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Cruising during hurricane season?


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I posted this on another board, but didn't get much response!

 

My FI and I are considering taking a cruise for our honeymoon, which will be the first week of October. We're going to sail RCI if we decide to cruise. However, I know that October is during hurricane season, which scares me a little!

 

What happens if you book a cruise and then a hurricane comes along? Do you cancel or does the cruise still go on?

 

I just don't want my first cruise (and honeymoon) to be cancelled due to a hurricane and/or huge waves!!

 

Any advice will be appreciated!!!

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During last years storms, I was booked on the SOS during the second week of October. When it was apparent the storms were going to hit, RCCL via its website offered a full credit if you decided not to go. I took the credit. I had friends who still went and were out at sea one extra day since the ship could not get back into port. They did not get any freebies during that day (in the form of drinks etc.)

It is a gamble when cruise during hurrician season. I will also note we did not have insurance, since it was such a short cruise. So I am unable to comment on whether or not the insurance would have kicked in if RCCL did not offer the option to cancel. Perhaps someone else can comment on that.

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We too are cruising during hurricane season (departing Aug. 19). We bought travel insurance and have decided not to worry if we miss a port or two or have an extra day at sea.

I'm not worried about cruising into a hurricane because the ships have very good radar and will steer away from anything that looks bad.

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I cruised on Disney Cruise line during Hurricane Frances in August/Sept 2004. Our 7 night cruise turned into a 10 night cruise and our seas were as smooth as glass and kept out of harms way.

The people on the next cruise were offered a choice to cancel with refunds or take a 4 night cruise with money given back and I am pretty sure 50% off their next cruise. So I wouldn't worry and I would go for it, I did again, I booked for August 2007.

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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

 

As far as cruising in October, there are never any guarantees when you cruise during hurricane season. We've taken three cruises now out of Galveston during huricane season - twice when there was "activity" in the gulf. Only once have we been able to tell that there was something stirring in the gulf. The ship was a TINY bit rocky, but it was very subtle - not really that bad. The ships stablizers really keep a lot of the motion down to a minimum plus the crew is on-top of the weather situations and will not put their bazillion dollar investment or its passengers in harms way. :)

 

We cruised last year during Rita and never saw a bit of bad weather - and never felt ANY rocking or unusual movement on the boat. They steered clear of the bad weather and we actually ended up getting three extra days on board out of it. No we didn't get any "compensation", but I think most people felt that none was needed. We just felt bad for the folks scheduled on our boat the following week as their only option was to take a very abbreviated trip or wait and cruise later.

 

Actually the worse part of that experience was sitting with a couple that kept complaining how everytime they cruise during hurricane season, something happens. DH actually said to the gal one night - "Then why do you cruise during hurricane season?!"

 

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that October is definitely high season for hurricanes and there is always a chance that one may have an impact on your trip. If you go into it with the right expectations (that you may have to be a little flexible) you're likely to have a fantastic honeymoon and come back wondering why you fretted over it in the first place.

 

Good luck on your decision!

Tina

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Maybe the biggest problem might be that if you are flying to the cruise ship port, the airport may be closed if a hurricane is nearby and you won't be able to even get on the ship. Or you might not be able to get on your plane because the flight to the airport in question will be canceled.

 

As a long time Florida resident I know airports do close and inbound flights are stopped a certain amount of time before a hurricane is expected to pass close by...usually many hours before.

 

I'm a risk taker, so my advice would be to make your plans just as if it isn't hurricane season, but be sure to have a good trip insurance policy to cover contingencies.

 

Congratulations on your wedding!!!

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We most always cruise in hurricane season because of the very nice prices to go then... makes it feasible for us to be able to take many trips at the rates for that time of year. never have we had a problem.. the ship can go much faster and navigate any trouble spots.. we never missed a port and seas were not rough.:)

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We cruise during hurricane season due to the lower prices (and it is easier for us to get the time off work).

 

Last year we cruised at the end of October (Eastern) and didn't have any problems. Hurricane Wilma hit Miami a week before but our cruise was fine. Next year we are doing the Southern Caribbean in November. We get travel insurance to protect us from any losses and fly in a day early.

 

I was told by my TA that the Southern Ports are less likely to get hit by a hurricane (and Aruba is out of the hurricane belt). Book the cruise, get the travel insurance and have a great time :)

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Unlike the lucky posters who got extra sea days, we were among the passengers stuck in Miami for the hurricane -- while waiting (literally) for our ship to come in. Our 7-day cruise became a 5-day. RCCL offered an opportunity to rebook -- unfortunately, they didn't offer it until Friday evening for our Saturday cruise. We were already in Miami, having arrived earlier in the day -- to make sure we got there before the airport closed. We had no choice but to go, even though our preference would have been to rebook. We'd spent $5,000 in airfare getting to Miami from the west coast. We had insurance, but I called them and they would not cover our airfare if we rescheduled the cruise and returned later to Miami, since we'd already used 1/2 of our air tickets. So we went on the cruise as we couldn't afford to eat $5,000 in airfare.

 

RCCL gave us shipboard credit of $250 per day per cabin. Also, a 50% off certificate for another cruise, which actually had lots of restrictions. We didn't use it. Instead, we found a great last minute really discounted fare so went with that instead.

 

The worst part was being in Miami for the hurricane. We didn't know if we'd have to evacuate inland -- and if we did, whether we'd find a hotel room or have to go to a shelter. We had two old people and a baby in our group. It was all very stressful. So, while those on the ship got two extra days of cruise and fun, those of us on land were enduring a hurricane.

 

We're cruising this fall out of L.A. We've had enough with cruising out of Florida during hurricane season -- especially given what we saw last year with Katrina and Wilma.

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We always cruise during hurricane season and have cruised during 2 different hurricanes. It can make for rough seas for a day or two but the captain can avoid most of it. It makes things a bit exciting though. Just prepare yourself that the itinerary could change, bring some seasickness medication just in case and don't worry about it. You will stay safe.

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I say go with it and enjoy. Do you really care if a port is changed to another or a port day becomes a sea day? If you do not care then go and have a great time. We usually cruise in Jan but found the Oct rates to be great so we are trying a oct 22 cruise on Mariner(2nd time on mariner). Of course we are flying in from Williamsburg, VA the day before. Only problem may be leaving if there is a hurricane. We are booked on a return flight the same day as the cruise ends....but if there are no flights leaving that day there is nothing to be done. I am not worried about going. As far as being on the ship at the time, they never will take you into the path.

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You just have to be flexible...as the previous poster stated. You may miss a port have an extra sea day ---- have lots of sea days etc. The ship will avoid the storm.

 

I have lived in Fla for 15 years and in the past October hasn't been an active month...but all bets are off these days especially with the parade of storms last year.

 

If you are a person that will feel as though the trip is ruined because it's not perfect then you shouldn't go...if you're able to go with the flow then you'll be fine. BUT DO GET INSURANCE.

 

Also..learning to go with the flow will not only save your vacation but it will be invaluable in your marriage. Good Luck and Lots of Blessings to you.

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We missed our flights, by 4 days. we were suppose to get back to port on Saturday and we got back Tuesday. we couldn't get a flight back until Wednesday.

 

Back to your orginal question. Disney called the carriers from the ship, (even though we booked the air on our own.) They gave every stateroom a paper to fill out with names of passengers, carrier, flight #'s, airport etc. Then the carrier changed our flights, but no one told us until we were able to get signal on our cell and call the carrier ourselves. But you can always call the airline from the ship. We used Southwest airlines and there were no fees involved with changing of flights. I can't speak about other airlines.

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We were given the chance to fly home fom Montigo Bay & again in Ft Lauterdale....most stayed on the ship. We had 10 mins. free phone & 10 mins. free internet p.p. per day.RCL worked with airlines to re-arrange flights.

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We were given the chance to fly home fom Montigo Bay & again in Ft Lauterdale....most stayed on the ship. We had 10 mins. free phone & 10 mins. free internet p.p. per day.RCL worked with airlines to re-arrange flights.

We also, were on this trip. Because we returned on a Wednesday, there were no Enterprise Rental car agents at the terminal. We called them, but no response. We had to get a taxi to Houston Hobby for $100 plus tips. There was another couple with us, so we split the fare.

Southwest changed our flights, no problem. It was a little tough getting through to them from the ship's phone. As a-tx-brit noted, RCI gave us free phone and internet time to make arrangements. They were also constantly giving us updates.

We went to Ft Lauderdale for food and fuel, but could not leave the ship. All services remained open (except shops and casino). They did run out of Bud Light, but more was brought on in Ft. Lauderdale. FYI -They did not offer any free drinks, etc. But we did get 3 extra days aboard at no charge. Only about a hundred passengers left the ship early.

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We do it every year and so far, have never run into any problems. We were on the Mariner last year and got back just in front of Wilma. There was talk on board that our cruise might be extended but Wilma slowed down over Cozumel and tore it up allowing us to make it back to Florida on Sunday as scheduled. I would say that it is important to stay flexible, make sure you get your travel insurance and most importantly, enjoy your cruise.

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We're cruising in October this year for the first time and are just prepared to go with the flow.... We haven't got insurance in the past, but we are for this trip.

 

I do it and am not sorry. Travel insurance is the key, well that and be flexible. Know there are no guarantees and move with the punches.

 

Hey Nliedel! Love the new picture! :)

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Hey Ellen: Now I heard the travel insurance does not cover acts of nature. So what is the point? If the cruise becomes longer because you cannot get back to home port for flight...wouldn't one think that the airports have shut down anyways... and they arrange for new flights without penalty I heard. Now we fly Air tran and to change tickets cost 50$ each ticket...but in case of hurricane and all flights are changed I would seriously think that would not apply. Any info here on this would be great. So what does the insurance cover... I have read so many posts by others saying they were shocked at how little it did cover...

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Hey Ellen: Now I heard the travel insurance does not cover acts of nature. So what is the point? If the cruise becomes longer because you cannot get back to home port for flight...wouldn't one think that the airports have shut down anyways... and they arrange for new flights without penalty I heard. Now we fly Air tran and to change tickets cost 50$ each ticket...but in case of hurricane and all flights are changed I would seriously think that would not apply. Any info here on this would be great. So what does the insurance cover... I have read so many posts by others saying they were shocked at how little it did cover...

 

 

We actually just purchased our trip insurance today... Doing the research to choose a policy was actually pretty overwhelming... I've been looking periodically for weeks. The policy we chose, does cover trip cancellation or interuption due to weather.

 

The best way to see what policies/coverage is available is to go to www.insuremytrip.com... If you click on products and compare package policies, you can see what's available. If you click on quotes, it will ask you for some basic information (no names or email info at this point) and then will give you costs for each policy available. I just went through the different options and threw out the ones that didn't meet my criteria until I ended up with one left. I ended up picking CSA's Comfort Policy. The premium for us was $136, which I thought was pretty reasonable for the peace of mind it will give us. Like all insurance, hopefully we won't need to use it.

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Hey Ellen: Now I heard the travel insurance does not cover acts of nature. So what is the point? If the cruise becomes longer because you cannot get back to home port for flight...wouldn't one think that the airports have shut down anyways... and they arrange for new flights without penalty I heard. Now we fly Air tran and to change tickets cost 50$ each ticket...but in case of hurricane and all flights are changed I would seriously think that would not apply. Any info here on this would be great. So what does the insurance cover... I have read so many posts by others saying they were shocked at how little it did cover...

 

Actually travel insurance is FOR acts of God. They almost all cover hurricane related damage, delays and cancellations, unless you buy it after the hurricane is named.

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