When is the best time of year to go to Eastern Caribbean?

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!

Ask a Cruise Question
Post your general cruise questions here.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 09:02 AM.
27 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
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?
Sandy Springs, GA
6,559 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
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!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” Elizabeth Taylor

21 cruises (and counting!) on Royal Caribbean & Celebrity
Gateway Area, New Jersey
191 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
NOVEMBER! I've been to the icaribbean slands a few times in November. AWESOME! We had a Thanksgiving BBQ once on the beach in the Bahamas with calypso music in the background! We had a great time!

I'm sure whenever you decide to go, you'll have a wonderful time! happy cruising!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

AZAMARA-Journey 8/18/2007
CCL-Paradise 8/22/2004
CCL-Fascination 8/2002
Irvington, AL
4,652 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Carnival Cruises 19
Royal Caribbean 9
Holland America 10
Princess 9
Premier 1
Costa 1
107,552 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We have cruised the Caribbean all times of the year. And for us - we really love cruising in Feb and March.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
1,318 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
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!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

StacY & DaviD
Lunasea, LLC founding members
Carnival Glory - 9/24/2005 (Honeymoon) - 7279
Carnival Valor - 4/23/2006 - 7449
Sensation - 1/21/2007 - Needed a quickie - E234
Caribbean Princess - 9/16/2007 - E729
Crown Princess - 10/19/2008 - B605
Crown Princess - 4/2/2011

9,055 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Cruises are quite cheap just AFTER Thanksgiving up to about December 15. That is a great time to cruise in the Eastern Caribbean because the most stifling heat is over.

We also like to cruise in March, April and early May, but May is pushing it, because the rainy season can start that early and May can be very hot, but is not hot every single year.

No one can guarantee you won't have rain in the Eastern Caribbean any time of the year or even a lot of rain. Rain goes with the territory.
Atlanta, GA (Duluth)
2,869 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
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!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"I ain't gonna live forever, I just want to live while I'm alive" - Bon Jovi
~ Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves ~

Disney Dream 11/2014 (Bahamas)

Navigator of the Seas 4/2011 (W. Carib)

Norwegian Pearl 2/2011

Norwegian Sky 5/2009
Carnival Inspiration 10/2008 ((W.Carib)
Costa Mediterranea 3/2008 (E.Carib),
Explorer of the Seas 8/2007 (Canada/New England)
Caribbean Princess 4/2007 (E.Carib)
Carnival Celebration 2/2007 (Carib.)
Golden Princess 8/2006 (British Isles)
Carnival Victory 12/2005
Empress of the Seas 8/2005

Celebrity Mercury 4/2005 (Calif.Coastal)
Caribbean Princess 12/2004 (E.Carib)
Celebrity Summit 4/2004 (W.Carib)
Star Princess 9/2003 (Alaska Inside Passage)
Carnival Triumph 2002 (W.Carib)
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas 2001
Carnival Ecstasy 2000
Norwegian Majesty 1998
Carnival Ecstasy 1998
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas 1997
Regal Princess 1995
Carnival Holiday 1993
Admiral Cruises Emerald Seas 1991
Dolphin 1990
Chandris Britanis 1989