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 sunny sailing 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 choices available while school is in session. Even after New Year's Day, when the celebrations cease and the hectic holiday travel season is over, the options seem endless, and some of the least expensive bookings tend to come 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 top cruise lines decorate their ships for the season and have special onboard activities. Plus, there is plenty of holiday fun to be had when you realize the crowd is more sophisticated, it's less noisy, and there are many ways to catch up on much-needed rest and relaxation. From fewer crowds to cheaper prices, here's why winter is the best time for you to take a cruise.

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, as it's officially the off-season in most destinations.

Flights are less expensive

Some of the lowest airfares 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.

You don’t have to cook

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 a great way to use up your 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 of vacation hours accumulated, you might as well plan a dream vacation.

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're going to need the right attire for your tropical vacation checklist, so you'll finally have an excuse to shop for the latest trends.

It’s a great 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 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 and rejuvenating 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 a run outside. Not only do cruise ships offer onboard fitness facilities, but there are plenty of activities as well, from workout classes to swimming to basketball.

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 on board. And that means fewer people to annoy you, shorter lines, better seating, quieter cabins, and an all-around hassle-free experience.

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, and you might even end up on an almost kid-free cruise ship.

There will be fewer tourists at port

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 hot

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

It’s not too cold

While places like the Caribbean are known for white-sand beaches and tropical climate, winter does bring mild weather to the region. You will get cool, comfortable breezes, but you'll also get plenty of sun — no biting winds or frostbite.

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, which include stimulating production of vitamin D in your body, promoting better sleep, and helping fight against depression.

Hurricane season is over

Upon seeing the devastation caused by hurricanes in the past few years, many people have been reluctant to cruise. However, severe weather shouldn't be an issue that will hamper your travel plans if you sail during the winter.

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