Cruising between ports in Southern Carribbean..Please help!
I am looking into a Southern Carribbean cruise for this winter. I have noticed that the islands/ports are very close togther (for example.. St. Thomas/St. Maartin.... Aruba/Curacao). Since many of the ships leave the islands at 5:00pm or so, with only a short distance to travel between ports, do the ships anchor somewhere else, drive around in circles or are you in your next port before bed? Part of my enjoyment of the cruises that I have taken in the past is the ship moving overnight (Western Carribbean cruises), so I don't want to leave a port at 5:00 pm and be in the next port at 8:00pm. Will this be a problem?
Seems like a waste of fuel, but I like the feel of cruising at night and looking for lights off our balcony, so I'm glad they keep you moving.
Waste of fuel?
Nobody said that the ship would sail at full speed. The ship can mosey along at five to ten knots on a fiarly direct route and burn a lot less fuel than it would burn doing the same transit at higher speed.
That said, there's also a fundamental safety issue here. A ship's rudders don't work very well if the ship is not moving at some minimum speed, called "steerageway," which typically is somewhere around three or four knots. Below this speed, the ship is essentially adrift at the mercy of the currents. This is a very dangerous situation, especially in the viciity of reefs and shoals and land masses. Thus, every ship usually maintains a speed of at least five knots to ensure that it will respond to its helm -- a fundamental safety issue.