There are more than 7000 islands in the Caribbean Sea, and cruise ships visit many of them. Caribbean cruises run throughout the year. You must select your cruise date carefully because there are certain advantages to sailing during various time periods. Your ideal date depends on several things, such as how much you want to spend, the type of weather you prefer and whether you will be bringing children along
The cheapest rates for Caribbean cruises are typically offered between September and early January, according to the Cruise Critic information site, with the exception of holiday weeks. Bargains are also found between mid April and the end of May. Bargains are particularly good during the fall, which is peak hurricane season. Take advantage of this if you don’t mind a possible itinerary change or cancellation of the cruise because of a storm. You may also miss a port over the winter when seas have a greater chance of being rough, which is why the bargains run through the beginning of January.
The Caribbean is temperate all year round, but it can get chilly in the winter and make swimming uncomfortable. This is a problem if you want to take advantage of the region’s excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Sail during the spring or fall if you want to do water sports in warm temperatures but don’t want to deal with excessive summer heat. Hurricane season extends through November, so it’s best to choose spring to avoid potential tropical storms. Cruise Critic warns that you are at a higher risk for flight delays or cancellations if you sail during the winter, so consider buying trip insurance.
Many cruise lines decorate their ships for the Thanksgiving through New Years Day holiday season and have special on–board activities. If you have children, they usually have some time off school during this period. They can cruise around Thanksgiving, Christmas or the New Year without missing schoolwork. School breaks also coincide with Easter and other holidays such as Presidents’ Day. You will pay a premium to sail to the Caribbean during this period, but the trade–off in special celebrations or minimal disruption to your children’s school schedule may be worth it.
Most schools have a break between June and August. Some employers make employees take their vacation time at some point during the summer months. Most cruise lines charge their highest prices for Caribbean cruises during the summer because of this, but it may be the best time for you if you’re under work constraints or have school–age children.
Couples who prefer not to encounter a lot of children on their Caribbean cruise should sail during the school year, Cruise Critic advises. Cruises to the Caribbean usually last at least five to seven days. There are more adult passengers during this period because some parents don’t want to take their youngsters out of school for that long. Most of the kids on board will be age five or below, and the overall passenger count will be lower. This means shorter waits for tendering into ports such as Grand Cayman and less crowded dining rooms and other on–board areas, Cruise Critic states