When it comes to cruising it doesn't get much better than this 11 night Ultimate Southern Caribbean voyage on board the stylish liner Celebrity Equinox. Lots of wonderful islands to visit and plenty of relaxing days at sea as you sail from Florida's Ft Lauderdale and back. Ports of call include the US Virgin Islands, St Maarten, Antigua, Saint Lucia and Barbados . . . and the sun should be shining all the way.
You board the Celebrity Equinox in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, with time to explore before setting sail. In the 1800s, William Lauderdale built a fort and today 16 million visitors come each year for miles of broad white sandy beaches, dozens of lush green golf courses, and, of course, Caribbean cruises. Stroll the famous beachfront promenade or head downtown to Las Olas Boulevard to sip lattes in outdoor cafés. You can also join a Segway tour along the river or a cruise of Millionaire's Row.
Your first full day at sea and a good time to get to know this superb modern cruise ship. Celebrity Equinox is the second of the five Solstice-class vessels, owned and operated by Celebrity Cruises. She is a sister ship of Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Silhouette and the Celebrity Reflection and with a capacity of 2,850 passengers is one of the new breed of modern liners offering fine dining, great entertainment and a whole range of tours that can be booked on board.
Food plays a big part in any cruise and on the Celebrity Equinox you are spoilt for choice with a whole range of restaurants and food stations operating throughout the day and evening, with Luminae and Blu being two of the sophisticated restaurants. There is never a dull moment while at sea and as you head down towards the Caribbean you can take part in a huge range of on board sports and games or just relax around one of the pools.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Your first port of call is Charlotte Amalie, the enchanting capital of St. Thomas, that has attracted pirates and sailors the world over for centuries. The island enjoys a fascinating fusion of Danish, French, Spanish, West African and Carib influences. For a good overview of the island’s history head to Fort Christian Museum and if you would prefer to experience the beauty of St. Thomas beaches have a wonderful picnic on the sands of Magens Bay.
St Croix, US Virgin Islands
Today you dock at St. Croix with its powdery white beaches, clear blue waters, shipwreck diving, coral-reef snorkeling, birdwatching, and sea turtles. In 1493, Christopher Columbus landed at present-day Salt River Bay National Historical Park. Danish colonial history lives in St. Croix's architecture and language and ruins of its former sugar industry still dot the island. Today, locals process sugar in the form of rum, and two distilleries give tours, Cruzan and Captain Morgan.
Named by Christopher Columbus in 1493, this is an island with 365 Caribbean beaches - one for every day of the year - hidden among the countless cliffs and bays. The lush rainforest, dramatic landscapes, and turquoise waters tempt eco-adventurers from swimmers to hikers to zip-line flyers. You can swim and snorkel with gentle stingrays, take a scenic catamaran sail, or just lie on a golden beach and sip a rum punch. But one must visit today is to the famous Nelson's Historic Dockyard.
When Bajans say, "Life's a beach," they mean 80 pristine beaches, many among the world's most beautiful. Here you find water sports at lively Mullins Beach, paddle boarding at Pebbles Beach, and surfing at Atlantic Shores. Small boats will take you swimming with turtles, or you can skipper a Hobie Cat, try spearfishing, take a 4x4 safari into the Barbados Wildlife Reserve and explore Harrison's Cave. There are designer shops, fine jewellery, fragrances and electronics in this tax haven.
Castries, Saint Lucia
Today the Celebrity Equinox docks at the capital of St Lucia. Fan out from Castries to find escapes for every taste. Near the port, browse Pointe Seraphine, for duty-free goods, or colourful Castries Central Market, for native spices and hand-made crafts. Sample the best of the island on a highlights tour seeing the famous Catholic church, and city square, and don't miss breathtaking views from Caribelle Batik, where you can but wonderful artisan goods.
In the 17th century, Dutch and French soldiers decided to share this little island, and today it remains happily split between France (north side) and the Netherlands (south side). Here you can explore the dozens of alluring beaches that ring the island. At Orient Beach, sunbathers bask and beachcombers stroll on the white sands, while divers and snorkellers descend on sunken shipwrecks. And you'll really get blown away at Jet Blast Beach (officially Maho Beach), next to the airport.
Your third full day at sea as the Celebrity Equinox begins its journey from the Caribbean back to Florida. Today you can relax around the pool, try a rejuvenating treatment in the state-of-the-art spa, join in some of the deck games, attend a lecture, try a new dining experience and top up that tan enjoying lazy hours with a good book in the sunshine. You can head to the Lawn Club to feel real grass under your feet or toast an unforgettable holiday at the World Class Bar.
You final full day at sea, so make the most of it. Now may be the time for one last treatment in the Canyon Spa or a relaxing massage. Try a different option for lunch and enjoy more of the organised on-board sports, games and entertainment. There are top class shows every night on the Celebrity Equinox and tonight you can join other passengers to see some great farewell entertainment after a memorable last night dinner.
Today your wonderful 11 night cruise around the southern Caribbean comes to an end when the Celebrity Equinox arrives back into Ft Lauderdale. Say farewell to all your new found friends then take some time to see more of the city before heading to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. You can always extend your holiday by staying on in Ft Lauderdale and seeing more of Florida.