I am going on my first cruise with Royal Caribbean around the first part of Dec.
How are the sea's that time of year?
We are going on the Radiance, How is this ship?
If you have any advice I would love to hear it.
We have been going over New Years the last 2 yrs, and this one to come. Weve left out of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Both were a bit chilly at night, and at sea on some days. There were a few brief showers/storms while in port (didnt get into Cayman due to a storm coming in), and it was cloudy on a few sea days. In port, it was the usual hot and humid. We are boaters so I didnt notice any motion at all on the water. However, when I got off the ship and for a few days following that I felt like I was back on the ship. thankfully you are out of hurricane season so you shouldnt have any problems other than a few cool, cloudy days!
Seas were great 2 yrs ago when we traveled. Don't recall any rough seas at all...if there were, it was minimal and wasn't noticed when sleeping. You're out of hurricane season by then, so no great fluctuations. Never been on Rhapsody, but have traveled on 2 other RCCL ships. Both were good to excellent experiences.
We get a balcony cabin as we have a 2 yr old. We need the extra space, plus its nice when hes napping we can sit and chat out on the balcony, and watch whats going on while in port. Because of the 2 yr old we havent done any excursions-just walked into port, shopped, hit a few beaches (his favorite thing to do), and hung out on the ship which is less crowded while in port. Some that Ive done in the past-tour the ruins, Dunns River Falls, scuba (lots of that), Stingray City is a must if you havent done it yet.
I usually take my "big" vacation every year mid-December. We always take a cruise for that time period. Done so for the last 10 years. Never even though about the weather conditions in December except that it could be chilly in Florida. Once out of the Florida area, it is usually pretty nice.
For most of the Caribbean, the only difference between winter and summer is about 2 degrees of temperature and the strength of the trade winds. They blow stronger in the winter. That is why it "feels" so much hotter in the summer - not so much the change in the air temperature, but in the lack of constant breeze.
I am also taking my 2nd September cruise next month - during hurricane season. This will be my wife's 4th cruise during hurricane season (she has accompanied her parents of previous trips). Not too worried about that either. No sane captain sails his vessel into a storm. With 2,500 paying passengers aboard, I wuold expect them to be a bit more cautious than a freighter captain, but even commerical ships avoid storms even if it means added travel time and fuel expense.
I always cruise in December, right before Xmas. These are the best prices for cruising.
The Caribbean weather is fabulous, no hurricanes and not much rain, only maybe a quick shower.
I've always had great weather.
Have a great time.
2008 Liberty OTS (Caribbean)
2007 Summit (Alaska)
2006 Century, Infinity (Panama Canal), Summit (Hawaii)
2005 Millenium, Voyager of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas B2B
2004 Explorer of the Seas, Constellation (Canada/New England)
2003 Horizon (Bermuda), Summit
2002 Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas (Caribbean)
Done Western Caribbean 3 times. Climbing Dunns River Falls in Jamaica is a must. Beautiful and refreshing. Be sure to take good water shoes or tennis shoes. You can take a camera...the guides carry them all over their shoulders and climb the falls like they are stairs! They will even stop and take a picture of you in the falls if you want. You will go thru the rainforest, "Ferngully" (yes, there is a real one) on the way there...and watch for the "sleeping policeman" sign (a/k/a speedbumps). There is also a lazy river ride of some sort (can't remember the name), and it is enjoyable, but it is led by a Jamaican resident who will be making something and will try to sell it to you while you are there. Be prepared for the level of poverty in Jamaica where the ship docks. You will not be in the resort area. Overall and good place to go.
Also, Mayan Ruins are very interesting if you are into archeology and history.