as the EXPLORA I has 4 separate pools, including one that’s adults-only and one that’s indoors (on the off chance you experience a brief afternoon Caribbean rain shower). With 10 different dining options and 12 bars & lounges, foodies will be well satisfied with the onboard offerings.
I like this particular itinerary since it visits both South and Central America, two of the ABC islands, plus part of the southeastern Caribbean. In fact, I will be sailing on the EXPLORA I for this itinerary and would love to share the journey with some of my friends & clients!
Silversea (Silver Nova)
7-night San Juan to Bridgetown
Nov 27-Dec 4, 2023
The brand-new Silver Nova will launch later this year and take the reins as the flagship of the Silversea fleet. The revolutionary asymmetrical pool deck provides one full side with unobstructed views of the scenery. The Nova also boasts the latest in technologies, including running on cleaner liquefied natural gas and utilizing zero emission fuel cells while in port.
Foodies will love the multiple dining options and the Sea and Land Tastes (S.A.L.T) program, offering food and drink options from the region being sailed. Butler service is offered to every suite on board, delivering one of the most luxurious experiences at sea. With a full seven nights for this itinerary, the Silver Nova is able to weave her way through a good portion of the eastern Caribbean and visit many unique ports and islands.
Owner, Barclay & Company Travel
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