What to Know About Visiting the Caribbean During Every Season and the Best Time to Cruise There
The Caribbean conjures up images of sun-streaked sand, tumbling aqua waves, endless sunshine, and weather warm enough for bikinis. For a large part of the year, that is exactly what you’ll find at the majority of the islands in the Caribbean, which is part of the reason this region is so popular with travelers. However, there are some times of the year when you should be aware of weather and what it’s prone to do. Depending on your travel needs and flexibility, you might be surprised that your best time to cruise the Caribbean isn’t only when the weather is known for being at its best.
What to Expect if You Cruise the Caribbean During Hurricane Season
The Caribbean’s hurricane season is from the beginning of June to the end of November, with the peak hurricane season running from mid-July through October. This doesn’t mean a hurricane will for sure occur during these months, but you are much more likely to have your vacation in the Caribbean impacted by one. This also makes people assume that hurricane season isn't the best time to cruise to the Caribbean, but this isn't necessarily always the case.
Modern cruise ships (like Celebrity Cruises’ fleet of ships) have the satellite technology to see where hurricanes are headed and are often able to sail around them, meaning it is quite rare for a cruise to get cancelled due to hurricanes.
You will have to keep a flexible frame of mind though as changing a ship’s route to avoid a hurricane’s path or rocky seas means your itinerary will also likely change. You may end up skipping a port and having an extra sea day, or visiting a different port if the ship can be accommodated.
Your cruise embarkation day also may be delayed a day or two if a hurricane is threatening the embarkation port on the day you’re scheduled to check-in and board. You can check Celebrity Cruises’ Travel Alerts page in the week leading up to your cruise for hurricane updates and any possible changes if traveling during hurricane season.
If you’re ok with last minute itinerary changes and just want a tropical escape, then cruising during hurricane season may be an ideal time for you since there are often more Caribbean cruise deals to be found during this time.
Tips to Cruise the Caribbean During Rainy Season
Even if hurricanes aren’t a risk, you are still more likely to see rain from May to November, with lighter rains to be expected at either end of that spectrum and heavier rainfall during peak hurricane season. One good thing is that if there’s not a hurricane brewing, rain in the Caribbean often lasts for a short amount of time before passing on and blue skies returning.
To help minimize your risk of rain, choose itineraries that visit islands in the Caribbean known for more days of sunshine. Aruba in particular is known for its warm, arid climate that can be found year-round. Celebrity Cruises itineraries that stop in Oranjestad, Aruba sometimes even have overnights in port there, meaning you can experience the nightlife of the Caribbean, too.
Other southern Caribbean islands like Curacao, Bonaire, and Trinidad and Tobago are also safer bets for less rain when traveling during rainy season.
If cruising during the rainy season, you can still have an amazing, memorable vacation and just might find that is it the best time to cruise for you! Just remember to pack accordingly so you are prepared while in port with a poncho or rain jacket, appropriate shoes, and possibly a travel towel to dry off with. Then start exploring each new port without worrying if a possible rainfall will slow you down!
The Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean for Excellent Weather
When it's not the hurricane and rainy season, the Caribbean tends to have near-perfect weather; this timeframe generally lasts from December to April. Weather during these months is drier, yet not too hot and humid. This also happens to coincide with when most people are experiencing the winter doldrums and need a warm weather vacation.
If you want to cruise to the Caribbean during this ideal weather time, plan ahead as you certainly won’t be the only one looking for a Caribbean escape.
Booking earlier gives you more choice of stateroom categories and locations on the ship before they get reserved, and you can also begin reserving shore excursions and specialty restaurants to make sure your preferred activity or dining day doesn’t get filled up. Booking early also means you won’t miss out due to your preferred sailing date selling out.
Another Best Time to Cruise to the Caribbean is Over the Holidays
Another popular time of year to cruise to the Caribbean is around the holiday season from mid-November through the New Year. What makes this one of the best times to cruise is because lots of people get extra days off work in November or December thanks to the holidays; with those extra days, you can use them to plan a Caribbean cruise. You’ll also get the benefit of escaping temperatures that are likely producing snow and ice so it’s a good time for some sunshine.
Traveling in the Caribbean during the holidays can result in paying a premium and more crowds on the beaches…but to many people that’s an ok trade-off since you’re getting quality family and relaxation time in a sunny and warm-weather paradise.
Celebrity Cruises also makes the holidays fun and memorable when you’re on board with special holiday menus in the Main Dining Room, holiday decorations, and even carolers and visits from Santa during Christmas time. For sailings traveling over New Year’s Eve, there is a party thrown to countdown until midnight with a Champagne celebration once the clock strikes twelve.
View holiday sailings and cruise the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises during this special time.
Find Your Personal Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean and Book Your Vacation Today
Pick your perfect Caribbean cruise and sail the Caribbean in modern luxury thanks to Celebrity Cruises’ innovative and stylish ships. You can also book your stateroom or suite, reserve excursions and onboard activities, and book your flights all in one convenient place using the #BookItList platform, a unique booking engine that makes it easy to turn your bucket list dreams into reality.