Warm sand, gentle surf, and a lounge chair. If this is your vision of a Caribbean cruise, you're not alone. Many who cruise the Caribbean want nothing more than a relaxing day at the beach on an exotic Caribbean island. But if you'd rather see a different version of the Caribbean, there are plenty of other enriching ways to explore these new places and experience their interesting attractions. You can opt for all sorts of Caribbean shore excursions, from Segway tours to breathtaking zip line adventures. (Don't worry if you're not a former Olympian — active shore excursions can range from leisurely to high-energy.)
Take Aruba, for example. While there's plenty to do on this tropical oasis that ties in to beach and water activities, why not go exploring instead? Jet to Aruba's famous ostrich attraction, where you'll find at least a dozen of these huge, flightless birds — plus a few emus pecking around in their pen. Guests even have the opportunity to feed the ostriches under the supervision of the birds' handlers.
If your tastes run to the equestrian, sign up to spend a few hours in the saddle. On a horseback tour, you'll get to know your horse, mount up, and follow your guide on a trail through the arid Aruban countryside. Toward the end of the ride, take a break and enjoy the beautiful Aruban seascape.
Those who really want to ramp up their adrenaline levels when they cruise to the Caribbean may want to head to Puerto Rico and kayak through Fajardo's bioluminescent bay on a nighttime adventure. After a drive to Fajardo, guests can pair off into two-person kayaks. When your group begins to paddle, millions of bioluminescent organisms will illuminate the water and help to light the way. If you work up a thirst, make sure to enjoy some complementary refreshments before you board the motor coach back to the ship.
The beauty of a Caribbean cruise is that it can be as relaxing as you desire -- so whether you want to spend the time lounging on white-sand beaches or seeking enriching, exciting experiences in an exotic location, there's a perfect cruise vacation for you. No matter which shore excursion you choose, you're sure to find new adventures and return home refreshed.