I will be sailing on the RCI Explorer this Sunday (very excited) for seven days. Just hypothetically, what would happen if Hurricane Frances was scheduled to hit South Florida on the Sunday that we're supposed to return? I don't think the ports would be affected, since they are in the Western Caribbean, but I am a little concerned about this. Does anyone have any experience with this or with RCI's policies regarding this? Thanks!
Keep in mind that in the cases of all cruise lines, their primary concern is for the safety of the passengers, the crew, and the ship. If they have to pull into port late or go to another port they will, although at least at this time it looks like the storm is not heading for land.
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It's not really so much about RCL's "policy" as what the coast guard tells them they must do. If the coast guard says don't come into port - then they don't!
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Policy is pretty much, "avoid the storm". That said they would stay at sea for an additional day or go to another port with the latter being the first choice. If that is necessary they will take care of rescheduling for you for air or get you to the port via bus. The ships will not be in port the day of a storm period as it is a sure way to damage a ship and the port authority will not grant them permission to enter and if already there the US Coast Guard may well kick them out before the storm arrives.
Don't worry about Frances, she's about a week away from S. Florida, but if you are heading for the southern islands, you may be diverted.
Don't worry and have a great cruise.
2008 Liberty OTS (Caribbean)
2007 Summit (Alaska)
2006 Century, Infinity (Panama Canal), Summit (Hawaii)
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2004 Explorer of the Seas, Constellation (Canada/New England)
2003 Horizon (Bermuda), Summit
2002 Explorer of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas (Caribbean)
Several years ago the ship we sailed one way through the Panama Canal encountered a severe hurricane on its return trip to Puerto Rico. They had to disembark its passengers in Aruba and make arrangements for them to fly home from there. This is another reason to have travel insurance; just in case you booked your own flights!