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Old June 25th, 2011, 10:09 PM
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Default Hurricanes and Cruising

I'm booked on a 7 day Caribbean cruise on Victory. Our cruise is scheduled to leave out of San Juan and visit 5 islands in the Caribbean. My mom is a real worry wart and is driving me up the wall with it being hurricane season. We're scheduled to depart on August 21. She doesn't want to go because she's afraid of the hurricanes.

She lives in Puerto Rico so she's had her share of nasty hurricanes hitting the island. What happens if a hurricane hits any of the islands we're scheduled to visit? What happens if a hurricane hits the port of departure? Will the cruise be cancelled, will we get a refund? I need to put this woman's mind at ease.

I'm not too keen about going to St. Thomas, but I do have my heart set on going to Harrison's Caves in Barbados. I also booked the jeep tour in St. Maarten through Carnival. I've noticed that prices tend to be lower during the last two weeks of August...I wonder if the chance of hurricanes hitting the area have anything to do with it.

Any insight will be appreciated. Thanks
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Old June 25th, 2011, 10:22 PM
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A Captain will always sail around any storm, and yes, you possibly could miss a port, if an island is in the direct path, but rest assured, your ship won't be.

The best way to asuage your fears, is to purchase travel insurance, to recoup any loss you may incur. Important, since you are embarking in a hurricane prone port. Trip interruption coverage is a good thing!

I have cruised many times in hurricane season,and the one time we had an, "almost issue" was in November!! Prices are always mademore attractive during the hurricane season, but, it's a great time to cruise in my opinion.

We enjoyed Harrisons Cave..who knew caves could be so cool
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Old June 25th, 2011, 11:18 PM
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Cruising during hurricane season is what it is... a risk you take, but in all my cruises during the season, not one has been disturbed due to weather..... sure the port may be cancelled or maybe the captain will adjust the scheduled itinerary, but rest assured that he or she will not place passengers or his ship in any realm of danger.

Insurance is probably a good idea, but in reality, if a cruise is cancelled for some reason due to weather (a rarity for certain), trip insurance is not really necessary at all IMHO, for that reason at least because the cruiseline will work wigth passengers affected by the cruiseline in most cases. If a port is missed, you will normally be refunded a portion of the port charges for that missed port.

It is a risk, but being August is when you are sailing, that is not really considered the height of hurricane season of years past. Sept and Oct are usually the months when things are very active in the caribbean, weather wise.

If mom lives in SJU, she knows what hurricanes are all about and should not really worry at all.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
If mom lives in SJU, she knows what hurricanes are all about and should not really worry at all.
That's a bit of a weird statement. I'm guessing it is because mom has experienced hurricanes that she is concerned. They can be severe and do serious and real damage, and are not to be taken litely.

That being said, cruise ships do move faster than hurricanes, and with the most modern technical equipment available do monitor these situations closely.

Aside from the safety of the passengers, the cruise lines are protecting a huge investment.

You won't find a ship in port when a hurricane is projected to be their. It is a possibility that the sailing would be cancelled if you're sailing out of San Juan, and a hurricane is forecast to hit the island.

The cruise line would have the ship leave San Juan early, or not return to San Juan in that situation.

The situation for sailings from San Juan are also a bit unique, compared to sailings from Florida, where a line will might head to the western caribbean, if a hurricane is expected to move through the eastern caribbean (and visa versa). Sailing from San Juan they have less choices to alter the itinerary if a hurricane is in the area.

IF a situation arose that they had to cancel a cruise, they will, of course, offer a full refund.

I was once arriving in Miami for a pre-cruise stay, as a hurricane was forecast to be heading to Miami. Checking in to our hotel on the beach we were offered two choices.... 1. They would transfer us to a hotel inland 2. We could spend the night in an evacuation center. (We chose 1 )

Fortunately (for everyone) the hurricane died down before it arrived as a tropical storm in Miami. The next day the ship arrived as scheduled, and we boarded, and had an unaffected cruise.

The cruise line did have a plan in place. If the hurricane had hit Miami as planned they would not have brought the ship into port. Our cruise would have been delayed or cancelled.

I do agree with Fun2... that IS a chance you take booking during hurricane season. There's been a few very active hurricane seasons, where the industry has been pretty dramitically affected. However, cancelled cruises are RARE. And I can't recall an incident where a ship has actually been involved, caught in the direct path or a hurricane, in the more than a decade that I've been involved in the industry.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 01:14 AM
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Thanks for your prompt replies. I'm not a bit concerned about it being hurricane season, but my mom drives me up the wall. We did a four day Bahamas cruise in 2009 in August, and it was the same broken record from my mom. She had to fly in from San Juan to Orlando and was worried about a hurricane that was brewing. She whined and complained, but after she got to Orlando, she was relieved and enjoyed herself tremendously. The cruise went on without a hitch and we had a great time.
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Old June 26th, 2011, 04:46 AM
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If there is any bad weather the captain of your ship will steer around it. It is always possible for a missed port. I've cruised plenty of times during the hurricane season and have had great weather. Tell your mom not to worry...
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Old June 26th, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
Thanks for your prompt replies. I'm not a bit concerned about it being hurricane season, but my mom drives me up the wall. We did a four day Bahamas cruise in 2009 in August, and it was the same broken record from my mom. She had to fly in from San Juan to Orlando and was worried about a hurricane that was brewing. She whined and complained, but after she got to Orlando, she was relieved and enjoyed herself tremendously. The cruise went on without a hitch and we had a great time.
Perhaps Mom needs to just eliminate cruising in hurricane season and the problem would be resolved and no stress for her or you ? Perhaps to try to cruise in Winter/Spring rather than Summer/Fall ? :???:
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Old June 27th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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We had a Pacific hurricane when on Splendor in 2009 (Rita I think) and our captain wisely sailed around her. We had a slight change in ports but was better than getting pounded. Waters were a little choppy for about 24 hours but no worse than I've experienced in the Caribbean. Two ships from other lines did not alter their itineraries and sat in port for a day of getting hammered by rain - they ended up staying in that port the again the next day so their passengers could get of the ship, so they still missed a port stop.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 04:42 PM
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I would love to cruise during low season, but, unfortunately I can't because I'm a school teacher. The only time I can cruise is during the summer, Christmas and Spring Break. Needless to say the fares during Christmas and Spring Break are ridiculously high and that's why I tend to sail during the summer,especially in August where prices tend to fall a bit.
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