Caribbean cruise - October, January, or July?
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January is most popular month. Many ships. Milder (but not cool) weather. The water in the Caribbean is swimable all months, and kids aren't that picky.
Largest kid times would be July. Number of kids present varies by cruise line at all times. Some lines are kid intensive, some not kid popular, many in the middle.
24 Hours in a day, 24 beers in a case....... coincidence? I think not!
10/2014 Carnival Imagination Sam and Jills Wedding Cruise
11/2011 Carnival Dream - Platinum Cruise
4/2011 Carnival Paradise - Catalina Ensenada
04/2010 Rhapsody of the Seas - Sydney to Honolulu
10/29 to 11/14 2009 Reno takes on Australia....the place will never be the same!
03/2009 Carnival Pride - Panama Canal
03/2008 Carnival Paradise - Baja Mexico
11/2007 Carnival Triumph - Eastern Caribbean
11/2006 Carnival Miracle - Western Caribbean
02/2005 Spirit - Exotic Mexican Riviera
01/2004 Carnival Pride - Mexican Riviera
04/2003 Carnival Elation - Mexican Riviera
NCL (3 day party barge - don't remember much )
10/1982 Carnival Tropicale - Mexican Riviera
But I loved the Caribbean in January - pricing is decent and there's not too many kids, because they're just back in school after the December break. But we sailed the Epic in January with our kids and there were enough activities to keep them busy onboard and they loved the ports.
Monarch of the Seas - 10/96 - Honeymoon
Serenade of the Seas - 1/17/09 - Southern Caribbean - cabin 7600
Norwegian Epic - 1/15/11 - Eastern Caribbean - Courtyard 2BR Villa (S4) 16016
Norwegian Gem - 10/2/11 - Bermuda - cabin 11024 (SC)
Norwegian Epic - 2/16/13- Eastern Caribbean - Haven 2BR Villa (S4) 16016
Norwegian Breakaway - 10/13/13 - FL/GSC/Nassau - cabin 11910 (B1 Aft Balcony)
Norwegian Sky - 12/5/14 - 3-night to Bahamas & GSC - cabin 9058 (BC)
Adventure of the Seas - 2/1/15 - Southern Caribbean - cabin 9640 (D2)
Norwegian Getaway - 7/11/15 - St Thomas/Tortola/Nassau - cabin 11274 (BC with angled balcony)
Norwegian Escape - 8/20/16 - St. Maarten/St. Thomas/Tortola/Nassau - cabin 8126 (M6)
I would try to sail from Miami or Fort Lauderdale the last week of January and you should be okay weather wise. Make sure to fly 1 day early into the cruise port in case of bad weather in MN.
That said, there will be lots more kids in July than in October. January can go either way; earlier in the month will have more kids than later, but still not all that many.
I wouldn't worry too much about hurricanes. Their presence is known well in advance, so if one is coming, the ships will simply steer out of the way and go somewhere else. It's not like the entire Caribbean Sea is blanketed by hurricanes all at once! You simply have to be prepared for the possibility of missing some ports and having other ones (or extra sea days) substituted. Granted, that can happen any time; but it's probably more likely during hurricane season than during other times of the year.
Incidentally, hurricanes peak right around late August-early September. Though October is still in the season, they're less likely during that time, especially toward the end of the month. (That said, when I sailed the Caribbean in mid-October, we had to keep a wary eye on Hurricane Paula. She actually did us a favor by blocking the path of other ships approaching our area; we were able to make our ports while others weren't, and we had them to ourselves!)
Jan. 2006 -- Enchantment of the Seas -- Western Caribbean
May 2010 -- Grandeur of the Seas -- Western Caribbean
Oct. 2010 -- Radiance of the Seas -- Western Caribbean
Apr. 2012 -- Disney Magic -- Eastern Caribbean
Apr. 2014 -- Navigator of the Seas -- Western Caribbean
Jun. 2016 -- Grandeur of the Seas -- Canada / New England
We did Eastern Caribbean in early August a few years back and it was hot and humid, but was tolerable because it was already very hot and humid at Miami and getting further down to San Juan was just a bit more humid. I thoink it was about 103F at Labadee.
We will try cruising the Caribbean in late October next year.
There is no way to predict weather. MIA weather was cooler for us in January than it was when we cruised in Spring/Summer but on all the islands and at sea, we had weather in the high 70's to mid 80's.
Definitely, fly in at least a day or two ahead in case of weather delays. It is okay to fly out the same day as you disembark, but I wouldn't schedule any major appointments or anything the first day or two back just in case there are issues getting back home.
Carnival Magic 8/14
Carnival Sunshine 2/14 BC7
Carnival Magic 9/13
Carnival Magic 5/13
Carnival Magic 12/12
Carnival Magic 2/12
Carnival Triumph 9/11
Carnival Ecstasy 3/11
Carnival Conquest 12/10
RCL Voyager of the Seas 12/09
Carnival Ecstasy 5/09
Carnival Ecstasy 12/07
Carnival Conquest 5/07
Grand Princess 12/05
Carnival Ecstasy 1/05
Carnival Elation 5/04
Carnival Jubilee 5/03
Carnival Celebration 1/03
Work like a dog. Live like a pauper. Save all your money. Then Cruise!
October is hurricane season so you will get great prices but it could be hit or miss on the weather. Would you have to pull kids out of school for this?
We usually cruise in Janaury & for the most part have been lucky. Our Western Cruise in 2010 was cool & rainy though. The highs were in the 70s but it was still better than here. That year was very cold -- it snowed in Florida while were there.
20+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (10), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1996-2016).
Upcoming: Holland America to Hawaii - February 2017
Outside temps don't vary all that much in the Caribbean, usually around 80 to 85 degrees in the winter months and 90 to 95 in the summer months. The biggest factor is rain and humidity. The Western Caribbean's rainy season is June - September and those months have the highest humidity, which can make 90 degree weather horribly uncomfortable. It's a rain forest region, so it will rain year around, but it's "dry" season are the winter months December through March, and far more comfortable. 80 degrees + the tropical humidity is very comfortable, especially if you're coming from winter cold. September through November is hurricane season so you gamble on having your trip disrupted, possibly missing ports. That can happen any time of year, but happens most frequently in fall. January is a great time to go.
132 nights at sea (74 with RCI):
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (5 nights NJ to Bermuda) 4/30/16
RCCL Anthem of the Seas (3 nights sampler NJ cruise to nowhere) 3/4/16
RCCL Liberty of the Seas (5 nights NJ to Bermuda) 10/17/15
RCCL Quantum of the Seas (3 nights inaugural sampler NJ cruise to nowhere) 11/18/14
Celebrity Summit (7 nights NJ to Bermuda) 8/17/14
Celebrity Summit (7 nights NJ to Bermuda) 8/25/13
RCCL Jewel of the Seas (7 nights Southern - Barbados route) 5/25/13
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (9 nights NJ to Bermuda, Labadee, San Juan and St Maarten) 5/24/12
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (7 nights NJ to Bahamas - New Years cruise) 12/30/11
RCCL Allure of the Seas (7 nights Eastern Caribbean) 8/21/11
Caribbean Princess (9 nights NY to Bermuda, St Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk) 7/29/10 REVIEW
Caribbean Princess (7 nights Canada/New England) 8/24/08 REVIEW
RCCL Mariner of the Seas (7 nights Western Caribbean) 8/26/07 REVIEW
RCCL Mariner of the Seas (7 nights Eastern Caribbean) 8/20/06
Carnival Miracle (7 nights NY to Bahamas) 6/26/04 REVIEW
RCCL Adventure of the Seas (7 nights Southern - Aruba route) 8/24/03
RCCL Explorer of the Seas (7 nights Western Caribbean) 8/17/02
Costa Riviera (7 nights Western Caribbean) 5/90
Cunard Countess (7 nights Southern Caribbean) 6/89
Home Lines Atlantic (7 nights NY to Bermuda) 7/88
Thanks again! This forum is great.
Because it's the tail end of hurricane season you have to be "Ok" with the possibility of your ports changing last minute.
July is just TOOOOOOO hot/humid for me and far too much hurricane activity.
January can be cold/stormy and the ocean chilly.
2005 RCCL Sovereign of the Seas: Bahama's
2006 Disney Magic: Western Caribbean
2007 Norwegian Star: Alaska
2007 Celebrity Mercury: Canada/Pacific Coastal
2008 Celebrity Mercury: Canada/Pacific Coastal
2009 Norwegian Star: Mexican Riviera
2010 Carnival Legend: Western Caribbean
2012 Carnival Valor: Eastern Caribbean
2013 Carnival Sensation: Bahamas
2014 Norwegian Dawn: Western Caribbean
2014 Carnival Magic aka Ebola scare W. Caribbean
2015 RCCL Adventure of the Seas: S. Caribbean
2015 NCL Breakaway Florida/Bahamas -NYC
2016 Carnival Magic: Eastern Caribbean
2016 Carnival Dream: Western Caribbean
2016 Disney Dream: Bahamas