Southern Caribbean weather is an important part of planning any cruise to that part of the world.
Caribbean cruises usually are divided into three regions – eastern, western and southern. Most cruises average about seven days and visit four or five ports in a region.
Southern Caribbean cruise destinations often include some of the following destinations:
- Dominican Republic
- St. Lucia
- St. Maarten
The average high temperatures remain in the 80s Fahrenheit for most southern Caribbean destinations year round, according to statistics from the World Weather Organization.
Those average highs stay in the 80s even during the winter, which is why southern Caribbean cruises remain popular during that time of the year. Seawater temperatures remain warm enough for swimming.
The average highs reach the high 80s during the summer and edge up to 90 for a few locations such as Aruba.
Average monthly low temperatures occur mainly at night and reach the low 70s in the winter for Antigua, Barbados and others, and they reach the high 70s during the summer. As a result, nightlife stays active and popular throughout the year.
Rainfall is a much bigger consideration for southern Caribbean weather because of the annual hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and peaks for most places in September and October.
The ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, which are located about 30 miles off the coast of Venezuela, lie below the hurricane belt and usually (but not always) avoid the worst tropical storms and hurricanes of the season.
That's why these islands see less of a decline for tourists during the worst months of the hurricane season.
Otherwise, the ABC islands are quite arid and receive little rainfall during the remainder of the year.
Other islands such as Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Maarten receive moderate rainfall throughout most of the year except for a brief rainy season in May.
Rainfall starts to climb for most of those islands in August and reaches high points in September, October and sometimes November before starting to drop again in December.
Best Times to Go
December through April are among the best times to go to the southern Caribbean because of a combination of warm temperatures and a lower chance of rain.
The risk rises slightly in May because of the brief rainy season, drops again in June and July and jumps in the fall.
Anyone with an appetite for risk and seeking lower prices might consider going in the fall, but travel insurance would be wise to consider to protect against bad weather.