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Old 12-27-2012, 02:42 PM   #1
halfmonkey
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early stages of planning for a Bahamas cruise

This will be our first cruise with Disney but our second overall cruise. We're in the very early stages of planning and one of the questions we're hoping you can all help with is the timing and weather. We've never been to FL or the Bahamas and all we know is that FL can get hot and muggy.

Would someone be able to gives us a simple breakdown of the best time of the year to go as far as the weather is concerned? In essence, we're looking to know when the off season is and when the prime time is.

Generally, speaking we want to go when the timing and weather is right and not when hurricanes and such are always a threat.

We're also planning to include some time at WDW since we've never been there so please keep that in mind for all of those that reply. Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:44 PM   #2
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I'm from Florida-it's always hot and humid!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
halfmonkey
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I'm from Florida-it's always hot and humid!!
That's what I hear but when are the hurricanes and such?
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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That's what I hear but when are the hurricanes and such?
The official hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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Prime time is any time that traditional schools are off. Low season is September/October and January/first 1/2 of February. Hurricane season is 6 months of the year--we ignore it as we love September cruises. Yes, we've visited some alternate ports due to storms, but that's not a big deal. Nassau is a crummy port, so missing it is no big deal!
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Nassau is a crummy port, so missing it is no big deal!
FWIW, I've read that others have a different opinion.



OP, we're doing a cruise in February, so it probably won't be hot, but on the other hand, it might not be overly warm. I've read that Jan or Feb is the hardest time for the ships to dock at Castaway Cay, so we are getting used to the idea that we might not be able to get to that island! So we are definitely getting off the ship in Nassau, if only for a little while, just in case the next day we can't get off at the Cay.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
halfmonkey
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The official hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
Dang! That is a long hurriance season. I've never been in a hurricane and I don't plan on it so I guess we'll be planning around those months.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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Prime time is any time that traditional schools are off. Low season is September/October and January/first 1/2 of February. Hurricane season is 6 months of the year--we ignore it as we love September cruises. Yes, we've visited some alternate ports due to storms, but that's not a big deal. Nassau is a crummy port, so missing it is no big deal!
Well, if June through November is hurricane season, that really only leaves December and the Spring months.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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FWIW, I've read that others have a different opinion.



OP, we're doing a cruise in February, so it probably won't be hot, but on the other hand, it might not be overly warm. I've read that Jan or Feb is the hardest time for the ships to dock at Castaway Cay, so we are getting used to the idea that we might not be able to get to that island! So we are definitely getting off the ship in Nassau, if only for a little while, just in case the next day we can't get off at the Cay.
Is this because of the storms and the waves and such?
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:08 PM   #10
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Dang! That is a long hurriance season. I've never been in a hurricane and I don't plan on it so I guess we'll be planning around those months.
Peak hurricane season is August, September (highest chance in September), and October. Chances are much lower in June, July, and November. Here's a chart for you: http://www.weather.com/news/weather-...-peak-20120907. That being said, they will not sail you through a hurricane, they will go around it. Sometimes you will miss a port or be directed to an alternate port due to a hurricane. If you book a cruise in September, just don't have your heart set on going to all the ports. --Katie
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #11
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That being said, they will not sail you through a hurricane, they will go around it
Heh, I bet those who went through hurricane Sandy will be to differ.



OP, you will have to decide what's best for you. The hurricane season is long and quite frankly, crazy storms can happen 365 days per year here. It will always be a risk. Going during peak season will cost you significantly more. Going off peak during the heaviest of hurricane season is a lot less, but then you risk the storms more. The ships are SUPPOSED to steer away from the storms and change their routes. And I do believe they try to do that for the most part. For whatever reason, I believe it was the Fantasy, decided to head right into Sandy.

Next October there is a really nice cruise to the bahamas on the Magic. It's an older ship and October is one of the heavier times for storms. But it goes to Castaway Cay twice as well as Nassau, AND it's right after a dry dock refurbishment which is special.

If you really want to avoid storms and monry is no object, I would shoot May-July. But nothing is guaranteed.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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For weather purposes I suggest early April, it's quite warm but not hot and humid. Depending when Easter falls it may or may not be crowded. Prices are a little higher this time of year.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:34 PM   #13
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I've cruised most months of the year. Obviously, these are just my opinion....
May, June, July--hot, but good weather. Too hot for my liking.

September/October--much less humid than summer, and great rates. Yes, we've had some cruises with hurricane impact.

December--can be cool, but you get to enjoy the ship and Castaway being decorated.

January/February--Sometimes too cool to enjoy swimming, other times great weather (70s) Again, good rates.

March/April--nice. Ships are full due to spring breaks.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #14
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First thing to know about cruising is that things can change. It isn't like a land based vacation in that you know where you are going to be from x to y. Cruising has a lot of different variables built in, so you definitely need a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude.
We like cruising in December after Christmas as the weather is warm (to us!) and the ships aren't as over run with kids as the week of Christmas...but not by much . Our school board had a late Christmas vacation the past couple of years so we hit an off-peak time leaving Jan 1 which worked out great. We leave in 2 days for a cruise on NCL to the Bahamas and Florida, we know the weather could be just above freezing in Florida and not much better in the Bahamas, but a cruise ship is better than dealing with the 35cms (just over a foot I think?) of snow we had today
Personally I wouldn't book a cruise during hurricane season, but that's me. Ditto for spring and summer, as there are too many interesting things to do at home. So that leaves us with late-December to March for cruising.
As for Nassau as a port, it is a very common port of call for cruise ships, so some of us are bored with it as seemingly every eastern Carribean itinerary as well as Florida/Bahamas cruises has it as a port of call. There are interesting things to do, but many are very expensive. If you have never been, then definitely get off the ship and explore. We have enjoyed Blue Lagoon and this time we plan on doing a walking tour of some of the historic sites. However when we return on the Dream in March, we will be spending some time enjoying the ship
Good luck with your planning!
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:57 PM   #15
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Is this because of the storms and the waves and such?
I think it's the choppier seas. They don't want to damage the ship or the dock, so if they can't easily dock, they won't. But this *can* happen at ANY time. You are not guaranteed ANY port on ANY cruise on ANY ship or cruise line. Things can change.



Quote:
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Heh, I bet those who went through hurricane Sandy will be to differ.
Hopefully they will learn from their mistakes and not make those same rotten decisions in the future. Hope hope hope!



Remember OP, what you experience in California is just as scary to those from the East Coast as hurricanes are to you. I personally am terrified of tornadoes, but my friends from the midwest are far more afraid of earthquakes than twisters.

I would rather be on a ship, where they *can* move away from storms, or at WDW, which has really good measures for storms, during a hurricane. My family that lives in Daytona has WDW as their backup plan for huge storms! That's where they evacuate to. That's how safe they feel it is at WDW.

Now the tricky part is making sure your flights can get in or out of the Orlando airport, and in that case reading an old thread written by bavaria, on the Transportation forum, is a good idea, to have your ducks in a row in case you need to change your flight when a storm threatens.


I think, though, if you want to avoid all negative things, spring is going to be a better time...but that's going to be higher prices due to school breaks.
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