Caribbean versus Mediterranean Cruises: Which One is for You?

The Caribbean and the Mediterranean are the world’s most popular cruise destinations.

Caribbean cruises comprise forty-four percent of the industry’s world bad day capacity, with the Dominican Republic seeing nearly half a million cruise ship tourists each year. The Mediterranean is growing in popularity as a cruise destination. At the turn of the millennium it represented twelve percent of the market and by 2009, it represented sixteen percent, meaning that the Med and the Caribbean are in fierce competition with each other to see which location can provide the most attractive option for a holiday.

The Med

Port of BarcelonaMediterranean cruises are particularly popular with European holidaymakers, with one and a half million European passengers opting for them each year. The most visited ports are Venice and Civitavecchia in Italy and Palma and Barcelona in Spain, which offer sandy beaches, temperate blue seas and a host of activities to participate in. Italy has the number one spot in the Med in terms of a number of visiting cruise ships on account of its warm weather, sites of historical interest and world famous cuisine.

The Caribbean

bacardi-islandThe Caribbean is the most popular cruise destination for Americans, with just under a third of cruises to the region sailing out of Miami. The most visited location is The Bahamas and the next most visited islands include Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, St. Maarten and the US Virgin Islands. The Dominican Republic is also becoming increasingly popular as a cruise destination due to its breathtaking scenery, fifteen nature reserves and hundreds of unspoiled beaches. The cruise industry has contributed significantly to the nation’s economy in recent years and looks set to carry on doing so throughout the years to come.

How to Choose Between Them

cruise-boat

Cruise Ship

It isn’t hard to tell why Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises are so popular. Both regions boast warm weather, fascinating local cultures and the opportunity to swim in clear, blue seas in a relaxing holiday environment. Despite the growing popularity of the Med, the Caribbean is likely to remain the premier cruise destination. According to Caribbean Tourism Organization secretary general Hugh Riley, it is the world’s most tourism-dependant region, meaning that cruises provide a much-needed economic boost to the local people.

The question that holidaymakers should be asking themselves is, ‘Which destination is the right one for me?’ With both regions possessing a similar set of favorable characteristics, it can often be difficult to decide which is the most suited cruise location to your personality. This issue has been explored in a report by cruise company IGLU Cruise, who have identified the features that differentiate the destinations from one another. They claim that the main advantage that the Caribbean has over the Mediterranean is that it has good weather all year round, whereas the Med has mild, wet winters. The report also highlights the fact that most of the activities that are available to do in the Caribbean are outdoor and adventure-related, whereas Mediterranean destinations tend to harbor opportunities to visit historical sites. Have a look at IGLU Cruise’s comparison of Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises yourself and form your own opinion.

Yoga Tips for Cruise Travelers Visiting the Dominican Republic

Yoga Tips for Cruise Travelers visiting the Dominican Republic

With more than 200 cruise itineraries including a stop in the Dominican Republic every year, cruise travelers have a lot of options when it comes to destinations, activities, excursions, food, and more. Cruises are a fun and inexpensive way to visit the Dominican Republic, and they offer a little something for everyone.

If you’re looking for more from your cruise vacation than time spent lying on the beach, however, yoga cruises are a great way to go. There are several lines that offer ships with morning and evening yoga classes, including a few that are solely dedicated to helping you achieve inner balance.

Even if you’re traveling on a cruise without formal yoga instruction, however, the ship can be the perfect place to practice on your own. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your yoga cruise experience.

Finding a Yoga Cruise

As mentioned, several cruise lines cater to yoga enthusiasts by offering specialty programs onboard just for them. These are typically an extension of either the fitness center or spa services and may be included for free or at a modest additional cost, depending on the cruise line. Beyond yoga, many other spa services and aromatherapy are available, as are specialty menus for the fitness minded. Whether you’re sailing a contemporary cruise line such as Royal Caribbean or going upscale on Regent Seven Seas, you’re likely to find a yoga opportunity.  If you’re not a big planner, you can still typically book a last minute cruise deal that includes the Dominican Republic and gets a great yoga experience.

Finding Peace and Quiet Onboard

If you find the dichotomy between the somewhat austere practice of yoga and the daily pampering provided by a cruise ship somewhat strange, just remember that yoga is all about achieving balance. Feel free to enjoy both the discipline that yoga practice requires and the luxurious freedom that ship life offers.

In order to get the most out of your yoga cruise, it may be necessary at times to step back from the activities and the noise and enjoy some alone time. Fortunately, most cruise ships offer a variety of options for those seeking peace and quiet as well:

  • Book a balcony stateroom – even if it’s impossible to find a free space on the pool deck, a private balcony allows you to enjoy peace and relaxation whenever you need it. You’ll probably pay a little extra for balcony accommodations, but if saluting the sunrise in solitude is important to you, then it is likely worth it. Plus it makes your stateroom feel larger as well.
  • Spend time in quiet areas – the onboard spa is made especially for giving guests the relaxation they crave. Use the spa and other quiet activities or areas to help you meditate and de-stress.  Some ships now rent private cabanas on their decks.
  • Go ashore – When your ship makes a port of call, spend some time alone at the beach. Practicing yoga on the shore is an experience unlike any other.
  • Stay aboard—if you’ve cruised before and have already seen a particular port, consider staying onboard the ship while most everyone else is going ashore.  You’ll feel like you have the ship to yourself with plenty of room for solitude.  Private cabana rentals are typically less expensive on port days as well.

A yoga cruise into or out of the DR can be a deeply satisfying experience for both your body and your mind. Be sure to enjoy your relaxing retreat to the fullest.