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When is the best time of year to go to Eastern Caribbean?
I am planning a cruise for next year, but want to go asap, so when is a good time to go to eastern Caribbean? I want nice, hot weather, no rain, if possible! I took a cruise to West. caribbean in July last year, loved it! but can't afford to go again until early next year...can anyone help?
Well, the biggest consideration is hurricane season - which is from June 1st through the end of November each year. That doesn't mean there will be a hurricane during that time of the year, but the risk is considerably higher.
Summer in the Caribbean is hot hot hot hot, and if you aren't used to the heat and humidity it can be debilitating.
During the hotter weather in the Caribbean you are much more likely to have pop up thunderstorms in the afternoons. That means maybe half an hour of rain each day, but it blows through quickly most of the time.
Winter is cooler, but still hot for those from the north. It's the tropics after all!
Spring can be really lovely. In March of 06 we cruised the western Caribbean and had beautiful seas, clear skies, warm temps and no rain. In March of 07 we went to the Southern Caribbean and had some rougher seas with much wind, but still clear skies and warm temperatures.
Now the busiest time of year is holidays - like Christmas and Spring Break, so if you're watching the budget then those times will be more expensive (that old pesky supply/demand theory of economics). The cheapest time of year to cruise is generally September/October, when the kids are back in school and it is hurricane season.
So if weather is your only consideration then I'd go for spring = maybe March through May. If money is an issue then I'd go for the fall, and buy insurance in case a storm blows through.
Please keep in mind that there is often rain in the tropics, but it generally just passes through quickly.
Hope this helps!
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The best time for the eastern Caribbean IMHO is from the middle of April 'til the end of May. Weather is warm, but not stiffling, and the rainy season doesn't begin until late June. Also, many ships leave the Caribbean in April to do their summer itineraries in Europe or Alaska. This means that there will be far fewer ships in port when you arrive this time of year. We recently returned from an eastern Caribbean cruise (6/2/07 sailing), and we were the only ship in port in St Thomas, Half Moon Cay, San Juan and Grand Turk.
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DW and I went in late April (St. Thomas/St. Martin/Nassau) and the water in St. Thomas was divine. Air temp was 80's easily, and no rain.
I can see Mid to late March as an excellent time of year also. Heck, we even did a quickie to The Bahamas in mid/late January and had 80 degree weather with no rain or clouds of any kind. Bit windy in Freeport, but other than that, blue skies and bright sunshine. I love getting a red face in January, given that it is not possible in Maine!!
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I agree with HeavySurf .... the week after Thanksgiving usually has some awesome rates.
Other than that, December through February are terrific months to sail. I lived in South Florida for decades and the weather is very similar to the Caribbean. These months typically have mild weather - you can still get your tan and swim, but it won't a scorcher - plus hurricane season is over!
Have fun deciding!
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