Cruising to Trinidad

Cruise travel lets travelers see more than one island in the Caribbean

Photo credit: © draco.s_zebra

Cruises to Trinidad and Tobago

Cruises are a great way to see as many Caribbean islands as possible in one vacation. You may not stay long at each port, but cruises can ensure you enjoy the voyage as much as the destinations. Relaxing in style while taking in the ship's activities, amenities, and the blue waters of the Caribbean is how many people choose to enjoy a vacation.

Trinidad and Tobago's southern location - the islands are just seven miles from Venezuela - means cruise ships do not stop there as frequently as other ports in the Caribbean. However, the number of cruise travelers to the islands has been increasing in the past 15 years, and in the second half of the 1990s, the number of cruise ships visiting the islands nearly doubled.

Several cruise line companies offer excursions that stop in one of the two cruise ports on the islands. Passengers to Trinidad will stop at Port of Spain, while passengers to Tobago will stop at Scarborough. The Port Authority can be contacted at 868-624-9734. Also try 868-625-3055 on Trinidad or 868-639-2181 on Tobago. The port in Port of Spain offers transportation, shopping, and communications services for disembarking cruise ship passengers.

Cruise Lines

Cruise Line Contact Information
Fred Olsen Cruises 0-14-73-74-61-75
Holland America 1-877-SAIL-HAL
Ocean-Village Cruises 0-845-358-5000
Peter Deilmann Cruises (Deutschland) 800-348-8287
Princess Cruises 800-PRINCESS
Saga Cruises 0-800-096-0083
Seabourn Cruises 800-929-9391
Windjammer 800-327-2601
Windstar Cruises 800-258-7245


Ships from different cruise lines vary in size and passenger capacity. Often, the more luxurious cruises are held aboard smaller ships, with an army of staff members serving only a few hundred passengers. Larger cruise ships, whose size can help prevent seasickness, can hold thousands of passengers.

When considering the size of the boat, think about how much personal space you require to be comfortable. A smaller ship with few passengers may offer more space per passenger than a larger ship with many passengers. Another factor to consider is the number of wait and service staff members on the boat compared to the number of passengers on board. If the ratio of waitstaff to passengers is low, the level of customer service aboard the vessel should generally be high.

Classes, Types, and Cost

In addition to considering the size of the ship, vacationers should consider the class, type, and cost of their cruise travel when preparing to book spots on the ship.

Some cruise lines and companies offer specialty cruises that are aimed at catering to a specific type of customer. Specialty cruises often host gays and lesbians, singles, families, or senior citizens.

Cruise class can also help determine the cruise ship and itinerary package appropriate to your needs. Typical cruises offer an extensive list of amenities and benefits to their guests including childcare, fitness centers, pools, restaurants, clubs, and entertainment programs such as music and theater. Higher classes of cruise travel may include extra amenities and also include a higher level of service, a higher quality of products, and more space. Passengers who are looking for a high level of customer service and amenities should consider the upgrade to the higher cruise classes.

Fares on all cruise classes vary depending on the season (high or off) and travel plans, so travelers who are more flexible will have better options for finding deals. Items such as drinks and gratuities are not generally included in the cost of your fare. Soft drinks and alcohol can prove to be a significant part of your budget. Also, the costs of your trip when you are not on the boat are not covered, so travelers should have a budget for shopping, eating, and recreational activities on the islands.

When and Where

The cruise season for the Caribbean follows the high season for general travel to the Caribbean. Popular travel times range from mid December to April, while off-season travel times coincide with rain and hurricane seasons in the Atlantic, from May to the end of November. Although hurricane season should certainly be an important consideration for travelers, cruises are generally offered year-round by major companies, and fares may be reduced for travel during the off season.

Due to its southeastern location in the Caribbean, not all cruise ships regularly call at Trinidad and Tobago. The cruise itineraries that do may be longer cruise periods, such as 10 or 12 days. Cruise ship passengers will generally only spend eight or nine hours on each island that they visit before moving on to their next destination.

Cabins and Packing

The location of your room can affect your cruise experience, and travelers should be mindful of several factors, such as children and noise, when requesting the location of their room.

Cabin requests are divided into run-of-the-ship cabins and perfect cabins. Those who request run-of-the-ship cabins may choose between an inner or outer cabin. The booking of the cabin floor and type will not be final until the departure date nears, so travelers will not know whether they have received their request until that time. Perfect cabins come at an increased cost but allow travelers the luxury of choosing the type of cabin and the type of room they wish to have. This may be a good option if you need a certain type of cabin. Those who are prone to seasickness, for example, should request an inner cabin, which won't rock as much as an outer cabin. Others who wish to have an ocean-view room should be sure to specify an outer room with an ocean view, as not all outer rooms have them.

Noise should be another consideration when choosing your room. Rooms that are next to high public-traffic areas, including stairwells or gyms, or rooms that are next to facilities such as restaurants or bars are likely to be noisier during the night than cabins that are farther from these areas. Travelers who are concerned about noise and sleep should make attempts to secure rooms away from these areas. Travelers with children should also consider which type of room is appropriate - some feel rooms with balconies are not safe for children.

Packing is a final important consideration when traveling. Cruise ship travelers must pack efficiently because space is very limited. Pack clothes that are suitable for the ship as well as the various destinations. Also bring beach and activewear, including swimsuits, hats, sunglasses, sandals, and tank tops. On many islands, wearing swimsuits or shorts in restaurants or while shopping is considered inappropriate, so travelers should also be sure to pack casual trousers and shirts to look presentable on the islands. Depending on the cruise type and class, some of the ship's restaurants and activities may require dress from casual to formal, so travelers should check ship policies before packing to see whether ties, jackets, and more formal dresses will be required.

For travelers who want to experience Trinidad and Tobago along with several other islands in the Caribbean, cruise lines can be a stylish and relaxing way to go.


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