Skip to content

The best time to cruise to the Bahamas

April 26, 2022
8 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

When is the absolute best time to cruise to the Bahamas? The short answer is that any time you can make it happen is the best time.

The long answer depends on what matters most to you. Are you going to play in the water? Are you averse to the risks of schedule changes or cancellations? Are you cruising to the Bahamas because it's cheap? Do you want a party atmosphere or peace and quiet? The answers to these questions will determine the best month or season for your Bahamas cruise.

Taking weather, price and crowds into consideration, I’m going with November as the best time to cruise to the Bahamas. Here’s how I came to that conclusion, though you might decide another month is the best time for you to sail away to the islands.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

For cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s cruise newsletter.

The best time based on weather

Though I found several blogs promoting January as the best month to cruise to the Bahamas, I personally have experienced chilly weather in the Bahamas in both December and January. Remember, the Bahamas are located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean. They’re not truly tropical islands, and most are at more northern latitudes than Key West. Winter temperatures aren’t always balmy.

I've had two stops at private islands canceled due to strong winds and temperatures in the 50s and 60s. One ship I was on made an alternate stop at Freeport, which was still chilly, but at least it could dock. It was a wasted day for those hoping to enjoy water sports or the beach. Only the shoppers weren't deterred by the chill in the air.

Don't get me wrong, January is usually a wonderful time to cruise to the Bahamas, as long as you are prepared for the relatively rare cold front that blows that far south.

Related: Caribbean vs. Bahamas cruises: Which itinerary will I like more?

The months some cruisers tell you to avoid cruising to the Bahamas are during the peak of Atlantic hurricane season, which is August to October. But here's the thing about that – the cruise line isn't going to put you or their ship in harm's way.

No matter when you go, the Bahamas will always be a premier destination to visit. (Photo by Per Breiehagen/Getty Images)

Might they cancel your cruise or switch up your itinerary? Sure. But my own experience has been that outside of relatively rare hurricanes and tropical storms, the late summer and early fall months often bring calmer seas. In fact, the calmest seas I have experienced anywhere in the world were on a September cruise to the Bahamas, on which we enjoyed glassy calm waters the entire trip.

The best month to cruise the Bahamas, weather-wise, depends on your travel style. Are you stressed by the possibility of cancellations due to hurricanes or by port changes from unexpected cold fronts? Skip January, December, August, September — and maybe even October.

Are you only going on the cruise for water sports like diving, snorkeling or boating? Then rule out December and January.

Do you avoid high heat and humidity as if it were a plague? Then don’t book a cruise to the Bahamas in July, August or September.

The months we haven't mentioned are March, April, May, June and November. If weather is your biggest concern, those are the best months for you to hop on a Bahamas cruise.

The best time based on prices and crowds

It's no secret that cruises to the Bahamas can be cheap — but they are not always so. Here are the averages we found for price per person per night across the mainstream cruise lines along with what kind of crowd you can expect to find on board. Exceptions to these averages are always possible, especially on odd-length cruises like four- and five-night sailings.

Fall

The autumn months can be an ideal time to cruise the Bahamas if you’re looking for cheaper fares and fewer crowds – especially if you’re not bothered by the increased hurricane risk. (September 10 is the official peak of hurricane season.)

October tends to be the lowest-priced month to cruise to the Bahamas, with inside cabins averaging around $60 per person, per night. Ocean-view cabins are yours for an average of $75 per night, while balcony cabins are a bit higher, at around $85 per person per night. Even suites are a good deal. October sailings do not usually include very many children or college-age partiers, but the lower fares do attract working folks looking to let off steam, especially on three-night sailings.

September runs a close second to October, with fares averaging a few dollars higher per night. Expect a similar crowd. The shorter the cruise, the louder the party tends to get.

November before the holidays is perhaps the ideal time to cruise. We found the suites in early to mid-November average only $167 per night, with other categories running just slightly more than hurricane season rates. You can expect few children on board other than home-schoolers and preschoolers. With the holidays right around the corner, the ships often will be a bit emptier than usual, making for a quiet cruise.

Related: TPG's most favorite fall cruise itineraries

Winter

Early December cruises cost only slightly more than November. If you love holiday decor (both on board and in the islands) and dressing up in holiday clothes, you can enjoy a relatively quiet cruise early in December. The later it gets, the more the crowd swells.

The absolute most expensive cruises to the Bahamas we found were during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when you can expect to pay upward of $150 per person per night for an inside cabin, $165 for ocean-view cabins, $180 and up per night for balconies, and $400 and up per night for suites. This is max capacity time onboard. The best news for those looking for a floating holiday party is that you will find your people cruising this week.

You will be paying the most to visit the Bahamas around Christmas and New Year's. (Photo by travnikovstudio/Getty Images)

January and February cruises to the Bahamas are almost always bargains, with inside cabins running around $75 per night, ocean-view cabins are a mere $85 per night, and balconies and suites averaging around $100 and $175 respectively. These are months between the holiday parties and spring break, so you can usually sit back and enjoy smaller, quieter crowds.

Spring

In March, April and May, you'll have to shop around for deals or hope for a last-minute special, but you can find lower prices if you look. March cruises will always include spring breakers of all ages, so expect children on board, just not as many as in summer.

You also might find yourself sharing a ship with a spring break party cruise charter in March. Even if your ship is quiet, the ports you visit might be filled with hordes of vacationing college kids, so be prepared for a lively crowd.

Summer

June, July and August cruise rates average around $90 per night for inside cabins, $100 per night for ocean-views, $120 and up for balcony cabins and $225 per night and up for suites. Ships will be loaded with families. Expect children of all ages and maxed-out onboard kids clubs. Fares typically start to fall toward the end of August when schools start back up and hurricane season kicks into gear.

Bottom line

The big, mainstream cruise lines sail to the Bahamas year-round, so whichever season or month suits your schedule, you’ll find plenty of options departing from multiple ports. (We found eight ports offering Bahamas cruises, including three in Florida, plus Baltimore; New York City; Bayonne, New Jersey; Charleston, South Carolina; and Galveston, Texas.) Even better news is that the abundance of options means an abundance of deals year-round.

The best time to cruise the Bahamas might vary per traveler, but feel confident that you can't go wrong with an island vacation, no matter which month you choose.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases