Sea lice in Western Caribbean

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26 Posts
Joined May 2018
Hello again all... Does anyone know if sea lice are usually an issue in the Western Caribbean? I've only done one cruise before (with Disney to the Bahamas and Castaway Cay) and a lot of people recommended a special lotion to protect against sea lice. Wasn't sure if I should bring that for the waters in the Western Caribbean. Thanks!
San Francisco
65 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
I have just returned from a cruise in the Western Caribbean and went to a lot of the beaches and did not experience any issues with bites of any kind. I also never had to “get away” from any area on the beaches because of bugs... and believe me, I would run! We just used regular sunscreen. It doesn’t hurt to bring the special lotion just in case.
14,228 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
"Sea lice" are really jellyfish larvae. In Bahamian waters, they seem to have two bad periods per year, each lasting a couple weeks. Thus, you could do a lot of cruises and never had a problem.

I've never experienced them being a problem in Grand Cayman, which we've visited several times. Not sure what ports you're going to experience.

The biggest measure seems to be to remove your swimsuit as soon as possible after exiting the water, and then shower to remove any remaining larvae. DO NOT shower while wearing the swimsuit as the fresh water causes them to sting. There are a couple of lotions designed to protect against them, but plain old sun screen definitely helps as well.
2,158 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
From what I found from an internet search, sea lice can be found in the entire Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico and usually a problem from March to August.
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USS Greenling SSN614
Atlantic Ocean/Barents Sea
14,007 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
It totally depends on the time of year. I haven't had a problem in January, March, April, June, or July but I could've just missed them by days. You just never know. Maybe there's some oceanographic prediction of their progress each season?
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2,423 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Had a couple of cruises to Cozumel in April where there were massive numbers of 1" diameter jellyfish everywhere. Scary, but didn't seem to sting.

In 14 years of Caribbean cruises we haven't ever had a problem with sea lice. Have heard of people having problems with fresh water shower on snorkel boat triggering stings, but never actually saw this on our tours. And we have seen people using the lotion right along side those of us not using the lotion.

We wouldn't buy the stuff, but if it makes you feel protected it probably won't hurt you.
San Antonio spaceship earth
8,518 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
I have scuba dived in many of the Caribbean islands and in particular many times in Cozumel. I have never seen sea lice and had a problem with them. I have had a problem with sea lice in the southern Pacific so I am acquainted with the problem. I doubt the OP will have a problem with sea lice so go have a great cruise.
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