Why Winter is the Best Time to Go on a Cruise

When the temperatures dip below freezing and you find yourself dreaming of summer, that’s when you know it’s time for a cruise. It’s especially easy to give in to the allure of a cruise if you’re bound to be buried in mounds of snow.

While you might pay a premium to cruise on some ships this time of year, the trade-off of being in warmer climates and basking in the sun is worth it. Still, there are plenty of affordable options available while school is in session. Even after New Year’s Day, when the celebrations cease and the hectic holiday travel season is over. According to CruiseCritic.com, some of the least expensive bookings are up for grabs in early January. However, if you do decide to cruise during the holidays, don’t worry about missing all the holiday cheer at home. Many cruise lines decorate their ships for the season and have special on-board activities.

From fewer crowds to cheaper prices, there are plenty of reasons to set sail during the winter as opposed to the spring, summer, or fall.

Here are the 15 reasons for setting sail this winter:

Cruise bookings are cheaper.

It’s important to remember the best time to book your cruise. Prices tend to be cheaper when school is in session, so many cruise lines offer discounted rates before and after major holidays to fill empty cabins. Consider cruising after New Year’s Day.

Flights are cheaper.

Some of the lowest airfare prices are available after the holidays at the beginning of January. That means you could save money on getting to the ship and spend more on the cruise.

No cooking.

If you do decide to cruise during the holidays, you’re off the hook as the cook! Rather than spending all day planning and preparing a feast for your entire family, you can relax and peruse a lovely menu.

It’s the best time to use up vacation days.

Some companies have a “use it or lose it” policy when it comes to vacation days. So, at the end of the year, when you have tons vacation hours accumulated, what else are you going to do?

Stores are starting to sell resort-wear.

You’ve seen it while shopping: Department stores start selling resort-wear in the middle of winter. If you go on a cruise, you’ll finally have an excuse to shop for the latest trends.

It’s a stress reliever.

Did you spend days upon days cooking for a large crowd? Did you get into squabbles with your family? Do you need a break? Sometimes the holidays can cause more stress than joy, and a relaxing winter cruise is just what the vacation doctor ordered.

You need an escape from everyday news.

Politics got you down? Tired of current events in general? If you can’t take it anymore, disconnect. Shut off your phone, leave the computer at home, and set sail on a relaxing journey.

Staying active is easier.

Let’s face it. When the weather outside is frightful, it’s much more delightful to cozy up to the fire than it is to go to the gym or even go for a run outside. Not only do cruise ships offer on-board fitness facilities, but there are plenty of activities as well from workout classes to swimming to basketball.

Cruise ships are less crowded.

Summer is the busiest season for cruise ships. And while it is unlikely your ship will be a complete ghost town, there will be fewer passengers onboard. And that means shorter lines, better seating, quieter cabins, and an all-around hassle-free experience.

The passengers are calmer.

If all you want to do is relax, cruise in winter. Kids are in school, so fewer families will be on the ship. That goes for college students, too. That means the crowd will likely be older and more sophisticated.

There will be fewer tourists at the ports.

If fewer people are cruising, you can bet that fewer people are vacationing in the port cities where the ship will dock. You may even find you have the whole beach to yourself for a nice, quiet stroll.

It’s not too warm.

While places like the Caribbean are known for white-sand beaches and tropical climate, winter does bring mild weather to the region. You’ll still get plenty of sun, but it comes with cool, comfortable breezes. Not biting winds and frostbite.

It's not too cold.

Cruising during the summer means you could be in for some 100-degree days, and not everyone enjoys the heat. The milder temperatures in winter are just warm enough to entice you outside on the deck of the ship or to roam around the port cities.

Sunshine offers great health benefits.

Winter woes at home often include a bevy of cloudy days and a disappearing sun. With all the sunshine you’re bound to see on a winter cruise, you can take advantage of its health benefits: It stimulates the production of Vitamin D in your body, promotes better sleep, and also helps fight depression.

Hurricane season is over.

Upon seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, many people have been reluctant to cruise. But if you sail during the winter, severe weather shouldn’t hamper your travel plans.

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