The Caribbean is filled with islands, each with it’s own personality. The shopping and resorts of St Thomas. The tropical rain forests and nature of Dominica. The scuba diving of Grand Cayman. The raggae music of Jamaica. The warm water beaches of Barbados. The dual cultures of St Martin/St Maarten.

There are several different possibilities for Caribbean island vacations.

I have visited many of the islands in the Caribbean as cruise ship ports of call. One of the advantages of visiting the islands via cruise ship is that you get to see a bunch of the islands during your vacation. The drawback is that you get to spend less than a day on each island.

Another option for a Caribbean island vacation is to spend your vacation at a resort. There are a wide range of resorts from budget, to extravagant. Some of the resorts offer all-inclusive vacation packages. Just make sure you know what you are getting before hand with your all-inclusive package.

How about renting a villa? The villa rental may even include a maid, cook, gardener, night watchman, use of a car, etc. If you have a small group of people going, one of these might even be more economical than staying at a hotel.

Want something even more exotic than renting a villa? How about renting a private island? And how cool would it be staying on a private island for a week? These are significantly more expensive. I found one site listing rentals for a private island with a castle for $4500 a night low season, $7000 a night high season. But it’s got 8 bedrooms, tennis court, 30′ by 55′ private swimming pool, and all kinds of extras.

For more information about the various Caribbean islands, check out some of these travel guides:

The Rough Guide to The Caribbean: More Than 50 Islands, Including the Bahamas

Fodor’s Caribbean 2006

Lonely Planet Caribbean Islands

Caribbean By Cruise Ship: The Complete Guide To Cruising The Caribbean