The more one cruises in the islands, the more apparent it becomes that each individual island—like individual people—has its own distinct personality. Some are quiet, fiercely independent and guard their shores with menacing appearances, while others are easily approached and carefree, with a warm, welcoming and happy nature. I found Aruba’s tourism tagline of “One happy island” to be true, but I discovered the island has many other personas as well, which makes getting to know it all the more beguiling.
The way I see it, the best cruising destinations fall into one of three categories: the ones we frequent by convenience, the ones we happen upon by mistake, and the ones that become so endeared to ours hearts that we take the greatest strides to revisit—no matter how much deviation from the layline may be required. With its open stretches of navigable waters, subtropical islands and a warm, (typically) sunny climate, Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast is a magical region for cruisers who wish to set sail and put life’s daily grind on hold for a while.