Three Ways to Experience Local Culture On Board with Caribbean Cruise Packages

by Natasha Were

Crescents of white sand, low-hanging palm trees, and balmy water are all big incentives to book Caribbean cruise packages. But a trip to the Caribbean is about much more than beaches — it's about easing into a laid-back lifestyle and absorbing the sights, sounds, and flavors of the region.

When you embark on a Caribbean cruise, cruise activities will immerse you in the colorful island culture. From the moment you board your cruise ship, you'll be enveloped by the music, food, and drinks of this unique part of the world.

You won't need to wait to reach your first port of call to experience Caribbean culture at its finest. The following cruise activities bring the Caribbean to you, before you've even left port.

Get into the Rhythm of the Caribbean

Steel drums (or steelpans, as the locals call them) originated in Trinidad, but can now be found throughout and beyond the Caribbean.

A fairly recent invention, they were typically made from objects such as discarded oil drums, car parts, and paint pots. Over time, these objects were tuned to produce a range of notes; today, when played by a whole band, they fill the air with their cheerful tinkling.

Even better than listening is playing. With Princess Cruises, you can take steel drum lessons — an opportunity you won't want to miss.

Drink in the Spirit of the Caribbean

Perhaps the region's most well-known export, rum is without a doubt the spirit of the Caribbean. It dates back to the age of sugar plantations, when distilling rum was a convenient way to handle the waste that came from sugar production. Today, sugar is largely produced elsewhere, but the best rums still come from this region. Almost every Caribbean nation lays claim to at least one signature rum.

With tropical fruits dripping from the trees, there is almost no end of the variety of rum cocktails you can try, from a classic Cuban mojito to a Bahama mama or piña colada. Before embarking on a rum-themed excursion, sit back and savor the flavor from the comfort of the onboard bar during your Caribbean cruise.

Feast on Authentic Caribbean Dishes

Over the centuries, many different ethnicities, from Europeans to Africans, Indians, and Chinese, have settled in the Caribbean. Each has brought with them their own traditions and cuisines which, over time, have been assimilated into what is now undeniably Caribbean fare.

Tasting new foods is one of the easiest, not to mention most enjoyable, ways to experience a destination, and the eclectic menu onboard features some of the best dishes of the region, including spicy Jamaican jerk chicken and Indian-influenced chicken pilau from Trinidad. Fresh seafood also features prominently on the menu, of course, and tropical fruits — bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and more — have inspired many a mouth-watering dessert.

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Taking steel drum lessons on a Caribbean cruise
Taking steel drum lessons onboard a Caribbean cruise