Best Time to Cruise to the Caribbean

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best time to cruise caribbean

Looking for the best time to cruise to the Caribbean? We’ve got the best & worst time to cruise for you.

While cruises are available year-round to the Caribbean, choosing the BEST time to cruise to this region can be confusing, even for seasoned travelers. Not only is the Caribbean region made up of thousands of islands, islets, cays and reefs, but it also covers a massive area of about 1 million square miles, and not all regions of the Caribbean are the same.

So, WHEN should you cruise to the Caribbean?

We’ll de-mystify the best and worst times to cruise to the Caribbean, so you can plan your tropical vacay at the time of year that works best for you! Like we always do when we examine the best and worst times to cruise, we’ll cover factors like weather, hurricane season, crowds and cost.

Budget

Let’s start with how to find good deals on Caribbean cruises. Early December, January and February can be the most budget-friendly months to cruise to any region of the Caribbean. Also, late September and early October, while risky due to hurricane season, can offer some excellent pricing as well. In fact, the period after kids return to school in the fall, but before the holiday season is a good time to watch for killer deals.

Hurricane season also offers great deals, but should ONLY be considered if you’re flexible about itinerary changes and cancellations. We’re going to come back to hurricane season- stay tuned.

The MOST expensive times to cruise to the Caribbean are generally during holidays: Spring Break, Christmas and New Years weeks tend to be the highest, with Thanksgiving week being more pricey too, but not as expensive as Christmas. A good travel agent can help you compare prices from week to week and month to month.

Weather

best time to cruise the caribbean weather

The Caribbean is warm and tropical year-round, with variations in humidity, rainfall, and heat. So, how do you choose when to cruise?

It depends on what’s important to you, and your tolerance for humidity. If you’re wanting to skip the rainy season, avoid May and June – except for the Southern Caribbean, which remains pretty dry. And, keep in mind that even during the rainy season, it usually doesn’t rain all-day-every-day AND temperatures are still warm and pleasant during these months.

If you’re looking to avoid the hottest and most-humid months in the Caribbean, skip July and August, where temperatures tend to soar. July and August are also wet and rainy for SOME of the Caribbean islands, so if rain, heat and humidity aren’t your thing, you may want to skip summer altogether.

In the Eastern and Western Caribbean, November through April tend to be mild and somewhat predictable, but rain, heat and humidity can pop up year round!

Hurricane Season

worst time to cruise caribbean hurricane

Aaaah, hurricane season! Should you be worried? Should you avoid cruises altogether during this time?

While hurricane season in the Caribbean officially runs June through November (that’s a pretty long time!), the peak storm months are September, October and November. While you can find some VERY low prices during these months, you’ve got to be aware that itinerary changes are very common if a hurricane or a tropical storm presents itself, and you should only book these cruises, if you’re not tied to your choice of ports.

Don’t believe me? Listen to our Caribbean Cruise Review Podcast and Watch our Harmony of the Seas Vlog Series where our Eastern Caribbean cruise became a Western Caribbean cruise due to a tropical depression. Cruise ships are skilled at navigating around storms and hurricanes and while entire cruise cancellations are unlikely, port stop changes are par for the course during these risky months.

One more quick point: the weather during September, October and November is actually quite pleasant and more mild than the hot summer months, despite hurricane season – so keep that in mind. Oh, and book travel insurance! Of course we always recommend investing in the insurance, but during hurricane season, it’s absolutely critical.

If you decide to go for it, be sure to watch these tips on cruising during hurricane season.

Crowds

best time to cruise caribbean crowds

When considering the best time to cruise to the Caribbean, you have to factor in crowds. Crowds (or lack thereof), can have a big impact on your cruise experience. It’s kind of impossible to predict when a ship or port will have crowds, but if you’re averse to cruising with lots of people, you have some options.

You may want to avoid the Spring Break Cruise months and Christmas holiday weeks, as ships tend to sail more full during those times. In general, all of March and the first half of April can draw spring break crowds, and Christmas and New Years weeks can see higher occupancy as well, as kids are out of school, and families are looking to get away from their holiday breaks.

You do YOU!

best time to cruise caribbean laughing woman

Are you still confused about picking the the best time to cruise to the Caribbean? We hope the takeaway today is that there is no right or wrong time to cruise to the Caribbean. The key is knowing your travel preferences, and being informed of the risks and benefits of each season.

For example, if you’re looking to escape the cold weather where you live, the winter months are likely best for YOU! Looking to avoid crowds and lots of kids on board? Avoid Spring Break and holidays and shoot for early December, January, February, or even consider pricing out hurricane season cruises.

Don’t go-it-alone!

Choosing the the best time to cruise to the Caribbean can be daunting even if with the information above. If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed, a travel agent can help you with these decisions. If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced travel agent, contact our Travel Agency Partner. Let them know you were referred by CruiseTipsTV when you call. Their team works with travelers in the United States and Canada and has assisted hundreds of our viewers to plan their dream cruise. 

So, we’ve covered the the best time to cruise to the Caribbean, and a little about the worst time to cruise to the Caribbean. What about packing? If you’re wondering what to pack for your Caribbean cruise be sure to check out our Caribbean Packing videos.

Learn the time and money-saving tricks seasoned cruisers use and download our warm weather packing list from our Intro to Cruising Master Class. Use code ALLABOARD for $5.00 off the course.

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What you MUST know if you cruise during hurricane season.

Best & Worst Time to Cruise to the Caribbean Video.

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Sheri and her family are California based cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.