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Caribbean Island Hopping | 7 Islands in 1 week 

Caribbean Island Hopping | 7 Islands in 1 week 

There are over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean, of which only 2% are inhabited. One of the best ways to get a taste of a bunch of islands is going on a Caribbean island-hopping cruise.

On our recent classic Caribbean cruise with Windstar Cruises, we visited seven islands in one week. Most Caribbean cruises depart from Florida but our Windstar cruise departed from St. Maarten. This gave us the option to do a little more Caribbean island hopping on and after our cruise.

Each day we’d wake up in a different port to explore a new island. We had an epic week at sea on the Wind Surf cruise ship, here is what our week of Caribbean island hopping looked like.

Caribbean Island Hopping With Windstar Cruises

woman standing on the beach at SMX airport - on the way to Anguilla

St Maarten

Our Windstar cruise started and ended in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. We arrived late in the evening and spent the night at Mercure St Martin. The next morning, we headed to the port to board our ship, the Wind Surf.

We basically just dropped our bags and jumped in a shuttle to Maho Beach. One of the best things to do in St. Maarten is head to Maho Beach and watch the planes land. We knew we wanted to spend the afternoon on the beach watching the planes literally land right above our heads and feel the jet blast when they take off.

Make sure to visit Sunset Beach Bar on Maho Beach and check the surfboard with all the arrival times. However, the board doesn’t have all of the flights. If you have access to the internet, the best schedule you can find here at the official SXM airport arrivals page.

Keep in mind that planes often land ahead of schedule and, of course, sometimes behind. We probably watched at least 20 planes land. In between landings, we hung out at the bar for a drink.

Aerial Photo of St. Martin from the island of Anguilla

We suggest spending at least one night in Phillipsburg either before or after your Caribbean cruise. There are several excursions in St. Maarten (click here for a whole bunch bookable online) including some day trips to nearby islands.

St. Maarten is also a great place to catch a ferry to other nearby Caribbean islands. We jumped on an Anguilla ferry and spent 5 nights continuing our Caribbean island-hopping adventure. If you happen to really enjoy St. Barts you can catch a ferry from St. Maarten to St. Barts, make sure to check out some of the best beaches in St Barts.

After our cruise, we took the ferry to Anguilla and spent five nights at CeBlue Villas. If you do head to Anguilla we highly suggest renting a car in Anguilla. It’s the best way to explore the island.

We spent most of our days driving to all the different beaches on the island, eating at the best restaurants in Anguilla, relaxing in our private pool, but our favorite day was spent on Sandy Island where we had the best lobster of our lives. There a ton to do and see in Anguilla.

never ending pink sand beach in Barbuda while Caribbean island hopping


If you love walking on the beach for miles and miles, head to Barbuda. Barbuda has crazy clear water and pink sand beaches that are actually pink! We only spent 5 hours on Barbuda, but we literally walked the beach the entire time.

The beaches are deserted. We only see one little place that appears to maybe have some cold beers. There was only one offshore excursion in Barbuda to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Which is the world’s largest frigate birds nesting with 2,500+ birds. We did see tons of Frigatebirds, but we weren’t bird-watching; we were watching out for them when flying our drone. We were after gorgeous aerial shots of Barbuda like this.

NOTE: You can take a ferry from Barbuda to Antigua.

girl at a bust stop in Dominica


Dominica is known as the nature island in the Caribbean, which is complete with lush rainforest, volcano peaks, hot springs, waterfalls, snorkeling, and much more.

We spent the day hiking in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. We were high up in the rainforest crossing several rivers with spectacular views (when it’s not raining). There are over 300 miles of hiking trails in Dominica we hope to get back to do some more hiking in Dominica.

NOTE: You can take a ferry from Dominica to Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia. 

Windstar cruise line at St Lucia while Caribbean island hopping
Our home for the week, the Wind Surf anchored in St Lucia.

St. Lucia 

There are tons of offshore excursions in St. Lucia, but if you prefer to chill on the beach, Windstar sets up a beach BBQ on Pigeon Island. They transform the beach into their own private club for the day, which is complete with beach chairs, umbrella drinks, water sports, jerk chicken, and much more.

We booked a half-day private car to explore the island and got back to Pigeon Island just in time for lunch.

We loved our time in St Lucia and returned a year later to spend a week on the island at Sandals La Toc and Sandals St Lucian Grande. The two properties are very different, so make sure to pick the best Sandals Resort for you. We preferred Sandals St. Lucian Grande.

Pigeon Island St Lucia beach drone view

When we were on Pigeon Island, we could see the overwater bungalows at Sandals St. Lucian Grande. We were in awe, and three weeks later, we returned to St. Lucia and had the opportunity to stay in them!

We also didn’t have a chance to visit the Pitons during our cruise, so on our return trip, we went on the Pitons sunset & snorkel cruise. There are also Martinique day trips from St. Lucia.

NOTE: You can take a ferry from St. Lucia to  Martinique, Dominica, and St. Lucia.

girl on a boat in Guadeloupe, over under dome shot

Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe surprised us the most. We didn’t know much about the island, but we now know we’ll be going back. We spent the day out on a boat exploring the Les Saintes islands. Gorgeous beaches and volcanic hillsides. The water reminded us of our favorite island, El Nido, in the Philippines.

NOTE: You can take a ferry from Guadeloupe to Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia.

Windsurf sail boat in St Kitts while Caribbean island hopping

St. Kitts

Basseterre is often referred to as one of the prettiest Caribbean capital cities, so we made sure to save a few hours to explore the city. In the morning, Adam went diving in St. Kitts while I was being pampered at the spa on the Wind Surf. There are often port day specials in the spa, and I highly recommend getting a massage.

NOTE: You can take a ferry from St. Kitts to Nevis.

girl walking on the beach in St Barts

St. Barts

St. Barts is where the rich & famous come to play. The marina is full of million-dollar yachts and the shopping is top-notch (don’t forget your wallet). We spent the morning on a catamaran tour around St. Barts with a great snorkeling & beach stop at one of the best beaches in St Barts.

After snorkeling, we took the tender into Gustavia. We highly suggest renting a car to explore the island, this is the most affordable option to see most of the island. We opted to walk over to St. Jeans Bay, which was only 20 minutes from Gustavia.

Along the way, we literally had the planes landing over our heads, just like in St. Maarten at Maho Beach. However, the planes here have a very tricky landing! We recommend walking to the intersection to watch it in front of the runway.

NOTE: You can take a ferry from St. Barts to St. Maarten, click here for schedule & rates. 

Pin me for later!

Caribbean island hopping pin

We had an amazing time on our Windstar cruise, and in one week of Caribbean island hopping, we covered seven islands (6 new to us). If you aren’t sure what island you’d like to spend a week’s vacation at, consider going on a Caribbean cruise first to get an idea of what some islands are like. We now have a few more islands on our bucket list we can’t wait to get back to. 

Thank you to Windstar Cruise Line for hosting us on an epic Caribbean cruise! As always, all opinions are our own.