Hurricane Season and Your Cruise

The likelihood of your cruise being drastically affected is lower than you might think.

Read on for some tips for planning a cruise from the month of June to November.

It is not recommended to plan your cruise based on a specific destination or event, such as a Destination Wedding in St. Maarten.  If a storm is in the area, your itinerary may be altered and plans can be completely thrown off.

Be aware of possible flight changes and have a plan.  Be sure to carry the cruise line’s toll-free number with you and contact them if you’re having trouble getting to the pier.

Vacation Protection, whether purchased through the cruise line or independently, is a good investment.  Ensure that the policy covers disruption or delays due to weather-related events.

A good rule of thumb is to be prepared for the worst and know that your plans can change if a hurricane or tropical storm is imminent.  Keep an eye on the Weather Channel about a week prior to your departure date.

In planning for the possibility of not being able to make it to the ship due to travel-related delays, it is a good idea to arrive in the departure port city a day or two in advance.  On the other end, plan ahead in the event that you are delayed going back home AFTER your cruise.

Although unpredictable, the peak periods within a season tend to vary by geography.  In the Eastern Caribbean and along the U.S. East Coast, August-September seem to be the busiest.  In the Western Caribbean, more hurricanes tend to occur in September through the end of the season.  Although early and late season hurricanes are not the norm, the possibility cannot be overlooked.

The cruise lines have extensive Hurricane and Tropical Storm emergency response plans intact and they will avoid the storm by altering your itinerary or docking at an alternate port.  The cruise lines don’t normally refund for missed ports, but you may be entitled to refunds on prepaid port taxes-depending on the situation and cruise line.

Don’t let Hurricane Season put a damper on your cruise vacation plans this summer.  Remember that preparedness is key to a stress-free vacation.

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