We asked some of our top musicians and travel experts about their favorite islands.
MercyMe’s annual Caribbean cruise, MercyMe at Sea, is enormously popular and sells out quickly every year—and the guys’ families look forward to it all year long! What are the two islands at the top of their list?
“The Bahamas! I’ve been going there most of my life,” says MercyMe drummer Robby Shaffer. “The water is beautiful. There is so much to do. My kids love visiting Atlantis Paradise Island.” Guitarist Barry Graul also loves the Bahamas, “simply because of the beautiful water.”
Guitarist Mike Scheuchzer appreciates the U.S. Virgin Islands, including popular cruise port St. Thomas for “its white-sand beaches and local cuisine.”
Founder and President of Inspiration Cruises & Tours Steve Dick also puts St. Thomas at the top of his list. “It has everything,” he says. “Good beaches, a great downtown, good shopping, wonderful hotels and easy access by air and by cruise ship. The people who live there are wonderful.”
The Katinas, a renowned musical family of five brothers, travel to the Caribbean frequently on their Katinas and Kuzins cruise, during which passengers become a big happy family.
“We love the Caribbean,” they told us. “By far, our favorite island in the Caribbean would have to be Half Moon Cay, a private island resort owned by Carnival and Holland America. The experience is second to none, from the beach and sand to the quality of the food and service. We look forward to going every time we go to the Caribbean. Even if we don’t get to visit other places—as long as we’re making a stop at Half Moon Cay. We love it!”
As the President of IMC Management, Landon Beene is the veteran concert promoter behind yearly events like the annual Gospel Music Celebration cruise events. He identifies Key West, Florida, as his favorite island. While not technically in the Caribbean, this island is a staple on most Caribbean itineraries.
“Beautiful island colors abound, surrounded by a diverse culture of art, gourmet food, treasures and great people,” Landon says. “I find it easy to get around and explore a lot within a short distance. This island hosts some of the best food you will find anywhere—in the most obscure and serene settings!”
Inspiration’s Global Client Services Vice President Joel James agrees with Landon that Key West is an ideal destination. “I love the total feel of the island, with its easy transportation by hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses, scooters or bicycles. In my view, it is the perfect mix of island and U.S. mainland. If you want sunshine, beautiful Gulf and ocean views, great food and drinks, watersports, shops that take U.S. dollars, and interesting local characters, Key West is hard to beat!”
Kelly Martin, Inspiration’s Operations Project Coordinator, loves to visit Puerto Rico—especially the capital city, San Juan. “Arriving in the port of San Juan is one of my favorite experiences because of its beauty, along with the old fort right on the water,” she says. Kelly loves exploring the pastel buildings and cobblestone streets of the Old City.
“The best way to see Old San Juan is on foot. It’s the perfect port for passengers who enjoy walking and want to experience the rich architecture of the city. Shopping in the plaza area, where locals sell their goods and local food, is also a wonderful experience.”
Charlie Spencer, Inspiration’s Event Development Executive Director, has two decades of cruising and Caribbean travel under his belt. He lists St. Lucia as his favorite island.
“What I love most about this exotic island is how it has avoided overcommercialization and still retains the stunning beauty of its tropical rainforests, volcanic beaches and fantastic reef-diving sites. Hiking trails in the interior take you to breathtaking waterfalls and dramatic cliff gardens. And if you prefer to stay at a five-star resort, St. Lucia is home to some of the finest accommodations!”
As a region, the Caribbean is the most popular cruise destination in the world. Its more than 7,000 individual islands, 12 dependent territories and 13 sovereign island nations make it the perfect getaway for Christian travel. This diverse region has so much to offer. Each island gives you a chance to relax, explore or simply dig your toes in the sand as you commune with the Creator.
Which Caribbean island would you most like to visit?