SPONSORED BY ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Are you thinking about planning a cruise, but you just don’t know the best time of the year to set sail on your next voyage? Consider booking a cruise and traveling during shoulder season – between September and November. Why? Because rates to book a cruise during this time of year can be much cheaper, and you also get the benefit of enjoying the great weather during this time of the year, too! And just in case you’re still not convinced, Vacation has five reasons why you should book a cruise during shoulder season, especially solo travelers and couples. And when you’re ready… start planning your cruise with help from one of our expert travel agents.
1. Enjoy the Ease of Exploring Each New Destination
A big advantage of cruising is that passengers can travel to multiple countries and or destinations, and they don’t have to worry about packing up and moving on to the next stop on the itinerary. At the beginning of a cruise, you have the luxury of only unpacking once. That means all that extra time packing and unpacking can be used wisely on a cruise to explore each port of call at your own pace. And during shoulder season – especially September and October – there are fewer family vacationers because kids are back in school. Engage in unforgettable experiences, such as a guided tour to see the largest Maya site in San Gervasio in Cozumel; go snorkeling or swimming in the sparkling blue waters of Cenote Azul in Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico; gear up and climb Mount Liamuiga in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis. Shoulder season is also when more locals are out and about, which means you get to see how residents really live. That’s right… you have a better chance to witness the natural rhythms of a city, such as an immersive excursion to a popular family-owned restaurant in Roatán, Honduras. It’s so worth it travel during this time of the year! You’ll thank us later.
2. Get Cheaper Rates Than Peak Season
During shoulder season, airfare and hotel rates can be substantially lower than peak season. Start your vacation before your cruise and consult an expert travel agent to help you plan a pre-cruise stay in Miami or Fort Lauderdale to work on your pre-tan before you set sail on your Caribbean voyage. You also have the option to plan a few days to unwind before heading back home, too. For example, if your cruise departs from Orlando, consider spending a few days to check out nearby theme parks, such as Universal Orlando or Walt Disney World. Keep in mind that most kids are back at school, which means these must-see attractions will be less crowded than if you visited them during their peak season.
It’s no secret that shoulder season also coincides with hurricane season, when some travelers are less likely to book a cruise. And that’s good news for you because this is the time of year when some cruise lines will offer cheaper rates and or special deals. Pocket the extra money you’re saving to splurge on more luxurious accommodations, a once-in-a-lifetime shore excursion or a mini-vacation to help you relax before or after your cruise.
3. Take Advantage of Seasonal Value-Added Perks
During shoulder season, we recommend keeping a close eye on seasonal promotions that can help make your adventure on the high seas extra special. For example, if you’re sailing with Royal Caribbean, watch for their promotions that may offer instant savings off your cruise fare, onboard credit, and in some cases, free upgrades! Don’t miss out on these value-added perks, which also provide an extra incentive to get you to book a cruise during this time of year.
4. Indulge in the Nice Weather
The fall and spring are actually two of the best seasons for most destinations or ports of call. What does that mean for cruise ship passengers? It means that from late-August through November, you can still pretty much enjoy the nice weather without traveling during busy peak season. And even though the winter is usually when people escape the cold to set sail for the Caribbean – a fall cruise can be just as rewarding. And who could turn down an opportunity to enjoy sunny skies and warm weather during a time when rates are usually cheaper than the peak cruise season.
5. Perfect Time to Travel for Singles and Couples
As we mentioned before, the kids are back in school during this time of the year, which means cruises are not crowded with as many family vacationers and there are more adults. That makes this time of year is ideal for singles, couples, or a group of adult travelers. Consider booking Royal Caribbean’s 7-Night Western Caribbean cruise on the Allure of the Seas® or the 7-Night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Harmony of the Seas® for an amazing bachelorette cruise before you walk down the aisle to tie the knot. Already married? Plan a cruise during shoulder season for a much-needed couple’s getaway, or milestone anniversary. And even if you can’t don’t have the vacation time for a 7-day cruise, consider a fun 3-day cruise to the Bahamas or to Cuba. You’ll thank us later!
Inspired by this article and want to speak with an expert travel agent about how you can plan an unforgettable cruise with Royal Caribbean? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with an expert travel agent to customize an itinerary you’re gonna love.