Check out the best time to cruise the Caribbean for pleasant weather, small crowds, and reasonable prices.
When you think of the Caribbean Islands, turquoise waters and tranquil white-sand beaches are most likely the first things that cross your mind. A Caribbean cruise takes your leisure holiday to a whole new level.
Based on our research, we have discovered the best time to cruise the Caribbean, to match your imagination with reality.
Best time to cruise to the Caribbean
Mid-January and April
In the months of January and April, the weather is sunny and the sea calm. The climate is dry and comfortable, making this the right time to enjoy a cruise. Because the Christmas/New Year’s school break has ended, the crowds are also smaller during these months, so you don’t have to pay higher prices for tickets or rush to purchase them.
Hurricane season begins in June, lasting until November. Even if there aren’t hurricanes, tropical storms and heavy rains are more common during these months and bring with them rougher seas and a less enjoyable experience.
Though Caribbean cruises can be enjoyed throughout the year, this is a tropical region and ships may have to be re-routed to avoid bad weather, so certain months are better suited to water sports and cruise enjoyment.
From December to April, the climate is at its driest and you are most likely to enjoy your cruise.
The wet season has many hurricanes and heavy storms and lasts from June to November. During this period, it’s possible that there may be alterations or cancellations to your original cruise itinerary if you’ve booked one.
The high season lasts from just before Christmas to early January, and picks up again from mid-February until early April. Due to the Caribbean’s proximity to the US and Canada, crowds come back over long weekends and holiday periods including Presidents’ Day (February), Easter, Thanksgiving (October/November) and Christmas/New Year school breaks.
Weather and prices
Best time to cruise the Caribbean, weatherwise: The weather is the most pleasant from December to April when it’s the driest and the sea is calm, making the conditions better suited to enjoying a Caribbean cruise
Cheapest time to cruise to the Caribbean: September to November are the cheapest months to cruise to the Caribbean as it's the rail end of hurricane season. While not ideal if you have your heart set on particular ports, cruise lines can alter their itineraries if there is a storm coming so you can still have an enjoyable sailing. Also make sure you have adequate cruise insurance if you are sailing during this time, as if you are affected by a storm you may be able to get cover for missed ports or major changes to your holiday.
Best time to cruise the Caribbean for:
- Swimming: While water in the Caribbean is warm all year now, if you’re looking for those bathwater temperatures, head over during the spring months (March to May)
- Snorkelling and scuba diving: Spring has the warmest water temperatures and clear visibility before the summer storms hit and churn up the waters in the area, affecting visibility and making it more difficult to swim.
- Sunbathing on the cruise deck: Just giving in to the picturesque sights of the Caribbean on a cruise while soaking in the sun is a great way to unwind. The best time to sunbathe is from December through April when the weather is sunny and the climate is less humid.