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Caribbean Cruise

Should I Cruise the Caribbean in February?

Grand Cayman has warm beaches in February. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Caribbean cruises in February are popular with people in the northern hemisphere who want to get away from winter. But is February a good month to cruise the Caribbean?

The answer is mostly yes, although it depends on where the cruise ship is going.

The Caribbean Sea is more than 1 million square miles in size. The distance between two of the most distant Caribbean cruise ports at Freeport, Bahamas, to the north and Cartagena, Columbia, to the south is more than 1,100 miles or 1,800 kilometers.

Cartagena is much more close to the equator than Freeport and so has higher temperatures in February. Freeport has weather more like Florida, which means warm enough for walking around but not always warm enough for swimming in the ocean.

So anyone planning a Caribbean cruise should pay close attention to the cruise ports they plan to visit and what they want to do when they get there.

Beach lovers and anyone who likes water excursions will want to travel to more southern ports. People who like to shop or take part in other land activities or excursions will have a little more freedom in where they want to go.

Southern Versus Western Cruises

Temperatures for each major island in February. © 2018 Scott S. Bateman

Southern Caribbean cruises in February to ports such as Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, Grenada, Martinique, St. Lucia and Cartagena may cost more to get there.

They either have farther distances to travel from their embarkation point or passengers will have to fly into the Caribbean to places such as San Juan or Barbados to begin their cruise.

For that reason among others, western Caribbean cruises are popular during February because the ports of call are closer and somewhat warmer. Grand Cayman is unusually warm during the month despite its somewhat northern location.

The average amounts of rain also make February a good month for western Caribbean cruises. February is part of a dry season that goes from January through April during that part of the region.

So a western Caribbean cruise in February makes sense for anyone wanting to get away from northern winters. But having traveled in the Caribbean in February, I should point out that warm water isn’t guaranteed, especially during cooler than average temperatures and higher than normal trade winds.

If travelers prefer a little more warmth, they might want to wait until March or April.

Eastern Caribbean Cruises in February

An eastern cruise is more of a tossup. Cruises that depart from Florida often visit the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos as part of the itinerary.

Passengers who visit those islands should expect average high temperatures in the upper 70s Fahrenheit during most days. If temperatures break into the 80s, they should consider themselves lucky.

An eastern Caribbean cruise that goes farther south to such islands as Barbados, St. Kitts and St. Lucia should give its passengers plenty of warm weather.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
December 28, 2021

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