You can cruise to Mexico year-round, though the best time to go will vary depending on your personal expectations, as well as your budget. With two beautiful—and very different—coasts that accept cruises, Mexico is a popular destination. Major cruises lines that sail to Mexico include Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Holland America.
Where to Go
The majority of Mexican cruises depart from the West Coast cities of San Diego and Los Angeles. If it's nature and outdoor activities you seek, choose a cruise that travels to Mexico's Baja peninsula, with its great surf, striking cliffs and lovely stretches of sand.
If you enjoy cultural and historical activities, you might prefer a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Though some of the cities in the Mexican Riviera, such as Acapulco, are quite touristy, the region provides abundant opportunities for exploring ruins, strolling though colonial towns, trekking through jungles, getting to know the folklore and traditions of Mexican country life. There are countless beautiful beaches with a large array of nightlife options.
Western Caribbean cruises often stop at ports of call along the eastern coast of Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula. These cruises usually depart from cites in Florida and stop in Cozumel and/or Costa Maya, a tourist resort between Cancun and Belize. The beaches on this side of the Mexican coast are some of the most beautiful in all of Mexico—those who prefer the white sands and turquoise water of the Caribbean will not be disappointed.
In terms of weather, the best time to cruise to Mexico is November through May, when you are most likely to have clear skies and warm weather. This is also the high season, with tourist traffic peaking around the holidays, when prices are at their highest. The winter months also coincide with whale migration, and are best for spotting whales.
The summer months are also popular months to cruise to Mexico, particularly for families. However, June through October is the rainy season, and the weather can be quite hot and humid.
Hurricane season lasts from June through November, with most hurricanes occurring in August, September and October. Those who travel during these months will have the advantage of fewer tourists and lower prices, particularly during the low-season months of September and October.
Finding a Deal
The best deals to be had are during the low-season months of September and October. If weather is a priority for you but you don't want to pay high-season prices, the best times to go are early November and May.
The shoulder season—known as "wave season" in cruise-speak—also offers some good discounts, with cruise lines sometimes throwing in extra incentives. The wave season for Mexico is October, early November and May. Some cruise lines offer discounts between Thanksgiving and Christmas.