Experience The Caribbean On A Caribbean Cruise

By: joshuap
One of the most popular destinations to cruise in the world is the Caribbean. While you are having fun and adventure of a life time on board, lets look at what the Caribbean is.

The word Caribbean conjures up visions of many beautiful sandy beaches, vacation paradise and a lifestyle most people can only dream of. There are more than 200 island territories in the Caribbean; it is home to millions of people too.

It would be extremely advantageous to understand the geography, history, diversity, economy of the region and what it can offer to the average tourist. This can only add to your experience as a visitor.

The Caribbean is defined as the Bahamas and the Antilles. The Antilles are further divided into the Greater Antilles, consisting of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles. Many of the Caribbean islands' original inhabitants were members of one or other of the two indigenous tribes, the Caribs and the Arawaks.

The Spaniards were the first to colonize the area, following the discovery of the West Indies by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The other Europeans namely the Portuguese, English, French, and Dutch follow suit. Power and control of the region changed hands in the various islands over the years, depending on the desirability of the particular location, and a given nation's ability to defend it.

As a visitor, if you're interested in the history of the region, your best bet would be the larger islands or territories; those whose history of European occupation is longest. A good example would be the Dominican Republic, where you can see where Columbus first landed on his maiden voyage to the New World in 1492.

If you can make it to Cuba, you will not be disappointed by the Spanish architecture in Old Havana. With the Cubans' understandable economic priorities and pressures, if the ravages of time allow the buildings to survive, this will be a treat for generations of visitors to come.

To be sure, each of the islands and territories has its own place in the history of the region, but simply with a greater or lesser story to tell. The really small islands offer great scenery, mostly great weather in the dry season, and a sheer brilliance in tropical color that is a welcome shock to the senses. And yes, great beaches for you to enjoy. This stuff is so commonplace in the region that local inhabitants take it for granted.

As for nightlife; any resort will necessarily have its fill. However, if you enjoy things 'closer to the edge', the Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago is hard to beat. This occurs officially on the Monday and Tuesday just prior to Ash Wednesday.

But if you truly want to experience the Caribbean and all it has to offer, the absolute best advice is to befriend one or more local families. That is when you will experience true Caribbean hospitality. And a better 'tour guide' you will never find.
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