Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!
Cruising for the first time? Our resources and tips will have you sailing like a pro in no time! Don't forget to read our 4900 reviews written by first timers just like you!
We have never been on a cruise before and really want to take our family (2 adults and 2 boys 9 and 11) on one either this year or next. We have found a very good deal on a 9 night Explorer of the Seas out of NY the week before Christmas.
Now, I know it will be cold coming and going, but once we get south what can we expect? Is this an OK time to cruise? any advice would be great.
Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda......May 10-17,2009
Oasis of the Seas - Western Caribbean........July 9-16, 2011
Explorer of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean......March 9-19, 2012
Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda......June 8-13, 2013
Explorer of the Seas -Caribbean..... Dec. 12-22, 2013
Celebrity Summit - Bermuda......July 27-Aug.3, 2014
We've gone on 2 cruises in Dec., both the beginning of Dec.
The first cruise the weather was great every day...couldn't be better...75-80 each day and sunshine.
The second cruise in Dec. was on the Explorer out of Miami. Weather was great except for the last day. 75-80 each day, but on the last sea day heading to Miami we ran into a storm. Rainy all day but nothing serious. It was the second week of Dec. I think you can run into the possiblity of a day of rain almost any time, but by the end of Dec. I know the typical rainy season is supposed to be over.
I actually liked Dec. because I found it to be much less humid than in the summer.
Once you get past Central Florida, you can expect 80 degree plus days. Our last cruise, we left Tampa and it was cool (in the 60's) but when we hit the Caman's, it was very confortable in and out of the water with tempertures in the low 80's.
We have cruised in the Caribbean the week after Thanksgiving every year for five years now. As said before, weather warms up by the time you are south of Cuba and is normally between 70 - 80 that time of year.
Only rough seas we've ever experienced have been on days close to Florida, sailing into and out of the ports.
USASA - We were never there. That's our story and we're sticking to it.
We've done four December Carib cruises, with another coming up this year. In general, the weather has been wonderful ... except for our southern itinerary in 2001. Our first two days were sea days en route to Curacao and we had some gale force winds ... so it was a little rocky and we didn't get out on deck as much as we would've liked. I think that situation may have been unusual, as our southern trip last year was calm seas all the way. Don't recall more than one drizzly/rainy day on all four trips (34 days total).
We've always sailed from FLL or SJU ... so can't speak to the weather conditions you'll encounter your first couple of days before you get south.
A real treat will be the holiday decorations on the various islands ... and, possibly, on board your ship.
If you are flying to/from your NYC embarkation, you may find air prices a little higher than normal, as you will be returning just before or during the Christmas holiday weekend.
We're from the snowbelt, so the warm and sunny days and swaying palm trees on the trip are most welcome ... also, we, thankfully, avoid all the holiday-retail-hoopla in the run-up to Christmas!
We sailed from NYC last March, and it was very cold. Note to self: don't spring for a balcony cabin when it's not warm enough to use it half the cruise. It was very cold until we got to our port day in Port Canaveral, and even then it was breezy and cool. Miami and the Bahamas were very warm, as usual, but it was cold the last day at sea as we were heading back. So you will have some warm days and some cold days. Makes packing difficult, but if the price is right, go for it!
Carnival Dream (Eastern) couples only 4/5/15
Carnival Dream (Western) with kids 5/25/14
Carnival Elation (Western) with church group couples 1/19/13
Carnival Freedom (Eastern) with kids 9/11/10
Royal Majesty of the Seas (again, but no kids) 10/5/09
Royal Vision of the Seas 5/18/08 (Mexican Riviera) with family (no kids this time)
Royal Voyager of the Seas 3/23/08 (Western) with 2 kids and friends
Royal Majesty of the Seas 9/24/07 (Eastern) with 2 kids
Norwegian Dream 3/24/07 (Western) with 2 kids
Norwegian Spirit 3/5/06 (Eastern) with 2 kids
Carnival Holiday 4/2/05 (Western) with 2 kids and friends
Royal Grandeur of the Seas 3/04 (Western)
Carnival Triumph 6/03 (Eastern) with 1 kid and family
Carnival Inspiration 6/02 (Western) with friends
Carnival Tropicale 5/98 (Western)
Carnival Celebration 12/89 (Eastern) with friends