So you finally booked your dream cruise only to find out there is a hurricane barreling toward one or more of your destinations. Before panic sets in, let me assure you that this can be an excellent time to cruise and you can still enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience. Cruise lines continuously monitor weather conditions and prepare for these yearly conditions.
Some of the lowest rates for cruises are in the fall after school has started. What most new cruisers do not realize is that this is also hurricane season. Here are some comparison rates for 2017:
As you can see, it certainly makes financial sense to cruise in September!
And then something like this happens:
We have been on multiple cruises during hurricanes. The captain and crew have done everything possible to keep us informed of the weather conditions. Often itineraries are altered before the start of your cruise. We sometimes received notifications before we left home, once at the port, and during one particularly strong hurricane season, had daily itinerary changes as we cruised. I can say I never felt in any danger and we experienced plenty of sunny, relaxing days in the Caribbean. If you choose to book during hurricane season, here are a few suggestions to make your cruise go more smoothly:
- As my husband says, “Flexible expectations are the key to happiness.” Yes, you spent hours choosing those perfect excursions, and now you are not even visiting that port of call! No worries, the Port Adventures desk will have a list of newly available tours and will help you pick the right one for your family. Any excursions booked through Disney Cruise Line will be automatically cancelled and refunded to your account. If you booked with an outside vendor, they might cancel your excursion if your ship is unable to make the port of call, however, read the fine print to see what you may be responsible for in those cases.
- Trip insurance is a must-buy. There have been times in the past where cruises have not been able to return to the scheduled debarkation port. Cruises have been known to extend days at sea or debark in a different port. Very rarely, a cruise can even be cancelled. While these are unusual events, it does happen. Trip insurance will help reimburse changed airline flights, rental cars, etc. that you may need to reschedule your trip or return home. I purchase trip insurance for every cruise because, let’s face it, things happen! Again, though, read the fine print as not all trip insurance is equal and not everything is covered.
- Pack a few extra things. Throw in rain gear, a long pair of pants, and a sweater. The great thing about being on a ship is the ability to maneuver away from the storms. Of course, sometimes that is not entirely possible. Be prepared with an umbrella and/or rain jacket. It is very unlikely you will have multiple days of rainy weather, but being prepared can help. Also, the weather tends to cool off quite a bit after a storm passes, so having a couple of items of warm clothing can be helpful.
While I cannot promise your cruise will be perfect, it will be a vacation you won’t soon forget!