With ports all over the world, cruising allows you to see the world all in one trip. After all, there are over 300 destinations available—and that’s just with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. With so many options, picking an itinerary based on ports of call is difficult. This list of the top cruise ship destinations will help you decide which itineraries you may enjoy. We also share examples of cruises that visit these destinations.
Cozumel is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean. Its location in the Western Caribbean makes it a convenient port of call for cruises leaving out of Florida, Texas, and New Orleans. Even before you leave the gated section of the port, you’re greeted ashore by various souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants. Taxis and private car rentals line the streets outside the port, giving you quick access to other parts of the island. Several boutiques and designer stores are also across the street from the port. Don’t forget to snap a picture when you exit your ship—you often stand on a dock between two massive cruise ships, providing a unique vantage point you rarely see. Island activities and excursions can include exploring Mayan ruins, sightseeing at a lighthouse, spending the day at the beach, or snorkeling.
Many five to seven-day Western Caribbean cruises offered through most major cruise lines include a stop at Cozumel. For example, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas offers a five-night cruise from Miami and stops at Perfect Day at CocoCay (Royal Caribbean’s private island) and Cozumel.
An Alaskan cruise should be on every avid cruiser’s bucket list! With breathtaking scenery, inspiring history, and spectacular excursions, Alaskan cruises offer plentiful options for sightseers and adventure seekers. Many Alaskan cruises set sail from Seattle, Vancouver, or Anchorage and stop in places along the Alaskan coast for glacier viewing, whale watching, hiking, fishing, village tours, and sled dog rides. Depending on the time of year, you may even get the chance to see the Aurora Borealis.
Most major cruise lines offer Alaskan cruises, including Disney Cruise Line. Alaskan cruises sail on the Disney Wonder and depart from Vancouver, Canada, for seven to nine-night itineraries. These cruises stop at places like the Stikine Icecap, Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan.
Cruising through Europe is a beautiful way to see many of Europe’s most famous sites in one trip. Northern European cruises can take you to places throughout the British Isles, Norway, and Ireland. Mediterranean cruises allow you to explore France, Greece, and Italy, like the Irresistible Med cruise offered by Virgin Voyages. On this seven-day cruise, you’ll depart from Barcelona, Spain, and travel through the French Riviera to Italy. You’ll explore places like Pisa, Tuscany, Corsica, and Normandy. You’ll have a final overnight in Ibiza, Spain, known for its active nightlife (perfect for this adult-only cruise line).
For a truly stunning way to cruise through Europe, we recommend the European River Cruises offered by Adventures by Disney. Adventures by Disney offers three types of river cruises:
- Rhine River cruises explore cities in Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
- Danube River cruises stop in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.
- Seine River cruises depart from Paris and travel through French villages to Normandy and Etretat.
Adventures by Disney also offers seasonal themed river cruises, like the Oktoberfest cruises in October and Christmas Market cruises in December.
Located only 18 miles off the coast of Venezuela, Aruba offers dazzling Caribbean beaches, rocky desert plains, and European charm. The island is small, making it easy to explore in a single port day. There is ample shopping at Dutch-inspired buildings within walking distance of the cruise boat dock. Plenty of beaches dot the shoreline so you can bask in the sun and sand at this Caribbean oasis.
Royal Caribbean offers several Southern Caribbean cruises with stops in Aruba, like the eight-night Southern Caribbean and Perfect Day cruise aboard the Odyssey of the Seas. This cruise sets sail from Fort Lauderdale and travels to Curacao, Aruba, and Perfect Day at Coco Cay.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
St. Thomas is known for pirates, sugar cane, and Dutch influences. Here, you can participate in excursions such as snorkeling with sea turtles, catamaran tours, and pirate-themed tours throughout the island. As a U.S. territory, you don’t need your passport, saving you time when departing and entering the boat. St. Thomas offers iconic, lush Caribbean beauty you have to see to believe.
Disney Cruise Line offers many itineraries with stops in St. Thomas on the Fantasy and Disney’s newest ship, the Treasure. These cruises sail from Port Canaveral and visit Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay.
Castaway Cay and Lighthouse Point
Castaway Cay and Lighthouse Point are Disney Cruise Line’s private island destinations in the Bahamas. At Castaway Cay, Disney’s original island destination, you can sunbathe at the beach, seek thrills on two floating waterslides, participate in an island-exclusive 5K, and interact with your favorite Disney pals. Excursions around the island include parasailing, glass-bottom boat tours, jet skiing, and more. Since it’s a private island destination, all food and drinks on the island are included with your cruise fare. Beach towels, lounge chairs, and beach umbrellas are also provided. You can even charge purchases to your stateroom. Many three to five-night Caribbean cruises leaving Port Canaveral stop at Castaway Cay.
Lighthouse Point is Disney’s newest island destination. Guests will first step foot on its shores on select itineraries in the summer of 2024. Located in the southern part of the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, Lighthouse Point celebrates traditional Bahamian culture, architecture, food, and music. There will be at least two beaches (one for families and one for adults), play areas for preschoolers, and places for teens to hang out. Three to ten-night itineraries to Lighthouse Point leave out of Florida ports and begin in May 2024.
Perfect Day at CocoCay
Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island destination (also in the Bahamas), provides everything you need for fun in the sun. The island has fantastic amenities and activities, from the full-scale waterpark (with the tallest waterslide in North America), a zipline, playgrounds, and an Aerophile balloon that soars 450 feet above sea level. Food and drinks on the island are included in your cruise fare. However, excursions and activities like the zipline and balloon ride may have an additional cost.
Set Sail for a Cruise Adventure in 2024 with Wishing On a Star Travel®
Now’s the perfect time to reserve your cruise for 2024 and 2025. Disney Cruise Line recently released their 2025 itineraries, including sailings on the all-new Disney Treasure. Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas will have its maiden voyage at the end of January 2024. Several deals and special offers are also going on right now, so it’s a great time to book your cruise and secure your dates.
Hurry: get up to $100 of onboard credit when you book any sailing on Icon of the Seas by Dec 31, 2023. You can also save thousands of dollars off booking by yourself when you join us for Wishing on a Star Travel’s group sailing aboard the Icon from July 27 to August 3, 2024. This itinerary stops in St. Thomas’s Perfect Day at CocoCay!
Need help figuring out an itinerary for you and your family? Have our team of qualified travel advisors help plan your trip! Call us at 1-888-678-TRIP or get a free quote to get started.