While it would be ideal if the best time to cruise to the Caribbean matched the summer months when most people take their vacations, that’s not necessarily the case. The best time for a Caribbean cruise depends on whether you’re looking for the best weather or the best deals. Winter offers the most sunny days, while late summer brings with it some excellent travel deals.
If you want the best weather for traveling to the Caribbean, it’s generally a safe bet to travel between December and April. Though the weather in the Caribbean is generally good year-round, December through April has more sunny days and less rain on average than other times of the year. The rainy season for the Caribbean runs from May to December; so ideally, it’s best to avoid travel there during these months.
A big consideration for when to travel to the Caribbean is the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Historically, though, most hurricanes in the Caribbean occur between August and October. Any of the ports of call on a Caribbean cruise can be hit by a hurricane, and there’s no way to predict one when booking a cruise months in advance. Even so, the chance of a hurricane happening at the exact time and location of a cruise is fairly slim, so don’t shy away from booking one if your vacation time coincides with hurricane season.
If cost is the major consideration for when you travel to the Caribbean, travel during the peak hurricane season in the late summer and fall. This is when both cruise and airline tickets are less expensive. Save money by booking for late August instead of late July; there will also be fewer crowds on the ships.
In general, Carnival and Disney are considered inexpensive cruise lines, but this can change easily depending on specials and packages being offered. Special deals are available in early December as well as in January right after the holidays. Good deals also pop up just before or just after the summer peak season. Find these specials either through a travel agent or on cruise deal websites.
When to Avoid
If peace and quiet are tops on your travel list, three times of year should be avoided for traveling to the Caribbean; summer, spring break and Christmas. These are times when ridership on the cruiseships are at their peak. These times may be anything but restful if the cruise ship is near capacity, particularly if it is packed with loud, partying teenagers on spring break. During the summer and Christmas season, while the crowd may not be as rowdy, it is still a crowd, with often-packed decks and full events because these are peak travel times.