Cunard: Update on ports affected by Hurricane Irma.

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!


Unregistered, just back from your Cunard cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
Cunard Line

Read hundreds of Cunard Cruise Reviews from cruisers like you.

See posts about:
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 08:45 PM.
#1
Pennsylvania
5,563 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
http://www.cunard.com/caribbeanupdate/

Not much information there yet (they're still assessing conditions) but Cunard says any updates to Caribbean itineraries will be shared on this webpage.

Also this: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...d=137330428222
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise
#3
PORTSMOUTH
735 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I would think anyone having booked a cruise to the caribbean before the event would be offered the chance to cancel with a full refund.
I would also like to think that if they were to change more than one or two ports they would offer something to those who had booked.
Not a good situation either way.
#5
Honiton, Devon, England
161 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by transatlantic fan
I would think anyone having booked a cruise to the caribbean before the event would be offered the chance to cancel with a full refund.
I would also like to think that if they were to change more than one or two ports they would offer something to those who had booked.
Not a good situation either way.
Our thoughts are with all those affected. Our fingers are still crossed for our cruise as it's the first of a few hols for my wife's 50th. I can't help thinking it will be switched to the Western Caribbean but I don't know if that's practicable with more ships and tourists.
#6
Pennsylvania
5,563 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I don't expect Cunard to change either of QM2's Caribbean itineraries to Western Caribbean (she calls on the same ports in November and December but in different order). Barbados, St. Kitts and Antigua are relatively undamaged, as are Dominica and St. Lucia where the ship often visits during her Caribbean cruises. If ships are unable to call on both St. Thomas and St. Maarten in November and December there may be issues with ship capacity and crowds at other ports (St. Thomas and St. Maarten are among the higher capacity ports in the Caribbean) and it will be difficult to reach the more southern islands three days out of New York at the cruising speed they've been running QM2 at lately. We did call on St. Kitts on Dec 26 (4th day out of NYC) in 2012 but their Carnival starts on the 26th and the drunken crowds of locals were a bit unsettling, to say the least.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a reduction in the number of port days to four (fewer ports for other ships as well) due to the capacity issue. Possibly the ship would visit Amber Cove, if it's capable of docking two ships at the same time. It's close enough to be within three days sailing of New York at current speeds.

But that's just my conjecture...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise
#7
Derbyshire
23 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Have received the following email from Cunard earlier this evening

Caribbean Update

As you are booked to sail on a Cunard voyage which includes Caribbean and Florida ports of call I wanted to write to you with an update following last weekend’s hurricane in the region.

All of us at Cunard are devastated by the impact of Hurricane Irma. As I am sure you have seen in the news, a few of the ports that our ships routinely visit in the winter season have had damage to both the infrastructure and vibrant communities who support our operations and work hard to provide our guests with fantastic experiences.

We are currently trying to talk to our port agents in those affected areas, firstly to check their wellbeing and also to assess the situation. As you can imagine communication is difficult at the moment but as soon as we can establish the facts we will then be able to share an update.

Whilst we need to support the communities in those affected ports, inevitably it may take some time to repair the damage and restore the islands so they are able to accept our guests and give you a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Therefore, we need to understand the extent of the damage so we can make a decision on the itineraries. Whilst thankfully it will not be necessary to cancel any cruises, it may be necessary to amend the itinerary slightly. Once we have confirmation of this we will contact you directly or through your travel agent and we will also update the website at www.cunard.co.uk/caribbeanupdate. Also, if you have booked a shore excursion in a port which has to be replaced then a full refund will automatically be given.

I would also like to take this opportunity to reassure you that as a Corporation we will be doing everything we can to support the region. We are already talking to the affected islands directly to assess their immediate and longer term needs so that we can provide wider help to rebuild these communities. We will shortly be posting details for those wishing to donate.

I look forward to giving you an update as soon as possible.
#9
Honiton, Devon, England
161 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by Underwatr
I don't expect Cunard to change either of QM2's Caribbean itineraries to Western Caribbean (she calls on the same ports in November and December but in different order). Barbados, St. Kitts and Antigua are relatively undamaged, as are Dominica and St. Lucia where the ship often visits during her Caribbean cruises. If ships are unable to call on both St. Thomas and St. Maarten in November and December there may be issues with ship capacity and crowds at other ports (St. Thomas and St. Maarten are among the higher capacity ports in the Caribbean) and it will be difficult to reach the more southern islands three days out of New York at the cruising speed they've been running QM2 at lately. We did call on St. Kitts on Dec 26 (4th day out of NYC) in 2012 but their Carnival starts on the 26th and the drunken crowds of locals were a bit unsettling, to say the least.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a reduction in the number of port days to four (fewer ports for other ships as well) due to the capacity issue. Possibly the ship would visit Amber Cove, if it's capable of docking two ships at the same time. It's close enough to be within three days sailing of New York at current speeds.

But that's just my conjecture...
Amber cove as a replacement port would be welcome, we have had fun visits there and the crew always like to get off for that one.
#10
Pennsylvania
5,563 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
The following email was sent to passengers of Holland America this week:

Dear Valued Guest,

We appreciate you booking your upcoming Caribbean cruise with us and want to provide some information regarding our plans in light of the storms that have impacted the region, particularly Hurricane Irma.

All of us at Holland America Line are keeping the many people who have been impacted by the recent storms in our thoughts. Our parent company, Carnival Corporation, has already begun outreach and support for those islands impacted on behalf of our family of cruise lines.

Holland America Line’s Caribbean cruise season begins in mid-October, and we look forward to continuing to provide the great cruise experience our guests expect as well as the economic support the region relies on, now more than ever. No cruises will be cancelled.

Our private island, Half Moon Cay, only experienced minimal damage and will be fully operational on September 16. We are currently assessing itinerary impacts and an update on our 2017 cruises will be provided next week. 2018 itineraries are also currently being evaluated and an update will be provided on October 5.

We sincerely encourage booked guests and anyone considering a Caribbean cruise to continue with their plans. There are many islands that were not affected and there is no better show of support for the area and the people than to continue to visit.

We thank you for your patience and will contact you again should the situation change. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.

Kind regards,

Holland America Line
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise
#11
Sydney
32 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
I read that some people are planning on suing the Cunard line because the trip they had booked for Christmas was still on as the Queen Mary 2 is still planning on going to the wrecked islands of the Caribbean and this is at Christmas time, well this is what I reckon everyone should do that has a trip planned on one of those cruise lines that are still heading to that part of the Caribbean.
You shouldn’t look at the Cunard trip or any cruise to the Caribbean as a write off, do what Australians always do either help or donate, that’s what the ships like P&O did when Vanuatu got smashed by a Cyclone.
The communities that got hit by the Hurricane still need to make money and a percentage of that comes from cruise ships visiting the islands. You may not see the islands as it was but you will be the first to see it after the hurricane so that in itself is unique as you will see first hand what a vicious storm can do and how communities pick themselves up and pull together to rebuild their communities. You will be amazed how fast communities rebuild after a disaster, I have seen this with Vanuatu and I got to know the people of Vanuatu better than just doing an ordinary cruise as I researched to see what the village communities needed and it was pencils, pens, coloring books for the children and I just filled one of my bags up with stationery and asked the ships crew who I could give the supplies too when we reached port. I now have a photo of the children who received the much needed stationary in one of the outer communities and that out does every cruise I have done and it makes me feel good knowing that I help make a community feel they are not alone that their neighbors will always be there to help and P&O Australia was the company who started the idea to donate things to Vanuatu.
believe me it will be one of the best cruises you could do and pick up supplies before you board but find out before you go what the communities need that you might be able to stuff into your luggage and take to the communities.
So do you think you will reconsider your trip as it may be one of the best cruises you will have done
#12
Pennsylvania
5,563 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by ccsclean21
as the Queen Mary 2 is still planning on going to the wrecked islands of the Caribbean
You will note that Cunard hasn't said that. They are evaluating whether the affected islands can be visited and will make a decision at a later time. Only two of QM2's five planned ports were affected so much as to possibly present an issue.

I plan to make the trip as booked. If we visit St. Thomas and St. Maarten I may plan to spend and a little more there than I would have otherwise.

The cruise contract tells me that Cunard reserves the right to omit any port of call. If they locate a replacement port, that will be suitable but even if they don't I don't believe there is a basis for any lawsuit. At most I might expect a refund of the port charge for an omitted port since that is a simple pass through.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise
#13
Honiton, Devon, England
161 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by ccsclean21
I read that some people are planning on suing the Cunard line because the trip they had booked for Christmas was still on as the Queen Mary 2 is still planning on going to the wrecked islands of the Caribbean and this is at Christmas time, well this is what I reckon everyone should do that has a trip planned on one of those cruise lines that are still heading to that part of the Caribbean.
You shouldn’t look at the Cunard trip or any cruise to the Caribbean as a write off, do what Australians always do either help or donate, that’s what the ships like P&O did when Vanuatu got smashed by a Cyclone.
The communities that got hit by the Hurricane still need to make money and a percentage of that comes from cruise ships visiting the islands. You may not see the islands as it was but you will be the first to see it after the hurricane so that in itself is unique as you will see first hand what a vicious storm can do and how communities pick themselves up and pull together to rebuild their communities. You will be amazed how fast communities rebuild after a disaster, I have seen this with Vanuatu and I got to know the people of Vanuatu better than just doing an ordinary cruise as I researched to see what the village communities needed and it was pencils, pens, coloring books for the children and I just filled one of my bags up with stationery and asked the ships crew who I could give the supplies too when we reached port. I now have a photo of the children who received the much needed stationary in one of the outer communities and that out does every cruise I have done and it makes me feel good knowing that I help make a community feel they are not alone that their neighbors will always be there to help and P&O Australia was the company who started the idea to donate things to Vanuatu.
believe me it will be one of the best cruises you could do and pick up supplies before you board but find out before you go what the communities need that you might be able to stuff into your luggage and take to the communities.
So do you think you will reconsider your trip as it may be one of the best cruises you will have done
I'm all or supporting communities getting back up on their feet. Unfortunately I suspect it may be too early for some of the heavier damaged islands to receive tourists until the infrastructure is repaired and rebuilt such as the sea ports, airports, roads, basic amenities water and sewage, and the security of passengers can be guaranteed. I can remember some of these islands we visited on our 2015 QM2 Carribean cruise were recovering from hurricanes struck some years earlier with roofs damaged and some roads still in need of minor repair. Of the worst effected islands the islanders themselves I suspect would not want cruise passengers until they felt able to receive them. In any case Cunard no doubt will avoid the few islands on the itinerary effected until it has assurances and the go ahead from the interested stakeholders, insurance companies, etc that the safety and well being of passengers, crew and ship can be guaranteed. As others have said, some of the itinerary will probably be slightly changed if needs be by either dropping or swapping some ports of call and Cunard will then make any necessary adjustments to the advertised itinerary. Until we know more it looks to be the main aid organisations that are probably the best route to help those worst effected. We are now sailing on the QM2 to the Caribbean in November and are certainly looking forward to our trip.
#14
Sydney
32 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
I know the cruise lines are at present still evaluating the situation but I read in a newspaper that someone was trying to cancel a Christmas cruise and they were told they would lose a large percentage of the fare, "Come ON", by Christmas the place might look like a hurricane hadn't even hit as communities can build very quickly.
So I was just saying that if the cruise lines do resume their services to the islands then do something for the communities especially at Christmas, take something for the children, they will love it. You will find it will be one of the best cruisers you have done.
#15
Pennsylvania
5,563 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I'd be interested in a link to the article you mention, if you can find it (or the first sentence of the article, if it was in print).
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Past:
Queen Mary 2: 7 cruises
Queen Victoria: 2 cruises

ms Amsterdam: 1 cruise
Caribbean Princess: 1 cruise
Carnival Pride: 1 cruise
#16
Sydney
32 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Hi Underwatr More than happy to tell you the article I got it from. just type www.cruisepassenger.com.au then scroll down till you see the article on Hurricane Irma: Cunarders fight for answers.
I think you will find that these islands are built to withstand some very heavy storms, I imagine it wouldn't be the first time it has been hit by a Hurricane, maybe Irma was the biggest I don't know, but if you still get to go to at least some of the Islands that got hit by the storm find out from the line you are traveling on what things do the Islands need that the passengers can take onboard to donate to the communities and as for Christmas what would make a Community happy is toys for the children because I would imaging some children would have lost everything so why not, help or donate.
#17
Honiton, Devon, England
161 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Having just read the article I can certainly understand some people might have concerns until they can be sure what if any changes are to the original itinerary. Personally speaking we feel lucky as we love ship days with Cunard and the Caribbean provides lots of those with the added benefit of a day visit to NY around thanks giving (I normally head straight to Smith and Wollensky for one of their exceptional 32 oz steaks, and the wife heads to Bloomingdales for the dresses). We have also visited many of the islands before so we will go with the flow if there is any small change to the itinerary. In fact we took the opportunity to spend more on this trip upgrading to make my wife's 50th birthday trip more special. Regarding the islands effected, I have a feeling what islanders will need most is access to funds for building materials to rebuild their homes.
#18
Farmville, VA USA
27 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
I am booked on QM2's Christmas / New Years cruise this year for the third year in a row. I would not want to be anywhere else over the holidays regardless of whatever necessary changes Cunard must make to the itinerary as a result of the devastation caused by Irma.

From looking at online pictures and videos of the devastation in St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin islands, I fear it may be years before these islands are near back to normal. I would be surprised if they are ready for cruise passengers in the next six months.

I do not see how anyone could reasonably be upset with Cunard, or any of the cruise lines for changing their itineraries as a result of this very tragic storm, which killed people on these islands, and left a great many people homeless having lost everything. Having our vacation plans slightly altered is a trivial impact of the storm compared to what the residents of these islands have been through and are still going through.

I hope that the cruise lines will carry relief supplies to be donated to the effected ports, even if the ships are unable to disembark passengers during the port stop. They could stop in these ports overnight, between visiting the less damaged neighboring islands, where passengers could enjoy their holidays as normal.

Cunard should be able to substitute other ports for St. Thomas, and St. Maarten, even if they have to travel to islands further south, though they may need to cruise at higher speed than normal. On last year's Christmas Cruise QM2 lost one of the three sea days travel time enroot to Phillipsburg St. Maarten, as we had to turn back and spend a day searching for a lady who went overboard. Captain Kevin Oprey made up the lost day by cruising at a higher speed and we made it to Phillipsburg right on time. So, if need be QM2 can make it to the St. Maarten area within two sea days from NYC, as it is well within the ships speed capabilities.

I do hope that Cunard will provide passengers with information about how they can make donations to help those in the Caribbean impacted by Irma! The cruise lines have the logistical experience and infrastructure in place to get food and bottled water at low prices and have the ability to carry extra supplies on the ships and drop them off while visiting neighboring islands.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
URL=http://www.cruisecritic.com][/url]
#19
Vale of Glamorgan
3,387 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Here you are

"Further to our previous post, all of us at Cunard are devastated by the impact of Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean.

We have partnered with UNICEF to support our friends to rebuild and repair these islands. Any help will be very gratefully received, and you can find details on how to donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns.../unicef/cunard"
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Email - [email protected]

Please include your Cruise Critic user name and be patient, I do not have full time access to this mailbox and I am in a different time zone to many of you !
#20
Sydney
32 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Hi all
Do what Robbie_3 said go with the flow if there are any changes. I have been on cruises that missed ports and it was a bit disappointing but still enjoyed the cruise so imagine those holiday makers that were booked to stay on those islands at the resorts that got hit and wiped out now those tourists have a problem but least you still have a cruise, to where who knows but it's a cruise.
Maybe the cruise lines should call it a mystery cruise.
Have a bet on which Islands you will be visiting.

Take time to remember those people killed by that vicious storm and their families.