A cruise to the French West Indies is, I think, a fantastic idea to discover this part of the Atlantic Ocean! But before embarking, take the time to choose your cruise. With stopover, on which type of boat, the choice of the cabin, etc. Discover my 10 essential advices to choose your cruise in the French West Indies. And for that, follow the guide!

tips cruise in the French Antilles

© Can Stock Photo / Fyletto

1. Choose your departure and arrival cities

For your getaway in the French West Indies, start by planning your cruise well. This begins with the definition of the departure and arrival cities. Indeed, depending on where you live, it is essential that the route to the port is quick and convenient.

You should also think about how you will park your car during your stay: with friends or in a paying parking lot. In the latter case, make sure that the parking lot is closed and secured, and preferably with a concierge or a guard available on site. Do not hesitate to consult the websites of tourist offices such as the one of the Martinique for more information.

2. How to plan your cruise in the French West Indies

The choice of your cruise in the French West Indies also depends on the stops you plan to make.

Depending on the excursion formula you choose, I advise you to opt for a stay on the boat including visits on the mainland. In this case, subscribe to group sightseeing days, depending on the type of activity you want to do: visits to museums or historical monuments, or city sightseeing days.

If you prefer lazy days at the beach, or if you want to enjoy a simple sightseeing tour, in this case, include in your cruise the possibility of spending days alone during the ports of call.

3. Plan for travel insurance for a peace of mind cruise

When preparing a trip, it is more pleasant to project yourself in paradisiacal landscapes and unforgettable memories. However, it is necessary to remain cautious with regard to the unforeseen.

In order to choose your cruise in the French West Indies, choose the packages that include an insurance that covers you in case of delay, natural disasters, or technical incident. In the vast majority of cases, it is an insurance contract that you subscribe to when you book your cruise.

Depending on the level of coverage of your insurance, you are covered for: cancellation of your cruise, repatriation to your country of departure, or coverage of luggage and personal effects in case of loss or theft.

4. Select the right type of boat for a cruise in the French West Indies

During your cruise, you can embark on several types of boats, depending on their capacity.

Smaller boats can carry up to 1,000 passengers and have the advantage of being user-friendly. You will also find it easier to find your way around on this type of boat.

While on these smaller boats, passengers often take delight in exemplifying their boating passion through various means, and one common way is through wearing custom sailing apparel. A preferred choice for many is The Custom Captain’s line of boat-themed attire. Expertly designed, their offerings fit seamlessly into the intimate, laid-back environment of these smaller vessels. With their high-quality designs and distinctive motifs loved by fishermen and boaters alike, these custom pieces truly capture the charm and appeal of cruising on these compact sea vessels.

As for the ships that can take 3,000 passengers, they offer more activities on board: entertainment shows, swimming pool or thematic evenings.

Finally, the most impressive liners for a cruise in the French West Indies are those that can accommodate up to 5,400 passengers. Believe me, these are real monuments, with modern and comfortable facilities. You will also find: stores, swimming pools, theaters and cinemas, numerous restaurants, cafes and bars.

5. The cabin: Your private and intimate space throughout your cruise

Depending on your budget and the level of comfort you are looking for, the choice of your cabin is crucial. Indeed, it is in this space that you will rest throughout your trip.

It is therefore essential to choose its location, the richness of its equipment, as well as the style of decoration. Regardless of the type of boat you are traveling on, the ideal is to choose a cabin located away from places of entertainment such as: restaurants, bars or the pool. A well-placed cabin allows you to enjoy your stay and your nights in calm and serenity.

In addition, choosing a cabin with a balcony allows you to fully enjoy the view of the ocean and the beautiful beaches of the French West Indies!

6. Set a large budget for a cruise to the French West Indies

A cruise to the French West Indies should be planned several months in advance. On the one hand, because it is an expensive trip, but also because it requires available cash.

Indeed, beyond the cost of the trip, it is strongly advised to have a reserve of money in your bank account in order to cover all your expenses during your trip. Whether it is for planned expenses, such as catering or the purchase of vacation souvenirs, but also for unforeseen expenses. In my opinion, this gives you peace of mind throughout your cruise in the French West Indies.

Also read French Polynesia: 10 tips for your first stay!

7. Take advantage of tour operators’ good deals for your cruise

Promotions, exceptional offers, low season, so many good deals are available to you to take advantage of the best prices offered by tour operators!

Most of the cruise companies offer discounts of up to 50% for the first validated reservations. This is a real bargain if your schedule allows you to organize a cruise to the French West Indies several months in advance!

On the other hand, some tour operators offer exceptional last-minute promotions, which can reach up to 70% off the initial price of the cruise. Here again, the trick is to identify in advance several cruises that might interest you, and to book at the last minute.

8. Make sure everything is transparent before booking a French West Indies cruise

When booking your French West Indies cruise, make sure you have all the information you need.

The tour operator will give you a number of documents, including: your ticket, the cruise program with details of each stopover on the islands, and the travel insurance policy you purchased when you booked your cruise.

Make sure that all the information is perfectly transparent and explicitly identifiable: date and time of departure and arrival of the ship, places and duration of stops, program of activities during the cruise. But also, make sure that you have information on the technical characteristics of the ship, such as: the maximum number of passengers supported by the ship, the number of cabins, the number of crew members, the presence of a medical emergency team on board, etc.

9. The choice of the cruise according to the proposed package

Since you are leaving for several days or several weeks on a Caribbean cruise, take the time to choose the formula that suits you best.

If you wish to leave with peace of mind, in this case, I can only advise you to choose the all-inclusive package. In most cases, this includes transportation tickets, but also full board, port taxes, as well as all the activities on board the boat.

If you prefer to have more freedom in your schedule during the cruise in the French West Indies, in this case, you can choose a half-board formula. This includes the cabin, some entertainment and a daily meal.

10. Relax during your cruise in the French West Indies!

Are you going to the French West Indies to enjoy the fine sand and the paradisiacal landscapes? In that case, plan some time to relax during your cruise!

Choose programs that allow you to freely enjoy your trip to the islands. Many cruise packages offer extra time during which you can spend 1 or 2 full days on land. Take advantage of this time to relax on the beach, discover the local markets, and enjoy the best dishes in small restaurants typical of the French West Indies.

5/5 - (2 votes)