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Cruising from NY in December?

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Mrs. O'Connor

Member since 6/10

12821 total posts


Cruising from NY in December?

MIL and I have decided to make it our goal this year to take a cruise over New Years. While I have no issues with flying to Florida or NOLA and leaving from there, MIL HATES to fly. She's flown once in the past 10 years and that was for a wedding for her neice in Ireland and she was ready to back out at the drop of a hat for that trip. Chat Icon

Now, there IS a cruise (a SUPER cheap cruise) leaving from NY to the Bahamas on NCL on December 30th.
This would be on the Norwegian Jewel (Never been on it, any experiences?) and would leave from NY to Orlando, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau then back to NY.

The way the days end up we'd be at sea on NYE and then wake up in Orlando on New Years Day. (Fortunately, we don't dock until noon on NYD since we'd likely be up all night partying on NYE.)

But the idea of getting on a cruise ship in NY in the middle of winter is bizarre to me. Has anyone done this? Also, it looks like the average weather could be anywhere from 40-80 in the Bahamas in January so I'm not sure what kind of "tropical" vacation this would turn out to be.

Lastly, I'm worried that the waters might be much choppier during the winter months, at least up North here. Does anyone have any experience? It's not so much for the beaches or anything that we want to do this, but because it seems like it'd be fun to ring in the New Year at sea. It's something that's on my bucket list!

If not, there's another reasonably priced cruise leaving from NOLA on 12/30, but I haven't looked into the price of flights because MIL really would prefer not to fly. She might actually not even go if we do decide to fly somewhere.

Any advice, opinions, experiences is greatly appreciated! Chat Icon

Posted 4/16/12 11:53 AM
Long Island Weddings
Long Island's Largest Bridal Resource

Love being a Mom

Member since 6/08

4030 total posts


Re: Cruising from NY in December?

I have a friend that cruised out o NY in the winter-she did say that the water was very rough heading south. And they were confined to only indoor activities until they made it to Florida. Obviously no pool; sun bathing deck activities. I don't even remember if she said the hot tubs were open until they were further south.

Even with that being said-I would still do it. you'll get the relaxation the first 2-3 days at sea. sleep in; relax; go to the spa; enjoy the shows and activities. And then be super active once you hit the sun! Especially if you get a good price! You don't have the risk of delayed flights when traveling from a home port so that's a big advantage!

Posted 4/16/12 12:16 PM

The Disney Lady

Member since 5/05

18163 total posts


Re: Cruising from NY in December?

I have not done it, but I probably would take the chance. It sounds like a lot of fun! We did a cruise in March and it was pretty cool and choppy and we still had an amazing time.

NCL also has a guarantee regarding the weather from NY. If it's unsafe to cruise, they will not do it, and they will compensate you for any delay. Now I know "safe" doesn't mean "comfortable" but I think I'd do it anyway,

I'm anxious to hear feedback from others.

Also, regarding the weather down there, I know from MANY trips to Fl that the weather can swing, but I think t's vry unlikely that it would be 40's during the day. It might be cooler at night, but you should have nice temps during the day.

What do you enjoy about a cruise? If it's all about sun and sand, I'd reconsider, but if it's all of the cruise amenities and time together, I'd probably do the December one.

Posted 4/16/12 12:19 PM


Member since 5/05

1965 total posts


Re: Cruising from NY in December?

We did it this year.

We took a Royal Caribbean Cruise out of Bayonne over New Years. We were at sea for NYE, then docked in Florida the day after. Then, we went to the Bahamas for two days and came home.

The pluses were that NYE was fun because we had a great dinner and then went to the big celebration. No worries about traveling, etc. I did miss calling/texting my friends and family but called them the following day when we docked. The cruise was very relaxing and we had good weather going down. We enjoyed it overall.

The downsides were that the Bahamas was cold, and my husband's scuba trip was screwed up due to weather (Canceled, then he went independently and it was a bad experience). We went into the pool/jacuzzi once. I tried to get sun one day, and it was a little too cold.

I would do it again, if we got a great deal like we did. You just need to adjust your expectations that it is not going to be a warm vacation with lots of swimming.

Posted 4/16/12 1:39 PM

Thank you, St. Gerard!

Member since 2/11

5043 total posts


Re: Cruising from NY in December?

I did it last year. We left from NYC, on the same NCL Jewel.

It was horrible. we've cruised other lines before, Holland America, Royal, Celebrity & Carnival, but this one sucked.

The water was choppy and didn't get better until we were much afrther south. It was cold, you couldn't go in the pool until you were past FL and even there it wasn't like it was THAT warm in the Bahamas.

Plus, somewhere between NYC and NC, someone needed emergency medical care and we had to stop in NC to get him help so that was supposed to be our sea day and that was a bust.

We were limited in our outside activities while still up north - which, for 7 days, your going to be up "north" a bit, IMO so thats a chunk of time wasted.

We got this deal crazy cheap, (we didn't go during NYE, but earlier in December) and went with friends, but I would never cruise at this time of year again.

If your looking to go cruising in the winter, January is the cheapest month to go since everyone is still in debt over the holidays Chat Icon and they always roll out the crazy awesome deals. With that said though, even if i were to cruise in January, I would leave from FL or PR and head to the southern Caribbean where it is always much warmer. I know your MIL won't fly but maybe you can convince her, or you and your DH could enjoy it Chat Icon

Posted 4/16/12 4:29 PM

Mrs. O'Connor

Member since 6/10

12821 total posts


Re: Cruising from NY in December?

Hmmm lots to think about. I mean, we figured it wouldn't really be a sun and sand vacation since it's leaving from NY, but I thought we'd be able to get at least 2 days of sun out of it. Still a possibility though the choppy water does give me pause- I don't generally get seasick but I was on a cruise once with DH whole family and had to run out from the dinner table because the boat was so rocky. EVERYONE was sick though- they had seasick bags by all the elevators and staircases. It was awful. And then the next day the waters were fine. And that was a May cruise.

Another thing is we've done several NCL cruises before so while I don't mind being relegated to the indoors for 2 days, I wouldn't want it for the full 7. We've seen the shows many times so I wish it was a different ship- like the Epic since they have all new entertainment.

I'm going to discuss with the family, but if we do go, I'll let you know! This is really cheap, too.

Posted 4/17/12 10:56 AM

going along for the ride...

Member since 5/05

16253 total posts


Re: Cruising from NY in December?

My parents cruised down to the Caribbean in February so similar weather. They went to St Thomas, St Martin etc. not the bahamas. They went out on Celebrity out of NJ. They cruise several times a year to give you an idea. My mother gets terrible motion sickness but did just fine. They did have some high waves (20 ft) at one point. But they said it wasn't too bad. You should expect that you will have some rough waters but this is just expected depending on your departure port (i.e. NJ/NY will always have the possibility of being rough, leaving FL also we have found can be rough, but generally leaving out of San Juan is usually pretty calm.) My parents are pretty easy going and like to find quiet places to relax. They did say that going down was nice but the trip back got monotonous. The weather once they were by FL was actually not that warm either and it wasn't really nice until they hit the Caribbean. I don't know that I would go to the Bamahas or FL that time of the year (unless it was to sail out of FL). It think it depends on what you want to get out of the cruise. Casino, bars, spa treatments, gym/exercise classes etc you will be fine - but if you are looking for pool, beach etc you might be taking a gamble. I think of this sort of cruise as one that you either love or hate depending on your personal preferences.

Posted 4/17/12 11:07 AM

Mom of 3 - YIKES! =)

Member since 10/09

6758 total posts


Re: Cruising from NY in December?

i wouldn't...

bahamas is along the same latitude as is not really in the Caribbean! It can be cold in the winter. I would only go if you were going to "true" Caribbean islands more south..

i am also not a fan of NCL..I would only consider it if it was a different cruise line and different port

Posted 4/17/12 11:08 AM

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