When is the best time to go on a Caribbean cruise?


A Caribbean cruise vacation can be a dream come true for many travelers, but when is the best time to set sail is a question travel agents often get from clients.

According to CLIA’s State of the Cruise Industry 2022 report, the Caribbean is overwhelmingly the most popular region for cruise ships, with 44 percent of travelers citing it as their preferred global cruise region.


With so much traffic in a region served by a multitude of cruise lines, there are advantages and benefits to planning a vacation to meet the needs of every traveler. For many, a trip to the Caribbean during the school year can help avoid a higher number of children on board.

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“I think the best time to cruise the Caribbean is when the kids are in school,” said Scott Lara of TheCruiseGenius.com. “My wife and I enjoy 14 day Southern Caribbean cruises during the months when there will be fewer children on board.”

“If you’re traveling without kids and don’t have school schedules to worry about, fall and early winter are great times to cruise the Caribbean,” said Jeremy Hall of Cruise Vacations International. “During the summer months, many ships sail through Europe and Alaska, and many of those ships return to the Caribbean for the cooler months.”

“You can find excellent prizes from Halloween through mid-December,” Hall continued. “As winter weather approaches, it’s always nice to sneak off on a cruise to the Caribbean for one last hurray from the heat.”

While concerns remain about the impact of the coronavirus, the industry has recovered from COVID-related restrictions that have halted business and cruise lines are now seeing record numbers of bookings and sold-out itineraries.

In addition to escaping the crowds of fall and winter, avoiding the cold weather of the United States is an attractive perk when venturing onto the open seas of the Caribbean.

“Caribbean cruises are available all year round,” said The Cruise Guy’s Stewart Chiron. “Winter/Spring are among the most comfortable months for cruising with better weather and fewer people. Enjoy cruising anytime, anywhere.”

“For me, the best time for a Caribbean cruise would be early December before the holidays,” said Ken Heit of Frosch Travel. “Prices are super low. Hurricane season is over. Ships are usually not full and not overcrowded. And the weather is great. I am loving Caribbean cruises at this time.”

Cost is also a factor when planning a vacation, and sailing a cruise ship to the Caribbean is no exception. Travel agents are experts at finding the best possible deals for their customers, and years of experience have helped them find the right times to book and sail.

“The best time for a Caribbean cruise is anytime,” said Valerie Dorsey of CharmedVacations.com. “Right now it’s really good value for money with many lines offering post-pandemic discounts or perks.”

“For families, it’s best to plan a year abroad as the times when they are available ie Spring Break, Summer and Bank Holidays are our busiest times of the year and book up early,” Dorsey continued. “Some are concerned about the hurricane season, which lasts from June to late November, but ship captains know how to avoid the storms should they arise. So anytime is a great time to go to the Caribbean.”

Cruise ships dock in Nassau.
Four ships docked in Nassau, including the New World’s greatest marine wonder (far left) and former champion Freedom of the Seas (second from left).

“It just depends on what the traveler is looking for,” said Tom Hollembaek of AcesCruising.com. “Are you trying to make a deal? September and the first weeks of December have great value. If you are looking for the best weather (not that much rain) Jan-Mar. However, I feel like it’s always a good time to go to the Caribbean.”

Most travel agents agree that a Caribbean cruise vacation is always in style and in demand, whether with family, friends or even solo. While opinions vary on the best times to sail, almost all advisors recommend the experience to their clients.

“There really is no bad time for a Caribbean cruise. Every season has its benefits,” said CruiseOne’s Chris Caulfield. “In the summer, the weather gets hotter and wetter and hurricanes are a risk, but you may see a price advantage.”

“In the winter, the weather is more favorable and there are many more ships to choose from, but demand will be higher,” continued Caulfield. “More ships mean bigger crowds on the islands. Escaping the cold weather that most Americans experience in winter is definitely a plus.”

No matter when travelers decide to book their voyage and set sail, there is almost a consensus among advisors that clients should experience a Caribbean cruise at least once in their lifetime.

With a plethora of destination options, a rich cultural experience across the region and some of the best food in the world, a voyage through the Eastern or Western Caribbean is a vacation destination that travelers cannot afford to miss.

No matter what time of year, there is always the right time for a Caribbean cruise.

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