Six can’t-miss Caribbean experiences on Oceana


In the Caribbean and Central America, unforgettable experiences can be found on every shore. Discover a treasure trove of breathtaking sights and epic adventures on Oceana’s 35-night odyssey

Following changes to Oceana's winter 2019 programme, she’ll now be embarking on 14 new and exciting holidays sailing October 2019 to March 2020. From Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands to Northern Europe to the Med, she’s cementing her status as a globetrotting queen, and the jewel in her new crown is a 35-night adventure in the Caribbean and Central America, departing 17 November 2019.

With more than a month at your disposal, you’ve got plenty of time to dive deep into the many charms of this alluring region. The longer cruise time allows you to venture to ports that are further afield and different to the ones you’d visit on other Caribbean cruises. But where to begin? These six must-do experiences will help get you started and immerse you in the sights, sounds, flavours and feelings of island life.

1. Get wild in Costa Rica

Despite its relatively small size, Costa Rica is home to some half a million animal and plant species. The country’s lush rainforests are a haven for exotic creatures: howler monkeys and sloths swing through the treetops (at varying speeds), while hummingbirds and scarlet macaws fly through the sunny skies. The flora packs a punch, too – cinnamon, cocoa, cashews and papaya all grow here. Visit a wildlife rescue centre to discover it all while learning about the importance of conservation.

2. Go deep in the Azores

Set in the lush crater of an extinct volcano, the twin lakes of Lagoa das Sete Cidades near Ponta Delgada are perhaps the most striking sight in the Azores – and the competition is certainly fierce. Legend has it they were formed from the tears of a blue-eyed princess and a green-eyed shepherd when they realised their love was doomed. The result is a deep-blue body of water (reflecting the colour of the sky) bordering an emerald green neighbour (reflecting the vegetation on the crater walls) that are so beautiful you may end up shedding a tear of your own.

3. Pick your beach in Antigua

The island of Antigua boasts 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. Find your personal slice of paradise, whether it’s escaping to the soft sands of Prickly Pear Island, snorkelling at Paradise Reef or horseback riding along Runaway Bay. Fancy a change of scene? You can even take a jaunt to Aruba’s less-developed sister island, Barbuda. Oceana will stay in port into the evening, so cap off the day by watching the sunset from your favourite stretch of sand. Pure bliss.

4. Fill your boots in Barbados

Caribbean food is a fabulous fusion of flavours, and you’ll find some of the best of it in Barbados. Be sure to catch the national dish – flying fish served with cou cou (a mix of cornmeal and okra). A stop at one of the island’s many rum shops – part bar, part corner shop, part socialising hub – is a must. Some offer traditional food such as rice and peas, macaroni pie and cutters (sandwiches), while others may offer local specialities such as pudding and souse (a pickled pork and sweet potato combo) or jug jug (a pea-based descendent of haggis).

5. Sail through the Panama Canal

En route from Puerta Limon to Aruba, you’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a partial transit of the Panama Canal, the architectural marvel that connects the Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean. Watch as the Gatun Locks lift Oceana 26m into Gatun Lake. She then negotiates the narrow Culebra Cut to the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks, which lower her back down to the Pacific. Grab a prime spot on deck to watch the action (and for maximum bragging rights later).

6. Enjoy some ‘me’ time

Between ports, you’ll have time at sea to enjoy as your heart desires. Why not keep up the relaxation vibe by treating yourself to a day of indulgence? Kick things off with room service breakfast in bed – champagne cocktails optional (but recommended). A day at the spa is always a good idea, and Oceana’s Oasis Spa and Salon offers luxurious spaces to relax in while enjoying calming treatments. It’s not a holiday without sweet treats, and Sundaes ice cream bar offers just that with a tasty selection of Jude’s ice creams. When dinner rolls around, grab a seat at The Beach House and dig into the tempting menu inspired by South American, Caribbean and Stateside cuisines.

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