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Caribbean Cruise

Caribbean Cruise Weather Forecasts

Credit: Pixabay public domain
Cruise Weather Forecasts
See cruise weather forecasts by clicking on a destination to the right.

Caribbean cruise weather is an important factor in deciding which months are ideal for going on a trip and which months should be avoided.

Daily temperatures are mostly predictable and make any month good for someone who doesn't plan to swim or spend an afternoon cruise stopover on a beach.

But water temperatures vary greatly based on the time of year.

Beaches off the eastern coast of Mexico are cool during the winter and suffer from strong breezes and cool waters.

If a winter cruise sounds appealing, try the southern Caribbean because destinations such as Aruba are closer to the equator and warmer as a result.

A bigger challenge than water temperatures for Caribbean cruise weather is rainfall because of the annual hurricane season, which officially runs from the beginning of June through the end of November.

Rainfall is especially heavy in September and October.

Caribbean Rainfall by Month

The chart below shows the historical average number of rainfall inches for 15 major destinations by month.


Source: World Meteorological Organization. Locations: Ant - Antigua; Bah - Bahamas; Bar - Barbados; Bel - Belize; Can - Cancun; Cay - Cayman Islands; Cos - Costa Rica; Coz - Cozumel; Dom - Dominica; DR - Dominican Republic; Jam - Jamaica; Mart - Martinique; StL - St. Lucia; SJu - San Juan; USV - U.S. Virgin Islands

Average Storm Activity
  • June - 1 tropical storm
  • July - 3 storms, 2 become hurricanes
  • August - 3 storms, two become hurricanes
  • September - 4 storms, two become hurricanes
  • October - 4 storms, few rarely become hurricanes
  • November - infrequent storms
Rainfall spikes from late summer through November for many destinations.

It especially climbs for the Central American nations that face the Caribbean Sea, which makes a western Caribbean cruise for that time of year less appealing.

Despite a hurricane season that runs from June through November, in reality many cruises avoid bad weather for two important reasons:

  1. Hurricanes and tropical storms don't sweep through the entire region but rather only part of it, some many areas see a much lower impact.
  2. Ships can change course to avoid the worst of the weather.

The biggest advantage of a fall Caribbean cruise is price. One search of prices on the Web site of a major cruise company showed that six-day western Caribbean cruises were as much as $200 less expensive per person in August as the same cruise in July and another $100 cheaper in September.

A southern cruise has the best chances of avoiding bad weather, but it isn't guaranteed.

Cruise Weather Tips

Tip #1: If you like to swim, avoid cruises during the winter in the northern destinations such as the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.

Tip #2: The best Caribbean cruise weather months are early spring to mid-summer, but you will pay extra as a result.

Tip #3: Take a Caribbean cruise in the fall to save money, but expect the odds of rainfall to increase, especially at ports of call.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category:

March 07, 2012
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