Many first-time cruisers take their first cruise from the closest port to their home. Cruising is a great vacation value. It is an even better value if you are within driving distance of the port. Being able to get to the Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas, Mexico, and Central America from many states on the East and Gulf Coasts on a cruise ship for a little more than the cost of what the flight would cost draws many people to going on their first cruise.
In some cases, people have life-long dreams of going to destinations which are very well suited for cruising. Alaska, Panama Canal, Hawaii, Tahiti, South America\ Antarctica, or the Galapagos Islands are great examples of destinations which are well suited for Cruising. In order to see as much as possible of these destinations in a short period of time many people choose to explore it on a cruise vacation.
When choosing your first cruise to do not make the decision as if this is going to be the only cruise you will ever take. You will get all stressed out about the options. Over 60% of all people on a cruise are past cruisers and you will be an experienced cruiser within a couple of years!
Here is a quick guide to destinations:
Bahamas – Great for quick getaways. Touristy, Casinos, Beaches, shopping, bars, and offers most of the ‘typical’ water shore excursions. Most Cruise lines have a private island in the Bahamas that is included on the Bahamas Itinerary. These private islands have the feel of their cruise line. The private islands are more relaxing than some of the Islands because you do not have locals trying to sell you stuff while relaxing on the beach.
Western Caribbean – More adventurous than the Eastern Caribbean. Western Caribbean Ports includes ports like Jamaica, Cozumel MX, Belize, Costa Maya MX, etc.
Eastern Caribbean – Loved by those looking for shopping and beaches. Most Islands in the Eastern Caribbean offer excursions like snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, Stingrays etc.
Mexican Riveria – Departing from California, Mexico is about your only options for 3 – 10 night cruises. Cabo san Lucas is great for Deep Fishing, Shopping, Drinking at Cabo Wabo. Puerto Vallarta has ATV tours and Zip lining which both usually sell out. Mazatlan which is included in most 7-night itineraries is one of my least favorite ports, but Cabo and Puerto Vallarta make up for it.
Use our Easy to use Map to find the best deals for cruises leaving from the ports closest to your home.