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Last minute itinerary changes


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Im aware that there is no guarantee of the seeing the ports as originally promised by the cruise provider.

 

I am sailing in last week of November 2021 for the western caribbean.  What is the likelihood of last minute change of ports?  Its all docks as well, no tender ports.

 

Or do most cruise manage to stick to their schedules fairly reliably?

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  • Host Kat changed the title to Last minute itinerary changes

No way to predict. The Caribbean is not usually all that shaky in terms of route changes, in normal times. But there can be changes. And, more importantly, we are definitely not in normal times.

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Where I have often experienced a change in itinerary, it has not yet happened to me in the Caribbean - but it can of course happen - you can experience changes in sailing schedule well before the cruise, but also while you are on a cruise due to weather or technical reasons.
If you ask because you want to arrange private tours, make sure arrangements can be changed or cancelled - in general, tour organizers are used to handle changes.

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It's happened to us a few times in the Caribbean - I'd say on average one port on every 14-day cruise. 

Reason is mainly the sea-state or winds, which can prevent tender operations but can also prevent docking - I recall the captain of P&O's Azura (about 4,500 pax) attempting twice to make it into Castries, St Lucia but being thwarted by winds and taking the safe option of making that a sea-day to head to Grenada for a visit there the next day instead of a sea-day.

But there are other reasons such as industrial action or public unrest in a port, or mechanical issues with the ship.

We don't yet know what effect Covid-19 will have on Caribbean ports.

 

Depending on circumstances, ships' captains will try to find an alternate port - but a missed port might mean just a sea-day instead.

There are lots of options in the Caribbean, and if you miss a port or get switched to another port it's no big deal to most folk.

But if your sole reason for a  particular cruise is one specific port-of-call, then you're safer to choose a land vacation there because there's no guarantees with cruises.    

 

JB :classic_smile:

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My experience in the Western Caribbean is that the ports tend to be pretty stable. There aren't a lot of alternative locations, and if you miss a port it usually turns into a sea day, not a substitute port.

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On 10/31/2020 at 4:30 PM, zqvol said:

My experience in the Western Caribbean is that the ports tend to be pretty stable. There aren't a lot of alternative locations, and if you miss a port it usually turns into a sea day, not a substitute port.

 

Interesting observation.

Most of my Caribbean experience has been Eastern, where ports come thick & fast

But yes - ports in Western Caribbean tend to be well-spread, so few alternatives.

.On one Western cruise we missed both San Blas and Limon - San Blas was replaced by a sea-day, Limon by a second day at Colon. In most ports, a second day is preferable to a sea-day - Colon has its limitations for a second day.:classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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We've had our ports reversed without notice on 2 cruises...the others all remained intact....there's really no way to tell, and no recourse.  When you buy your "ticket", you've agreed to THEIR terms!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am surprised no one mentioned time of year.  The Caribbean in the winter is calmer and not as many port changes.  Most of the port changes happen when they are avoiding bad weather in hurricane season.  Each year, an average of 13 tropical storms whirl through the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 through November 30.  Hurricane season peaks from mid-August to late October.  Now don't let that scare you.  The cruise ships are very large and handle the bad weather without an issue.  They also go out of their way to avoid them... port changes.

Edited by Traveling Mike
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  • 2 weeks later...

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