The Caribbean Sea is home to thousands upon thousands of islands, big and small, and many of them are visited by cruise ships. Although cruises take place throughout the entire year, there is, in fact, a best time to cruise to the Caribbean. Actually, there are two great times to do that, depending on what you’re after. In this post, we’ll find out when those are.
Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean
Just like other popular cruise destinations like the Bahamas and Hawaii, the Caribbean is one of the world’s best regions to go for a relaxing or active and maybe even educational cruise. The decision whether to go for a Caribbean cruise is fairly easy. What’s a bit trickier, however, is figuring out what the best time to cruise the Caribbean is.
Important Factors to Keep in Mind
There are two main things you should keep in mind when trying to decide on a time to go cruising in the Caribbean. Depending on your personal preferences, planned activities and so on, the importance of these factors might differ. It is certain, though, that all of them affect the quality of your cruise experience. And therefore the memories you’ll have of it later on.
So, take some to contemplate what it is that you want out of your cruise. Is your purpose to have fun with a group of friends? Discover new cultures and food? Unwind and de-stress? Spend quality time with your partner? Go on a holiday with the kids? It’s the very purpose of your cruise that determines how important the two factors below are.
The main thing to consider when it comes to Caribbean weather is the hurricane season, which runs from late summer through November. This typically lowers the prices significantly, an important factor if you’re traveling on a budget.
It’s also good to know that, although the Caribbean is a warm region year-round, the water is chillier in winter. This makes snorkeling, scuba diving and snorkeling a bit less comfortable that time of year. Generally speaking, spring offers the best weather for all kinds of outdoor activities. It’s the driest season, is warmer than winter and doesn’t have the hotness of summer.
School Holidays / Other Passengers
Particularly if you’re looking for a quiet vacation, you should avoid school holidays. Thanksgiving, the Christmas and New Year’s period, Spring Break, and the peak of summer are periods that see a spike in passenger numbers. This high demand increases prices significantly.
On the other hand, if you have children yourself, this is pretty much the only time of year that you can go on a cruise. If that’s the case, make sure to watch out for deals and/or book well in advance.
The summer holiday, especially, is often the most expensive times of year to cruise the Caribbean. This is because both children are out of school and some employers let their personnel take their annual vacation between June and August. Virtually all cruise lines raise their prices in summer.
Western Caribbean VS Eastern Caribbean
Many people think of the Caribbean as one big collection of islands, but the fact is that the region is so large that it’s often split up in the Western and the Eastern Caribbean. The Western Caribbean encompasses the islands south of Florida and the east coast of Mexico and Central America. This is where you’ll find places like Jamaica, Honduras, Belize and Cozumel. The Eastern Caribbean islands include such awesome vacation destinations as the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Tortola and St. Lucia.
While there are certain differences between both sub-regions, the fact of the matter is that, when it comes to climate and weather and therefore also the best time of year to cruise the Caribbean, both are pretty similar.
We can conclude that the best time of year to cruise the Caribbean—whether it’s the Western or Eastern—is either June through August or March through April. This greatly depends on whether you have kids and on why you’re going on a cruise in the first place.
Parents traveling with children are most likely to find summer the best time to cruise the Caribbean while other vacationers might take advantage of the smaller crowds and excellent weather in spring.
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