The capital of the 700 islands that make up the Bahamas, known as Nassau, is one of the busiest Caribbean ports in the world. Nassau sees multiple ships per day, and with more than 3 million cruise ship passengers disembarking in Nassau every year, you know it has the right environment for living the island life and chilling on a beach. Be sure to visit the 18th century Fort Fincastle for some history before shopping for souvenirs at the Nassau Straw Market.
In the past, Cozumel was a sleepy, half-developed island with Mayan ruins hidden amongst forests and iguanas using the roads more than cars. That has changed in recent years, and Cozumel has become one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. Aside from a number of high-end, all-inclusive resorts, Cozumel has restaurants, outdoor activities, and entertainment abound. And if you love tequila, there are plenty of places to sample rare flavors and even pick up a few bottles to bring home.
Known as the Gem of the Caribbean, St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands is a remarkable destination that mixes R&R with wild entertainment in all the right ways. For example, you can shop till you drop at Charlotte Amalie then go on a walking history tour to see how the island has changed throughout the years before winding down the day by laying in the silky sand and watching the sunset. Whether you are looking for luxury or adventure, St. Thomas, as well as the other islands making up the US Virgin Islands, has something for you. Another plus is that you don’t even need a passport if you’re a US citizen.
Popular cruise lines like the Oasis of the Seas, Norwegian Epic, and the Allure of the Seas come and go from St. Maarten frequently. The French and Dutch owned island sees close to 1.5 million visitors every year, and despite being small in size, there is a lot to do here. Check out how two cultures live together. Enjoy the bustling townscape and shopping on the Dutch side before supping on rich French food in a laid back cafe on the other side.
Though San Juan is still recovering from a hurricane, the city is still as charming as ever. Do you enjoy historic sites, hiking, exquisite cuisine, and nightlife? Want to go somewhere still within the US and not worry about a passport? Welcome to San Juan, PR, a hidden gem with old world relics like the 16th century El Morro and the Caribbean’s tallest mountain. You can even check out places like the Bacardi brewery or dance the night away at Condado.
To the southeast of Alaska’s Inside Passage is the location known as Glacier Bay, which has replaced Juneau as the most traveled destination in Alaska. With sights like the Margerie Glacier, an arctic rainforest, icy fjords, and a popular place to see Alaskan wildlife, Glacier Bay is a cost-effective but beautiful destination for all ages to enjoy. You can even go whale watching!
The multitude of islands comprising the Key West region of Florida is what makes it the ideal cruise destination. The main island is home to restaurants serving up the tastiest conch recipes around, and the crystalline waters, azure blue skies, and perfect temperatures make Key West feel like paradise. In fact, Key West is so popular, it attracts close to 800,000 cruises a year. Fans of the author Ernest Hemingway can visit his former residence. Optionally, you can go bar-hopping along Duval Street or party it up at Mallory Square.
The Cayman Islands are another cruise destination that has topped the lists worldwide for many years—and there’s no question as to why. First of all, Grand Cayman has a breathtakingly beautiful reef, and this makes it one of the hot spots for scuba diving. You can also enjoy duty-free shopping, colonial-era elements, and turquoise waters lapping at white sand beaches. Animal lovers should head towards Stingray City or the Cayman Turtle Centre while visiting.
Since Honolulu is the capital of the largest island of the Hawaiian Islands, you can expect it to be lively, dynamic, and full of adventures that suit everyone’s preferences. The weather, landscape, and food are also great reasons to take a cruise to Hawaii. While you are here, there are other destinations to see, such as the Windward Coast, which is known for being a famous surf spot, or the Leeward Coast, where you can sunbathe in peace. Don’t forget the Pearl Harbor Memorial and the hike around Diamond Head State Monument either.
Last but not least on the list of most visited cruise destinations from the US would be Grand Turk, an island in the Turks and Caicos chain that is known for being a serene, low-key, and budget-friendly destination for solo travelers, couples, and families. Because the island has the 3rd largest barrier reef in the world, many divers and snorkelers take the cruise to the port throughout the year. While visiting Grand Turk, you can also catch ferries to the other 39 islands.