The Caribbean cruise industry has really taken off in recent years as lower prices, plentiful promotions and the introduction of a more informal atmosphere has made cruising far more accessible. However, while cruises are marketed at those who like to be at sea, newer ships, are so much like a floating city that you could easily forget you were out on the ocean.
For water lovers, that’s not always a good thing. Where are the coral reefs, the ancient shipwrecks, the vibrant and colorful fish? They’re down beneath the ocean’s surface, that’s where! A multi million dollar state of the art Caribbean cruise ship really isn’t the best way to see everything the sea has to offer. But a submarine is. Plus, it’s pretty cool, don’t you think?
The Caribbean is actually one of the best regions to experience submarine life, with a number of dive sites in Aruba, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, St Martin, and in Cozumel off the coast of Mexico. The submarines carry up to 50 passengers at a time and are definitely a unique and alternative form of the traditional Caribbean cruise vessel.
Reaching 130-foot depths, submarine excursions really are a once in a lifetime, adrenaline-fuelled opportunity to see things others will never see. Quite aside from eels, sponge gardens and sea turtles, there’s also the chance to see sights such as the sunken YS-11 airplane, the Lord Willoughby shipwreck and the base formations of Creole Rock.
As exciting as a descent in a submarine can be, it can also be very romantic, and perfect for celebrating a special occasion. Barbados and the Cayman Islands are two of the only destinations in the world where travelers can undertake a night dive. With the dark ocean lit by high powered spot lights, it’s the perfect opportunity for viewing nocturnal creatures and seeing coral reefs opening their polyps to feed.
If you’re worried about safety and feelings of claustrophobia, don’t be. Granted, there are other modes of Caribbean cruise that are more spacious and don’t rely on pressurization to allow passengers to breathe, but that’s not to say these vessels aren’t just as safe. In fact, there has never been a major accident involving a tourist submarine in the Caribbean.
To make the most of both the undersea and above sea adventures, consider a Caribbean cruise that visits some of these locations. Many cruise operators include submarine dives as part of their official excursion program and have arrangements with local companies that will transport you from the ship to the dive site and back so there’s no chance of you missing your departure.
Submarines are exciting, they’re fun, and they bring out the kid in everyone who rides in one. They’re an alternative method of transportation, that’s for sure, and they offer unique, once in a lifetime experiences that you just can’t get anywhere else. Be sure to think outside the box when you’re booking your next Caribbean cruise!