My wife and I are planning to go on a cruise for our 10 year wedding annivarsary(in 2003). Unfortunatly (for cruising) it is in August. We were in Jamaica for our honeymoon and experienced a tropical storm. It wasn't too bad, only lasted an hour or so. On to my question. If anyone knows some information regarding cruising and tropical storms (or worse) "HURRICANES". If there have been any bad experiences cruising through one or near one. I get motion sickness easily but am dying to go on a cruise. If anyone knows any information like: Has a large cruise ship ever encountered a Hurricane? If so, how bad was the experience. Basically I would like to know the worse case scenario in regards to mother nature's wrath! Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Congrats on the anniversary. Although I've never cruised where a hurricane was
near, the ships stay away from all bad weather. The worst that may happen is a missed or late port, or possible a port change. If you're planning on cruising in the Caribbean, its really very smooth, you should't get sick and with the ships today with stableizers, etc. you hardly feel any movement at all. If you think you may have a problem there are things you can take, bonnine, just bought over the counter. I alway cruise with some, but so far (knock on wood), have never needed it. I know the first time I don't take it, I'll need it.
Actually cruising while celebrating an anniversary is just so special, bet you will love it. Go for it and have a great time!
Ships never go "through" a serious storm, like a Hurricane. The are in satellite contact with the Weather Service, and simply move out of the route of a hurricane.
The worst that can happen is that they may have to substitute a new port.
I was in the Western Caribbean when a major hurricane hit St. Thomas -- where we cruised, there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
You may want to book the Western Caribbean, since hurricanes typically strike in the eastern Caribbean. I personally wouldn't hesitate to cruise during this time.
Thank you for your input I will keep this in mind when we book our cruise. We were thinking of changing the date to some time in the spring, but it's not the same. There's something about celebrating such a milestone on the exact date that makes it just that much more special.
I have read the replies that the cruise ships never intentionally sail through tropical storms or hurricanes. Yes, that is true, but sometimes it can't be avoided. Two years ago, I was on the m/s Maasdam as it sailed through the remnants of Hurricane Georges as it (the storm) came off the coast of Maine and out into the North Atlantic. It still had tropical storm-force winds (no real rain) which casue waves of 20-30 feet. I was in the Lido as the boat hit a trough and everything came crashing down. It was interesting to go through the storm at sea after having ben through a number on dry land. The captain sped up and sailed through the storm quickly, but could not avoid it. Last year I was in the Gulf (of Mexico) as the s/s Enchanted Isle went through the remants of a tropical storm. It was not quite as forceful as Georges, but still rocked the boat a fair amount. The deeper the draught the more stable the ship will be when going though the storms (or remants thereof). But if you go in early August, you will probally be safe on the storm front. The heart of Hurricane season is between mid-August and mid-September. I would suggest that you take a good bit of meclazine. Have a great time.
In 1959 on a world cruise, we went through a typhoon in the Pacific. This was on a ship that didn't have stabilizers. They put up ropes on all corridors and stairs. They raised the edges of all the dining room tables to keep the dishes from falling off. World cruises carry a great majority of very elderly passengers. I was one of 4 passengers onboard in my twenties. I think we were the only people who continued to have meals. It was amazing to see the waiters managing trays on this very unevenly moving ship. Lots of breakage onboard but everyone survived. The old people that actually DID die on this cruise, didn't die in the storm. The ship was a a trooper and survived just fine.
Your biggest risk on a cruise during a hurricane is missing some or all of your scheduled ports of call. This happened to us during Hurricane Jose last year on a Windstar Cruise. We missed three scheduled ports, including the two I had specifically booked the cruise to visit.
For two ports, they were able to substitute Grenada (a delight) and St. Lucia (also nice, but we had been there before), and they gave us a $25 per person credit for the final missed port. The change of plans was disappointing, but we made the best of it and had a great time anyway.
We sailed far enough away from the storm that weather and seasickness were never a factor, even on such a small ship.
If you have your heart set on a specific itinerary, you might want to celebrate your anniversary earlier or later. Though the hurricane season officially lasts from June 1-November 30, the peak months are usually August and September. Good luck.
I don't mind so much if we had to miss some of the scheduled ports, as long as I'm not spending my vacation feeling like I have to return the food that I ate.
I was once on a liner in the mediteranian and we hit a gail. Everyone on board (except the staff and my wife) turned green. The ship line was called "Tirenia" they mostly travel up and down the coast of Italy and to Malta (which is where we went). The ships are very old and probably don't have stabilizers(or at least good ones). It's hard to forget an experience like that. But I'm a trooper and am determined to enjoy my first cruise...taking as many precautions as possible.
Thank you to all for your info.