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Has Anyone been on a cruise during a hurricane?


Terre

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We're sailing in October when hurricane season is not quite over; just wondering about this with Dennis and now Emily. Has anyone been on a ship during a hurricane? I know they try to go around them, but that might be difficult or impossible sometimes. If you were, what was it like and what did the ship have everyone do?

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Yes, TWICE believe it or not. Both of them were in the end of October, beginning of November time frame.

 

First one was to the Western Caribbean on HAL and it was absolutely wonderful. We totally reversed itinearys and avoided any rough seas whatsoever. Beautiful weather the entire trip, no rough seas and no rain.

 

Now, you sure you want to hear about the second time? LOL

It was on Celebrity's Millennium the end of the first week of November a few years ago to the Eastern Caribbean. It was the first time we had been assigned an aft cabin and somehow we ended up in a handicapped balcony cabin (thank someone who was watching over us for that one). The first night out about 1:00 AM I literally was thrown out of bed and ended up on the floor. I didn't know what was going on as I had not even checked the weather forcast. We had sailed into the waves and rough seas from Hurricane Michelle. For the next 24-36 hours I pretty much just stayed in the cabin, and most of that was in the bed. Everytime I tried to get up I was thrown into walls even cut my leg on one of those occasions. Without the handicapped cabin, and the bathroom rails and such, it would have been impossible. It got so bad that crawling to the bathroom was the only safe way to get there since the aft of the ship was bobbing around like a cork. We had a huge balcony, maybe 20-25 feet deep and the water was hitting the balcony door. I never get seasick so I hadn't even brought along any meds of any kind. Thankfully the room steward (who was green around the gills) shared his with me. All he could say in a whisper was 'me sick too, me sick too'. The poor guy, he still had to work and I felt so sorry for him, but he saved my life sharing those meds he had been given.

Not sure why we sailed into those terrible rough seas and not around them, but I can tell you one thing, I will not forget it anytime soon and now I always pack the seasick meds, just in case they are needed. Normally, ships will avoid this type of thing at all costs, all I can figure is that there was no way around it. The ships staff tried to secure all of the things on deck but I heard that we lost quite a bit of furniture before they accomplished tieing everything down. No one was allowed on the other decks for any reason and some friends made it to the 11th Deck and were watching the waves from the lounge. They were trapped up there for the entire day, couldn't come down the stairs safely and the elevators were christened so badly that they didn't even want to get in them. YUCK! It was the first time I had ever heard the captain announce that if you didn't need to leave your cabin, then it was best you just stayed there as it was the safest place to be.

End to the story though is once we got through that mess, the seas were fine and the sun was shinning for the rest of the cruise.

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In 1999, we were on a Carnival cruise from Norfolk, Va. to Bermuda. Oddly enough a hurricane named Dennis was out there on our way back. We knew it was there so it was no surprise to the captain or anyone else. We thought the ship would find a way around it. Not!! We went straight through it (knew this because we had the weather channel on TV and knew we were right in the path.) It was really awful. Very rough and everyone was sick, including me. This was in mid August.

 

I hope your cruise will be hurricane free. For myself, I will never ever cruise again during hurricane season.

 

Again, I hope this doesn't happen to you.

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Typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes same things, different parts of the world.

 

On little Golden Odyssey, a 10,000 GRT liner, in China Sea, 11-86, while trying to out-run back end of typhoon between HongKong & Manila, we had green water over the bridge, screws out of the water, and inclinometer pegged several times.

 

Very rough 24hr period, many sick passengers and crew alike.

 

While stationed on Okinawa in the Army, I went through several typhoons - less fun on land than on sea, and often fairly scary.

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We were "almost" in a hurricane--close enough to hit the swells for a day before turning around. Last year on the Caribbean Princess we were heading for Nassau-our last stop. That was on Thursday, and Hurricane Jeanne was on her way back to Florida. I guess the ship got too far east and we encountered large swells that caused the pools to be closed because they were dangerous, and people to clutch pillows and look green. The swells came crashing into the ship making tremendous noise-especially in the casino on the 6th deck. After several hours the Capt turned the ship around and we went back into calm waters once more. On Friday, Sept 24, the Capt. decided to make a beeline for Ft Lauderdale and turned up the throttle and really "booked" at 21 knots to beat Jeanne in. However, at dinnertime, around 5:30 he announced that Jeanne had sped up (supposed to have hit land on Sunday ) and all the ports were closed. All ships in the area were "advised" to stay out an additional 48 hours. We got back into port at 7AM, after the Glory, Disney Ship, and maybe the Mariner.The only "bad" or exceptional day we had was that Thursday. Every other day was very calm and beautiful. Lynne

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We were cruising during hurricanes twice. The first was during Hugo a few years ago. We missed one port but other than that you wouldn't have known anything was going on--we just sailed away from it. The captain kept us updated and we weren't sure each day where we'd wake up. But we made most of our ports and got free drinks and slow smooth sailing in the caribbean sea for the one we missed.

The second time however was during Michelle a couple of years ago. We were on a RCCL ship and sailed right into it. Our story was much like Toto2kansas. We were supposed to go to the Western Caribbean and they went to the Eastern instead. We woke up in the middle of the night to the whole room bouncing and were almost thrown out of bed. Fortunately our cabin was mid ship and we fared better than most of the others on the ship. Every couch and chair on the ship had people sleeping on them because they couldn't stand to be in their rooms. Most of the ship was seasick, including the staff. We took our bonine and only had one bout and did ok. Pf course the pool deck was closed and water was coming up over the sides on the promenade deck. We didn't get out on our balcony until the last day. It was almost funny, every port we went into was empty except for our ship and a celebrity ship. We felt like we were on the "voyage of the damned". Some people even left the ship in San Juan. Fortunately it did get better as the week went on and we even had sunny skies the last day. At the airport on the way home we talked to cruisers from other ships. Their ships hovered around Florida for a day and then sailed west and they didn't have a problem. RCCL made it up to us by giving us another cruise at a very discounted price. Some honeymooners on the cruise who couldn't stand to even be in their cabins for the first 3 days got a free cruise. The funny thing was that we realized at the end of the week we still had a good time. And it makes a good cruise story.

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We were on the Carnival Glory last year mid September. We were scheduled for Eastern Carib, but changed to Western because of Jeanne. Then she slowed down and churned for awhile, causing more problems. We were supposed to port back at Canaveral on Saturday, but we stayed out. They tried to come back into Miami early Sunday morning...but got within a few miles when they closed the port. The CD made an announcement at 5am telling everyone to go back to sleep, that we were not going in. So we floated around for 2 extra days and finally ported at Everglades on Monday morning. They bussed us to Canaveral where we picked up our car.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the exra few days so much that we are cruising during Hurricane season again...the Caribbean Princess on October 8.

 

Deena

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...let's see the Grand Princess in Oct. '01 (went east instead of west in the Caribbean and had great weather and no rough seas), the Triumph to Canada/New England in Sept. '03 (can't remember name of storm coming north along the East Coast -- it was very very choppy and windy from Maine down to NYC but not overly so and the rain was practically nil although the storm "did a number" on Halifax later) AND then again last year on Mariner when we had an extended 9-day cruise when Jeanne decided to come ashore and we had wonderful weather and it was hard to believe a storm was just around the tip of FLorida -- several ships including Carib P were "riding it out" and you could see all those twinkling ship lights at night.. This year it's Carib P on Sept 17 (and then no more Sept. cruises for a while)... So I guess you can say I bring the storms but the weather isn't bad and you sometimes get extra days?????:rolleyes:

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Last September (2004) my wife and I left Louisville airport headed to San Juan via Atlanta (were originally scheduled to change planes in Orlando) while "Frances" was nailing Florida. We literally flew straight out to the Atlantic Ocean, and made a complete circle around the hurricane and back down to San Juan.

 

 

It was a little overcast in San Juan, but the sea was calm. As we were preparing to leave port on our 7-day S.Caribbean cruise, we were informed that Hurricane Ivan (later coined "Roofus" because it ripped off so any roofs) was heading toward Grenada. The captain announced that we would be trading the islands of Barbados and St. Maartin for Curacao and Isla Margarita. We did just that, and by the time we got all the way down to Venezuela, "Roofus" had destroyed Grenada, and was on it's way to Grand Cayman, then on to Jamaica. We circled back up to St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Thomas with perfect seas and not a drop of rain. We had managed to make a complete circle around the hurricane without a spoiled day.

So, there is hope if the Captain has enough advanced warning, and he chooses to use his best judgement. I wouldn't be afraid of booking another September cruise again, they're usually the cheapest, I'll roll the dice for a low price. My wife probably wouldn't agree, due to the stress of having flights cancelled, re-routing, possibility of having the cruise cancelled after month's of anticipation, etc.

I didn't mention the fact that I spent hours on hold with various airlines trying to get my call through to beg for a new flight to SJU... that was challenging. Most travel and airline company's call-centers are in Florida, and that whole state was shut down. :eek:

Kudos to Delta Airlines, they got us all the way to San Juan (2 hours earlier than anticipated) even though our second-leg flight was on a different airline. They didn't charge us a dime extra. Needless to say, they got a letter of sincere gratitude.

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Man! You guys have some stories! I was hoping we'd be close enough to the end of the season that we wouldn't need to worry, but maybe not. Suedon, you were lucky with Hugo, he was a bad one and the name Hugo has actually been "retired" because it was so bad. I live in Charlotte and Hugo hit here still a cat 3. We are about 200 miles inland and everyone from Charleston on up the coast were getting hotel rooms here to get away from Hugo. He did quite a bit of damage here and after being in that hurricane, I'd hate to be in one actually in the ocean!

 

I'm glad everyone made it through okay, even though I'm sure at the time you had your doubts. Thanks for sharing your stories.

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We should be OK, Terre. I don't think this season will be like the last one. Plus, they were all out of the way by Oct! Watch out for August 13, though,Cruzbabe, that's the date Charley hit Florida. However, luck is on your side this year-it's on a Saturday, not a Friday!!!! LOL.

After this early flurry, things have quieted down. Let's hope it stays that way!! Lynne

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I was on a cruise the week that Princess Diana died and the ship had to deal with a hurricane. The ship left St. Marteen early and only stopped at St. Thomas to pick up supplies. There were free drinks to compensate for the loss of the island. The ship avoided the rough seas as much as possible. Except for losing islnad time, no real difference.

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Lynne,

I hope you're right! We've cruised before in July and November and were okay, but it seems that in the last three years or so, the hurricanes have really picked up in numbers. My brother lives in Kissimmee and of course got three last year in a row -- I can't remember the names. Anyway, it was their first experience with hurricanes and my sister-in-law was really scared -- can't blame her, it can be scary!:eek:

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Our hurricane was named "Lily", Sept. 2002. We were on board the Adventure of the Sea. We had a beautiful cruise to Aruba and had a scheduled stay on the island until 11:30 p.m. All of a sudden were were told that the ship was sailing at 8:30...how they got all the passengers back on that ship in 3 hours still amazes me. We left Aruba in high seas, wind blowing, pool water splashing out of the pool, and a great party on Lido Deck. After rocking and rolling our round-about way to Curacao we spent a lovely day on the island. Unfortunately, we got the backend of "Lily" on our way to St. Maarten. Another night of rocking and rolling. The captain took another round-about way up to St. Maarten. We later found out that this was a new ship for this captain. He did a great job keeping us out of harm's way. We laugh about it now and we have great memories. We are going on the CP is October and hope all the hurricanes will be over by then.

 

Happy cruising everybody!

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Hi again Lynn. We were with Lynn on last years cruise. It was awesome riding the swells out for the better part of the day.

 

DBmiller - I am sorry Carnival put you through all of that. Princess on Friday evening told us we would not be back in port until Monday morning so we werw able to fully enjoy the next two days without having to wonder if we were going to port and then be bussed. It worked out great and am hoping for the same scenario this year.

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Last year we sailed CCls' Paradise on her last non smoking cruise. Miami to LA, her new home port. Hurricane Francis came in the day we were to leave so we left a day late. We skipped Aruba as we had to run wide open to beat Hurricane Ivan so we could get thru the canal. Once in the Pacific, instead of port hopping north to LA, we were running due west at full speed to get away from "Javier" another hurricane that we hadn't even heard about. So we missed many of our ports and experienced some rough water.

 

If your cruise is disrupted by weather, you may miss ports. You may change ports and/or itinerary. You may have some rough seas behind a storm. But I GUARANTEE that they WILL NOT SAIL YOUR SHIP THRU A HURRICANE!!

Even if they didn't care a wit about the pax [they care a lot] they won't take risks with 500 MILLION DOLLAR SHIPS.

 

 

Dan

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waterrats-

Let's see if your crystal ball will work magic again this year. You'll be out before us and will have plenty of time to either conjur up that scenerio for the CB again, or save it for us!! I'm just wondering what the gang from last year is thinking knowing that they'll be on the same ship the same week!!

Terre-the 3 hurricanes were Charley-August 13; Frances-Sept.5/6; and Jeanne-Sept. 25. Jeanne's eye went directly over Sebring, FL. We live 3 miles north of the Sebring City Limits. We are all keenly aware of the storms this year and take the forecasts seriously now.If one hits again, I'd rather be on the ship and watch it unfold on CNN like I did in 2004. Lynne

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No problems at all-the captain assured us several times daily that he was taking us to "sunny skies and calm seas" and he did! Changed direction of itinerary and we still made all ports except Grand Cayman, where the port had been damaged by Ivan. It was much safer than living in Florida last year! :rolleyes:

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I was on a cruise the week that Princess Diana died and the ship had to deal with a hurricane. The ship left St. Marteen early and only stopped at St. Thomas to pick up supplies. There were free drinks to compensate for the loss of the island. The ship avoided the rough seas as much as possible. Except for losing islnad time, no real difference.

That was pretty much my experience last August/September. Was on a b2b on HAL's Zuiderdam and we hit two hurricanes. The first week of our b2b got extended by 2.5 days because the Port Authority closed Port Everglades. The captain kept us well out to sea and out of harm's way. The sailing was smooth as glass.

 

You can imagine how upset many passengers were with the fact that they would now miss their flights. Hello. If Port Everglades is closed, do you think the airport is open?

 

The main thing I didn't like about sailing during a hurricane is that we missed a lot of port stops, and even the ones where we did stop, all water-related shore excursions were cancelled, and it was really crappy weather ... windy, rain, etc. Five days straight at sea gets a bit old on a Caribbean cruise that is not set up with activities for that many days at sea. But, in our case, the cruise director's staff scrambled and came up with a lot of neat things to keep us entertained ... a tour of the crew areas of the ship, including places passengers never see like the "coffin room" and the brig. They also set up some "coffee chats" with the entertainers onboard ship and some of the officers.

 

When we finally did dock in Port Everglades on Monday afternoon (were supposed to get there on Saturday), only about 800 new passengers decided to take that second week's cruise. HAL had offered all kinds of credits and discounts to fill the ship, but a lot of people simply couldn't get down to Florida, so of course they had to be permitted to cancel with full refunds. Others probably didn't want to bother for what would have just been a four-day cruise, even though they would get a discount to compensate them for that.

 

We sailed back out on Monday evening with only about 800 passengers onboard. The Z holds over 2000. It was like a five-day cruise aboard a luxury yacht ... an experience I doubt I'll ever have again.

 

But, all in all, I've decided ... no more hurricane cruises for me. Not that I felt I was in any danger at any time ... and not that I wasn't well compensated for all the missed ports, etc. But it's just that when I cruise the Caribbean, I really look forward to stopping at some of the ports, and when those ports have to be skipped ... or when all the excursions have to be cancelled, it just takes away from the experience.

 

But, you could get some great deals during hurricane season ... that's for sure.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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..... This year it's Carib P on Sept 17 (and then no more Sept. cruises for a while)... So I guess you can say I bring the storms but the weather isn't bad and you sometimes get extra days?????:rolleyes:

 

Hey Caroline!!! Let's not start with the "I bring storms stuff, ok???" :eek: I've been looking forward to the 17th for quite some time now!!!

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We usually cruise in January and have wonderful weather. We are on the CB this year from 9/3-9/10 as it is our anniversary (Eastern Caribbean Itinerary). I NEVER take out insurance for our cruises, but did for this trip because it is hurricane season. I have been to Cancun and Puerto Rico during hurricane season several times and was lucky that we didn't have any storms while we were there...here is hoping for good weather this trip too!

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It was on the old "ORIANA". Departed HNL at midnite and sailed through the backside of a hurricane a few hours out enroute to Suva.

It was so rough so fast that the water in the pools couldn't be drained in time.

Well the Dragon Pool was adjacent to the disco, and as we bounced into the oncoming wind and surf the water kept coming over the sill into the disco.

Being true to our form the girls hiked up their formal gowns and the guys rolled up their pant legs and we danced in the disco with 18 inches of H2O flowing from one side of the bar to another til they closed down the floating electric chair at 2am.

Ah the good old days when stabilizers couldn't be used to conserve fuel (Fuel crisis -winter '73).

Two days and half way to Suva the ocean was like a pond.

 

Ciao for now!!!

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