The Caribbean + Mexico
January and February (but not March, when spring break begins)
Now’s the time to book Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, before it moves to Shanghai in the spring. The January 23 sailing (10 nights from $1,749), combines classic ports of call (Puerto Rico, St. Kitts) with five days at sea.
In February, Celebrity Constellation travels round-trip from Fort Lauderdale (five nights from $399), visiting Key West and Cozumel, Mexico.
Though popular with the yachting crowd, the Grenadines have yet to be touched by mass tourism. Star Clippers Cruises offers voyages (seven nights from $1,560) on the five-masted Royal Clipper—a true sailing vessel.
South + Central America
January through March, for low humidity and blue skies
Most Cape Horn sailings begin and end in Chile or Argentina, but Oceania Cruises’ February 3 itinerary on the Regatta (19 nights from $6,199, with airfare) starts in Lima, Peru—which gives you time to visit Machu Picchu before cruising Patagonia’s dramatic fjords.
Leaving from Rio de Janeiro, the February 7 sailing on the Azamara Journey includes two additional nights in Rio mid-cruise during Carnival.
Windstar Cruises’ 148- passenger Wind Spirit has trips (seven nights from $2,499) through the Panama Canal with stops in Costa Rica’s national parks.