The Caribbean Offers Cruises for Every Season
The Caribbean is a treasure for cruise enthusiasts: its lovely and surprisingly diverse islands, clear turquoise waters and consistently balmy weather make it a great cruise destination any time of year.
Still, the Caribbean cruise market has some peaks and valleys. Because it’s a wonderful family destination, the busiest times occur during traditional school holidays: June through August, Christmas and New Year, and February through mid-April (Spring Break). If you are cruising solo, with a partner or with a group of adults, sailing outside of these seasonal peaks may deliver a wider choice of ships and itineraries, as well as discounts on fares.
Whenever you cruise the Caribbean, you’ll find remarkably consistent and beautiful weather. On the beaches, temperatures tend to stay in the 70s and 80s all year long, thanks to constant trade winds and steady ocean temperatures. Even in summer, daytime temperatures rarely go as high as 100 degrees; and, only at the highest elevations of the region’s more mountainous islands do temperatures ever dip to the 60s or below.
The mountainous islands, such as Jamaica and St. Lucia, also tend to get more rainfall than islands with lower elevations. Still, rain is often not island-wide: the windward sides are wetter than the leeward sides. Islands in the far southern Caribbean, such as Aruba, get so little rain that they have interesting desert-like features.
If you’re wary of hurricane season in the Caribbean, officially June 1 through November 1, be assured that many experienced cruisers wouldn’t hesitate to book a cruise at that time. Cruise lines are adept at repositioning ships when necessary to avoid storms (providing a huge advantage over a resort vacation). While the odds are low, a major storm may lead to a change in your itinerary.
Given the widespread beauty and consistently fine weather of the Caribbean, your selection of a cruise itinerary can be guided by other factors, such as an interest in one of the hundreds of carnivals and festivals held in the Caribbean each year. Many islands host Rio-style Carnival celebrations; Jonkonnu (or Junkanoo), which is popular on islands with a British colonial past; patron saints’ days in Puerto Rico; the Friday Night Jump-Up festival in the town of Gros Islet, St. Lucia; or a sailing and fishing tournament in the Virgin Islands, to name just a few possibilities. For help in selecting and booking your Caribbean cruise, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.