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I've been on 50 cruises. Here are 3 routes I'd sail again in a heartbeat and 3 I'd probably skip.

megan in an infinity pool on a cruise ship holding a cocktail
I go on about six cruises a year. Megan duBois
  • I've been on 50 cruises (at least six a year), and some routes are better than others.

  • I try to avoid cruises that make stops at Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas.

  • My favorite cruise I've ever been on was a Mediterranean voyage from Barcelona.

I've taken 50 cruises with family and friends, and I'm always looking to try out new routes with different port stops.

Before I ever book a cruise — which I do about six times a year — I try to find either a new-to-me ship or a new-to-me route. If neither of those options works for my budget or timeframe, I opt for a familiar favorite.

Here are my favorite cruise routes that I'm always happy to book, and the ones I don't need to sail again.

My favorite route is a Mediterranean cruise that starts and ends in Barcelona, Spain.

birds eye view of a section of Barcelona Spain
I think Mediterranean cruises are underrated. Megan duBois

Mediterranean cruises start and end in various ports of call around Europe, typically throughout the summer sailing season.

Last year, my family and I took a Disney Cruise that started and ended in Barcelona, with stops in France and Italy.

My favorite part of this trip was splitting a day between Nice and Eze in the French Riviera. I was able to walk through cobblestone streets overlooking the ocean while sipping on limoncello.

I love Caribbean cruises along the western ports.

flight of beers on a bar at a brewery in hondoras
I enjoyed spending a day in Honduras on a Caribbean cruise. Megan duBois

I've taken many western Caribbean routes over the years on Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line, and they never disappoint.

The route usually includes stops at Cozumel, Mexico, and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. But it may also include ports of call at Falmouth, Jamaica; Costa Maya, Mexico; or Roatán, Honduras.

I always get off the ship in Cozumel, even if it's just to have lunch at a taco shop. Don't get lured into the restaurants right at the docks because the best food is in the spots farther down the main street.

I also love getting off in Roatán. On a recent cruise, I took an excursion to Roatan Island Brewing Company to try different beers made with local ingredients.

I also enjoy routes that only stop at private islands.

beach at Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line private island on the
Great Stirrup Cay is Norwegian Cruise Line's private island in the Bahamas. Megan duBois

Every once in a while, I can find a short three-night cruise on Royal Caribbean or Disney that only visits the brand's private islands.

These short cruises are ideal weekend getaways and go to some of my favorite ports of call, like Royal Caribbean's CocoCay and Disney's Castaway Cay.

I love both of these destinations because there's so much to do — you really can spend the entire day at the beach or exploring the various parts of the island. I also love that food and drinks are all provided, so I don't have to return to the ship for lunch.

On the other hand, I don't need to go to Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas again.

View of lighthouse in Nassau, Bahamas and tourist resorts in the city
Nassau is beautiful, but I've already seen most of it. Daniel Korzeniewski/Shutterstock

I love short cruises from Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but they often mean stopping at Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas.

I don't really think there's much to see at either stop once you've done it once or twice. If my route includes them, I usually stay on the ship to enjoy the less crowded pool and spa.

The trade-off for these two ports is often getting to visit a cruise line's private island, so I think it's worth it for that. But I don't need to go on another long cruise through the Bahamas.

I'm also not a big fan of Bimini, Bahamas.

shot of the water from bimini beach club in bimini
I like stopping in spots with more than just a beach. Megan duBois

Many cruise lines, like Carnival and Virgin Voyages, are now taking cruisers to Bimini for an easy beach day. But if you're not a big fan of chilling at the beach, there's not much else to do on the island.

I’d probably skip cruising to Key West.

restaurant in key west florida
I want to spend more than a day exploring Key West. Megan duBois

I love Key West in the Florida Keys, but as a port stop, it was hard to see a lot of the island and explore beyond Duval Street.

I'd prefer to spend a few days in the destination to explore all that it has to offer instead of making it a cruise stop.

Read the original article on Business Insider