Cruise During Hurricane Season?

Safe to cruise during hurricane season

When considering your summer vacation, you might be wondering if it’s safe to cruise during hurricane season. Keep reading to see that there are actually many benefits that outweigh the negatives.

Outstanding Deals.
Discounts abound, particularly in the peak period between early August and early October. But this is not the time to make a visit to one particular port, as  Itineraries can be disrupted by even the mere threat of a storm.

Be flexible.
Know that you may have trouble getting to an airport in south Florida or in San Juan. If flying, it’s recommended to arrive one day prior, enjoy a pre-night stay before your cruise!

Buy insurance.
It’s always recommended to purchase travel protection and cancellation insurance. One never knows after final payment has been paid, yourself, a family member or traveling companion will get sick and need to cancel. Another issue to consider, many insurance companies do NOT have coverage for treatment while at sea or in foreign ports.

Is it worth the risk?Absolutely, prepare for the worst — and hope for the best. Statistically, the chances that your particular sailing will be affected by a hurricane are very slim. But changes to your plans are a possibility, and it’s important to approach a hurricane season cruise with the right attitude.

Cruise schedules and itineraries can be impacted by storms, anticipated or otherwise, but the chances you’ll actually be caught in one are slim to none. These days, solid engineering and satellite equipment allows cruise lines to follow the paths of storms, and quickly send ships on an alternate itinerary.

When is Hurricane Season?
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30.In the Eastern Caribbean and along the U.S. East Coast, the season tends to be busiest between mid-August and mid- Sept. The Western Caribbean, picks up in mid-September and stretches into early November. An “average” hurricane season means we can expect 8 to 11 tropical storms; of these 5 to 7 could develop into full-fledged hurricanes. Note, however, that not all hurricanes strike land.

How Safe Are Cruise Ships During Hurricanes?
Cruise lines have been operating in the Caribbean for years and have, by virtue of experience, specific hurricane/tropical storm emergency response plans in effect. These cover everything from outfitting ships with state-of-the-art satellites to designating a bridge officer as the weather monitor during the season — and to backing up onboard efforts with expanded staff at headquarters.

Canceled Cruises
Canceled cruises are extremely rare. If necessary, cruise lines will adjust itineraries. The only time a cruise will be canceled outright is when a storm is aiming for its major port of embarkation, such as Ft. Lauderdale or Miami — and even in such cases, it’s an unusual outcome. More often, departure is delayed by a day or so, and passengers are generally compensated accordingly. If a cruise is actually canceled, you will obviously get a refund. You might also receive a discount on a future cruise.

A Final Note
Watch the Weather Channel or visit: Be proactive. If your cruise seems to be in the path of a storm, contact your travel agent — or the cruise line directly — in case contingency plans are necessary.

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