Would it be incredibly stupid to plan a Caribbean vacation in October?

My husband and I are thinking about some sort of less expensive vacation for our first anniversary, which means we’d be going somewhere in late October or early November. And we don’t have a ton of money, so we were wondering if hurricane season makes for discounts that are good enough to risk having to cancel if there’s, you know, a killer storm with our names on it.

So, first of all, are there good discounts available for that season? Second, is it nice to go to, say, somewhere in the Bahamas then?

Then third, is it really dumb? (We were also considering going back to New Orleans, or maybe to Disney World, but it would be nice to go somewhere neither of us have been. I’ve been to Nassau and Freeport briefly on a cruise but not spent any real time there, or at any other island - I mentioned the Bahamas because it seems to be easy and inexpensive to fly there, but please do advise about other options.)

Oh, and we’re not stupid about hurricanes - we’re from South Carolina and about every five years the tourists don’t want to leave Myrtle Beach because they want to see one. I looked Hugo right in the eye and am not about to take chances.

Dunno, we’re headed there in August. After having been hit by two hurricanes in two years way up here.

Buy travel insurance that includes GMTFOH coverage.

Answered in 1.

I dropped in to say ‘go for it’ but be sure to budget in the insurance.

Enjoy and congrats on the anniversary!

You could pretty easily check the number of times a hurricane has hit that area in the last, say, 50 years and then calculate the odds. I’m not going to do that legwork, but if I had to guess, I’d say you’ll end up with a number that is < 10%.

It’s not a vacation if you have to keep watching the NHC feeds to see if you’re going to get slammed. ANY hurricane in the area is going to be a downer, even if the only effects are worry and fringe weather disturbances.

There is definitely different pricing in October than in Dec-Mar, which is considered high season.

I say go for it. I had my wedding in St.Lucia this past October, late October actually, and it only rained for 30 minutes the entire 7 days we were there. That’s way further down than the Bahamas and there wasn’t even a hint of any inclement weather approaching.

I’ve been to the Bahamas, and frankly, I didn’t care for it that much. If I had to choose between there and Florida, since they’re so close to each other, I’d pick Florida. The only thing I did like was that the water was calmer and nicer there than further south. If you are trying to save, you won’t find many All-Inclusive places there for some reason (don’t know if that’s what you meant by trying to save), I went to one and it was not pleasant. I mean there is Sandals, but that’s like the Cheesecake Factory of resorts.

I’ve been to Bonaire in October and it was lovely–hot weather and piss-warm water. It got a bad hurricane a week after we left, so be aware that October might be hurricane season down there.

Something farther north like Virgin Islands might have chilly-ish water by then.

I say go for it as well. We left for a Caribbean cruise out of Miami the day before Hurricane Fay hit. They ended up detouring us around the other side of Cuba to avoid the weather. It ended up being one of the best cruises we went on, although we didn’t go to our planned destinations.

I’ve been in November and it was fine however one port we were due to dock at was hit bad by a hurricane previously and we were rerouted elsewhere.

As others have said, whats the harm. With all the trouble Carnival had in recent months cruise prices are very reasonable right now because the whole industry seems to have gotten a black eye over those events. We books a cruise for next year that goes from Singapore to Hong Kong that we otherwise could have never afforded before all that mayhem.

Just book the cruise knowing with the expactation that:

  1. you will need to spend a little extra on insurance in case of hurricane
  2. you may end up having to go to a different port or two because of the local conditions.
  3. you have a contingency plan in case of (1) and the whole thing falls apart.

The Virgin Islands are a good choice and the water never gets chilly there especially in October. They are about 1,100 miles south of Miami after all and even south of Puerto Rico. Were you thinking of Bermuda?

It’s not like all the islanders evacuate the entire Caribbean for the peak hurricane season.

The water is warm, some of the warmest of the year. The winds are some of the calmest of the year unless there is a tropical system about.

The water is near its peak clarity so the scuba and snorkeling tend to be particularly good.

There are many fewer families with kids so things tend not to be as crowded.

And for land based vacationers…with a bit of luck there is a tropical system brewing just far enough away so as not to trouble your vacation but yet close enough to re-route cruise ships. You can get the tropical vacation island without the cruise ship crowds. Bonus.

Look into Aruba. I’ve been to most of the major Caribbean islands and Aruba is my favorite. It lies to the south of the hurricane belt and rarely receives the effects of storms. And being an arid, desert island, it is very unique among Caribbean islands. You’ll have an extremely good chance of not having rain affect your vacation.

The Virgin Islands are indeed quite pleasant in October (assuming no hurricane), but they are only about 500 miles south of Miami (latitude 18.4 vs 25.8)

I should have said 1,100 miles FROM Miami going Southeast (the water only gets to 78 degrees in the dead of winter and is much warmer in October; that was my major point). I am going there in August and I don’t think it is stupid. The only trip I ever had screwed up by a hurricane was during Hurricane Irene two years ago and that was a round-trip Boston to Colorado trip also in August. I got stuck in Colorado (not a bad thing overall) for an extra week. Go figure. You pay your money, you take your chances. Buy insurance if it makes you feel better.