The Caribbean islands are a popular travel destination, particularly for beach lovers, and there isn't a ‘best time’ to take the voyage. The Caribbean islands are open to tourists all year round, and if it's a Caribbean cruise you fancy, you can embark on the adventure any time you prefer. However, it's always good to do your homework and know the pros and cons of travelling in each season.
Arguably, the period from December onwards is the best season for a Caribbean cruise, but if it's not the perfect weather that concerns you, there are always other times that can be ideal for you based on your holidays, budget, etc. So, glance at the dominant seasons in the Caribbean and decide for yourself the best time for a Caribbean cruise.
Choosing the ideal time for a Caribbean cruise
1. Caribbean dry season
With the Christmas and New Year holidays and the many regional holidays, the December-April window is globally preferred for vacations. When talking about a Caribbean cruise, this becomes an added advantage because mid-December to mid-April marks the Caribbean dry season, wherein the temperature ranges between a pleasant 20-30 degrees. You might be greeted with mild showers, which usually happen in the late afternoon, but besides this, the time is great for a Caribbean cruise. For the perfect weather, calmest waters, colourful winter festivals, and spring break events visit the Caribbean islands between December to April, as it is regarded as the best weather for a Caribbean cruise. If you plan your trip, you'll likely land great ticket deals.
2. Caribbean rainy season
The Caribbean rainy season usually happens from June until August, where you can expect June to be the wettest month. The islands are slightly more humid during this period, and owing to the rains, it is a little balmy, but the time is still great for a Caribbean cruise. With schools shutting down for summer break during July and August, you can plan a lovely family cruise and enjoy the quietness of the islands. If exclusivity and cheaper rates attract you, and you don’t mind a little humidity, June-August may be the best month for a Caribbean cruise.
3. Caribbean shoulder season
You might wonder why we skipped May while mentioning the Caribbean's dry and rainy seasons. Well, late April through May is the spring season or the shoulder season in the Caribbean islands. The period from late November to mid-December is also the shoulder season here. With spring break for American universities happening in April-May, there are a lot of students partying on cruises, so expect competitive pricing in May. Late November through mid-December is a time of celebration in America with the Thanksgiving holidays. It's a lovely time to go family cruising, especially if you choose the fourth Thursday in November - cruise prices are remarkably low then. With the right reasons in mind, the shoulder season is the best time of year for a Caribbean cruise.
4. Caribbean hurricane season
The hurricane season is from June to November in the Caribbean, but that doesn't stop people from going on cruises. After all, not all areas are hurricane-prone. For instance, the eastern belts of Barbados and St. Lucia, and the southern islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, etc, remain unaffected by the hurricane. If you plan to go cruising during this period, you need not worry, as cruise ships are still available - they just stay clear of the storm-hit regions. As a traveller, the only inconvenience you face might be the impromptu cancellation of port stops to avoid the storm.
5. Cheapest time for a Caribbean cruise
If you’re looking for the cheapest time for a Caribbean cruise, the period from May to September might be ideal for you. Regarded as the low season, owing to fewer travellers coming and the slightly harsh weather, this period brings in a lot of amusing deals in the form of free cabin upgrades, all-inclusive drinks packages, etc. You can also opt for ‘Repositioning cruises,’ which are long sea voyages that enter the Caribbean belt when seasons change in April or November, that’s when sea passages are available at competitive prices.
What is the best time for a Caribbean cruise?
Having understood the dominant Caribbean seasons and travel patterns, you have probably demystified the question of the ‘best time for a Caribbean cruise’ by now. Needless to say, December to April is the best time of year for a Caribbean cruise. However, based on your priorities, holidays, travel plans, availability, and convenience, you can choose any time throughout the year for a Caribbean cruise. A budget-friendly cruise time would be between May to November, that’s when there are fewer tourists, but you might also witness the hurricane season. Plan your trip well in advance and list down the places you want to visit so that you can ensure that you don’t go there at an unsuitable time!