We are now in the beginning of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season and many people will cruise over the next few months. So what do you need to know about cruising during hurricane season?
There are three typical scenarios you might encounter if your cruise is planned during this time of year. But keep in mind, the cruise line will not place you, the crew or the ship in any danger and the odds of being impacted are rare.
Missed or alternate ports.
The most likely scenario is when you will either miss a port, have an alternate port or reverse order. You can even have a situation with longer cruises when you might switch from Eastern to Western Caribbean or vice versa, depending on the location and direction of the storm. An example, you might have been visiting the Cozumel but because there is a storm in the gulf, you might visit the Bahamas instead.
Delayed, shortened, or lengthened cruise.
There are times when the storm is in the way of the cruise port or the situation dictates a deviation in the length of the cruise. If the port is in the path of the storm, the current cruise might be lengthened and the next cruise might be shortened. Of course, the ship is unable to dock until the port is inspected for damage to buildings and the channel.
This happened to me a few years ago where I was scheduled to sail on Carnival Conquest for seven nights but Matthew came into south Florida and delayed her from arriving back in. I had the chance to sail a shortened four night cruise to Cozumel but chose to book another date. I was offered a full refund or future cruise credit.
One of the questions I had was regarding parking so I reached out to the Port of Miami. If for some reason your cruise is delayed and you are parked for an extra day, you will not be charged the extra day. Now I was not able to get through to Port of Tampa and Port Canaveral but I would imagine they are the same.
The least likely situation is the full cancellation of a cruise. This can happen if the port is severely damaged, the ship is damaged or the cruise is too short like a 3,4 or 5 night, to shorten.
Obviously if the cruise is cancelled, a refund will be offered but sometimes a future cruise credit is an option with maybe some OBC.
With any of these scenarios, the cruise lines keep my self as the travel advisor and the passengers informed. But things change quickly so it might be the day before or when a decision is made.
As I mentioned, I would not hesitate in planning your vacation during hurricane season. Often September October have some the best prices.
For questions or assistance with your travel needs, email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.