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Cruising during hurricane season, the good, bad and ugly!


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Am thinking of booking a summer caribbean cruise if I can get a bargain. What does the insurance cover in case of bad weather? I know the ships can change their ports but what if you can't make it to the ship due to bad weather?

Any horror stories, tips, best times to snatch a bargain?

Thanks

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The Good - Your cruise can be longer than planned.

The Bad - Your cruise can be shortened

The Ugly - Your cruise can be cancelled.

 

and

 

The Not So Bad......you could cruise to a different port than originally planned.

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Nice reply - anyway, just remember when cruising during hurricane season, your Eastern cruise can become a Western Caribbean real fast, and West to east, depending on tropical systems - don't be disapointed if your ports change without notice! If there is even a chance that there is a tropical system heading toward the port you are supposed to be at, they will either cancel the port all together, and give you a sea day, or just substitute with another.

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when we did a Sept 2004 Transatlantic on Constellation. Iceland was cancelled due to hurricane hitting them, that was to hit Ireland 3 days prior & didn't. We got the boring Vigo Spain instead. That made our sea days 6 instead of 5 back to NYC. 50 foot wave action much of the cruise, we loved that! We were 9th deck & waves were hitting us.

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What does the insurance cover in case of bad weather? I know the ships can change their ports but what if you can't make it to the ship due to bad weather?

 

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Because I am a student in the performing arts, I usually take advantage of the hurricane season cruise deals. Of course, when you play the odds, they are bound to catch up to you - Last fall, my plans to surprise my wife with a cruise out of Galveston on Rhapsody was thwarted by Rita. I did not purchase travel insurance; (the insurance plans I was looking at did not cover anything with regards to hurricanes*) - But RCI was extremely pleasant to work with and very accomodating. RCI usually waits until the last possible moment to make any sort of a call on what they are going to do, (since weather patterns can change quickly) - I'm not very comfortable when my plans are based on the fates, so, when Galveston was being evacuated and traffic was at a standstill in Houston 4 days prior to the sale date, I called RCI and cancelled the cruise - they gave me full cruise credit; refunded me for the shore excursions I booked; and were just super nice about everything.

 

One caveat: Since I live around Dallas, I planned on driving to Galveston and did not purchase plane tickets. I don't know what RCI's or the airlines' policies are on cancelling due to hurricanes. This might add a new headache.

 

*Also, I will say that I think I made an unwise decision about not purchasing travel insruance - but I'll leave that for another thread. :)

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I decided that I couldn't wait until January for a cruise so we are going to do the 5-day on the Enchantment out of Ft. Lauderdale in the middle of September . The rate was very good so we have signed up. I thought the rate was so good because it was after children have gone back to school and possibly parents didn't want to leave their children for a week yet--not until the new school year routine has been established.

 

Well. . . someone tells me that the rate was good because it is in the hurricane season. Never gave that a thought. Not sure whether this is a good or bad thing but we're going to give it our best shot at going! I did purchase insurance though--just in case. It is our intention to have a grand time where ever the ship may go. The goal is to get onto the ship--the rest will sort itself out. Life is an adventure!

 

What is the actual period of time that is considered "hurricane season?"

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What is the actual period of time that is considered "hurricane season?"

 

Hurricane season actually starts June 1 and lasts through November. The hotter it is and the warmer the water is, the more likely you are to get a hurricane. July to September would be the best bets for hurricanes.

 

Mel

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your profile doesn't say where you're from, but if you are from canada, book your plane tickets from Expedia.ca or Travelocity.ca, and you get TICO protection....... If your flight is cancelled, claim it with TICO, as long as the travel is not delivered, they pay it off.

 

I don't know if TICO covers cruises bought from Travelocity or not.

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your profile doesn't say where you're from, but if you are from canada, book your plane tickets from Expedia.ca or Travelocity.ca, and you get TICO protection....... If your flight is cancelled, claim it with TICO, as long as the travel is not delivered, they pay it off.

 

I don't know if TICO covers cruises bought from Travelocity or not.

 

What is TICO and is it only for Canadian residents? Doesn't the cruise insurance also cover the flight? We always purchase the insurance so the risks seem minimal providing they don't have exclusions for weather. The port changes are not an issue.

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My husband and I sailed on the Enchantment during hurricane Wilma.

 

The good news was our 4 day cruise turned into 6 days. No extra charge.

We got a certificate from the captain stating we survived Wilma. Cute.

 

The bad news was many passengers were sea sick and sleeping in lounges because they couldn't stay in their cabins. Too much rocking and rolling.

Our itinerary was changed form Key West and Cozumel to Bahamas, but we knew that before sailing and could cancel if we wanted.

 

Glasses and dishes were flying off the shelves in the Windjammer and some of the drink dispensers fell over, spilling the contents all over the floor.

 

The ship was really pitching, but I do love the "motion of the ocean". The waves were incredible and we got some interesting videos.

 

If I had to do it over, I'd still would have gone.

 

Great ship and wonderful crew.

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What is the actual period of time that is considered "hurricane season?"

 

You booked a mid-September cruise. I regret being the bearer of bad news but the HEIGHT of the hurricane season is September 10. By "height" I mean that is the single day when there is most likely to be an active tropical depression or worse somewhere in the Atlantic basin, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

 

Now that said, even if there is one or even more tropical systems bearing down at that time, that system may be no where near you. Some storm systems are very compact. Others cover hundreds of square miles.

 

I'm a bit of a risk taker. I would take the cruise myself. You might have delightful weather the whole time, even if there is a category five monster somehwere else. But I am an adventurer, maybe by force, because my husband has always sought adventure.

 

It all boils down to your tolerance for risk.

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My birthday is September 18th. I like to travel for my birthday. Lately, we've been doing cruises for vacations. Put 2+2 together and you get...

 

2004 -The worst "cruise" hurricane season in memory

 

DH and I were booked on Explorer of the Seas out of Miami for a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise with stops in San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau. That season a huge number of cruises were cancelled, re-routed, shortened, extended, etc. Since we live in Tampa, we'd spent the bulk of hurricane season 2004 battened down and we *needed* that vacation. Hurricane Jeanne had just spun out to sea so we hoped we were gonna get a break. After our third stop - St. Thomas - we're informed that Hurricane Jeanne has turned back towards the Gulf of Mexico and they're keeping an eye on things.

 

Our next day is a sea day, during which we're informed we will not be making our call at Nassau (no big loss). By this time the ship was really rocking and a lot of the passengers were feeling ill. Our 2nd sea day comes and goes. We're due to dock in Miami the next morning, but are informed that the Port of Miami is closed. We spent that Sunday "cruising" the Florida Keys with a lot of other cruise ships in the same boat (!) The business center was set up with free internet and free calls to airlines so people can make arrangements, but the line is several hours long to make use of either. The cruise personnel handled the cranky passengers as best they could and the captain steered the ship close enough to the mainland that many could get a cell signal. We were able to call our neighbors and verify that our house was fine, if without power *again*.

 

Late Sunday night we got the OK to head back to Miami and a drag race began with all the cruise ships gunning it for port. It was neat to see all the other ships in one spot. We were jokingly holding 'cruise ship drag races' on the top deck. The major inconvienence was that the ship began to run out of supplies. Nothing critical, but there was no milk for breakfast the last day and no salad the last night for dinner. Small things such as that.

 

All in all, if you go into the vacation with a flexible attitude then cruising during hurricane season is a great bargain. The chances of anything like the above actually affecting *your* vacation are slim. We will continue to cruise in September (and October) because it represents the best value for us.

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We cruise every year in Sept. We have been lucky enough to never have had bad weather while we were at sea. In fact, it has always been beautiful weather. That being said, we have missed our ports of call for the last two years and had one cruise shortened due to "Jeanne" (we found out the night before that it would be 4.5 days instead and oh yeah...they are evacuting your hotel, you had better RUN!) Turned out great. We went to marco Island and sat at the Marriot for a couple days. Good fun. The cruise had beautiful weather.....the "longer" cruise the week prior had rough seas and some sick people. I love cruising in Sept though....I always get travel insurance. You can get good insurance a lot cheaper through some outside agencies (travelgaurd, insuremytrip(compares diff ones), travelex) and they will cover door to door so your flight is covered. The cruise lines will refund any missed days and usually give you a credit toward future cruises (although they don't have to).

I always book the SHIP I want to be on and the ports I would hope to go to and go with the flow.....oh and hope the hurricane is not hitting the embarcation port the day you are supposed to get on:eek: :D

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Ok now I'm a little stressed we are doing Rhapsody August 27th.(first time& very excited) So I know it's a crap shoot but will they cancel the cruise? We are so spoiled on the west coast with our cruises don't have weather problems.

Did a cruise years ago out of Miami but it was in July and even than the weather was kinda crappy.Great snorkling,beautiful,warm waters,but it was raining and cloudy and very windy for a couple of days.

Now I'm a little worried about the Gulf Coast.So that's why the price was so great. Should we of went to Hawaii again??:confused:

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Well. . . someone tells me that the rate was good because it is in the hurricane season.

No, your rate is very good because September is when everyone goes back to school and the vacation business dies.

 

Statistically, September is the most likely month for hurricanes but that's not why the price drop. The price drop is because no one's booking cause all the kids and college students are back in school.

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The good.....your cruise has just expanded extra days....woo hoo :D

 

The bad.....because my cruise was expanded it may be your cruise that is now shorter....booo hooo :(

 

The ugly....trying to rearrange flights, work schedules :eek:

 

All in all I would cruise again during hurricane season. Lets hope it isn't anywhere as bad as last years season!!! :eek:

 

 

 

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Don't kid yourselves -- cruise prices are lower in Sept. not just because kids are back in school but also because it's prime hurricane season. We cruised several times in Sept. because it's Dad's birthday. We had our cruise shortened 2 days in 2004 due to Hurricane Jeanne.

 

The Good -- we survived Hurricane Jeanne and actually had a hotel room -- didn't have to sleep in our car as many did.

 

The Bad -- we were in Miami by the time RCCL finally started letting people cancel and rebook. Our travel insurance wouldn't cover us for the flights since we'd already used half if it. Since we had flown 10 people from the west coast at a cost of $5,000, we couldn't afford to eat the airfare so rebooking wasn't an option.

 

The Ugly -- the worry and stress of having to decide what to do -- should we fly to Miami before the airport closes, should we load up on flashlights, batteries, water, food, and will we be allowed to stay in our beach hotel or will they make us evacuate inland and possibly go to a shelter due to no hotel rooms.

 

The Upshot -- no one in our family has the stomach for hurricane season cruising out of Florida or the Gulf Coast anymore. We're going again for Dad's birthday this year -- but we're doing the Mexican Riviera.

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We cruised towards the end of hurricane season and didn't have any problems. Hurricane Wilma hit Miami the week before however. Because it was hurricane season our cruise was a lot more affordable.

 

Next time, I am planning to cruise mid-November. The prices look to be the same as October and there is also less chance of a hurricane.

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