With its bright blue water, its bright white sand, and its complete lack of winter, you probably think that the Caribbean is paradise 365 days a year. However, if you’re planning a Caribbean cruise, it’s important to look at the calendar before you officially book anything!
– You might end up paying more
You’d probably love to escape the frigid winters where you live and set up shop (at least temporarily!) in the Caribbean. However, most people have that same fantasy! The busiest time of year for the entire Caribbean is during North America’s cold months. Since there’s so much demand for a spot on a Caribbean cruise ship — and only so many spaces to go around — you’ll wind up paying a whole lot more for your ticket. In fact, plan on paying a premium price between December and March.
If you want to take a Caribbean cruise that doesn’t completely blow your budget to smithereens, plan one that leaves when it’s still fairly warm.
– You might want a little more room to maneuver
Even if your budget can withstand a peak season Caribbean cruise, your patience may not be able to! Because so many people are trying to escape the northern hemisphere winter, the Caribbean gets downright crowded this time of year. If you’re looking for complete peace and quiet, this might not be the best time to get it!
– You might wind up dealing with a hurricane
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. While you certainly can’t forecast whether or not a hurricane will hit when you book your cruise a few months in advance, you do need to know that there’s a risk if you go cruising in the Caribbean during this time period.
Clearly, hurricane season eats up a big chunk of the calendar, and since you don’t want to wind up paying more during the winter months, what should you do?
Try to hedge your bets as much as you can. Yes, a hurricane can form at any point during the season, but the peak of hurricane season is typically between the middle of August and the end of October. So, schedule your cruise accordingly!
– You might get rained on
While dealing with a thunderstorm is a whole lot better than dealing with a hurricane, you certainly don’t WANT it to rain while you’re on your Caribbean cruise! While you might be inclined to think that the Caribbean always looks like something out of a postcard, it does, in fact, have a rainy season.
Typically, the Caribbean gets the most rain during the fall. So, if you plan on taking a cruise in September or October — before the winter premium prices kick in — you might be taking a gamble on seeing sunny skies.
Think you’re equipped to deal with a little rain? Just remember — mosquitoes love it when it rains! Even if your spirits aren’t dampened by the rainy conditions, you don’t want mosquitoes to (literally!) take a bite out of your fun.
– You might be longing for cooler weather
Remember, the Caribbean sits very close to the equator, so when it gets hot here, it gets REALLY hot! If you take a Caribbean cruise in June or July, you might be amazed by how hot it gets in the afternoon.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid booking your cruise for these months, though. After all, a little heat is certainly better than some of the things we’ve already talked about! Just remember that if you travel to the Caribbean during its scorching summer months, you’ll definitely need to up your fluid intake — and, no, we don’t mean Piña Coladas! You’ll need to balance out those tropical drinks with plenty of good ol’ fashioned water.
Joanne Lemke is a final year creative writing student at UOW, who is looking to break into the corporate copywriting space once she graduates and hopefully go on to eventually some day write a book around her other passions, namely cooking and travel.