Guide to surviving a Caribbean cruise (I): tips before you travel


Beach in Grand Cayman, cruising at the MSC Opera for the Caribbean

A cruise in the Caribbean has to be a fun and stress-free experience, full of leisure and fun situations to tell when, on the way home, let's say the phrase that provokes looks of little disguised envy: “I come from a Caribbean cruise”.

And as someone who listens to us for sure, he wants to prove for himself what it's like to enjoy Caribbean vacations aboard a cruise, I have prepared this little guide. It contains tips and recommendations for cruising after my experience aboard the MSC Opera ship of the company MSC Cruises.

I have divided it into two parts, in two main sections, so that in one you prepare before going on a Caribbean cruise and on the other is where I include the tips to enjoy on board, when the last thing you need to worry about is reading this post.

Although I speak of a specific vessel (the Italian MSC Opera) and a specific company (MSC Cruises), many of my opinions and recommendations They can be extended to a Caribbean cruise that takes place with other companies.

These are my recommendations for preparing a Caribbean cruise trip:

When to go and how much it costs: the price of a Caribbean cruise

Based on the flexibility you have to choose your own vacation dates, decide when it is better to cruise the Caribbean considering the time and the price. The high season usually covers shortly before Christmas in mid-April or May and during the central part of the summer.

You can usually find good off season offers or at the beginning or end of it. Although for example I did a cruise in the Caribbean, visiting Cuba, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico for 8 days / 7 nights (and including round-trip charter flights to Havana) it has prices starting from only 1,024 Eur, for the cruise that begins on January 21, 2017.

Prices will vary depending on the type of cabin you book, being able to be interior, partial view, ocean view, with balcony or suite with balcony.

Breakfast in cabin (with balcony) of the MSC Opera

The second factor that makes the price vary is what MSC Cruises calls “the experience” and what is a service package included in the price and that supports various combinations with cabin types.

On this Caribbean cruise in the MSC Opera were available the "Beautiful Experience", "Fantastic Experience" and "Golden Experience" (from summer, for sports fans, the "Wellness Experience" is incorporated). You can check what each type of service offers on board MSC Cruises in this comparative table in PDF.

Compare among the best cruise companies in the world and book your ideal cruise at the best price:


My personal recommendation is that you opt for an interior cabin (the cheapest), only if you are a person who is going to spend all day in the pool or in other areas of the boat.

I took a look at this type of cabins, which have dimensions of 13 to 21 m2, and are less claustrophobic than they sound a priori, with a mirror on the headboard of the bed to give greater sense of space.

Sunrise aboard a Caribbean cruise at the MSC Opera