Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Cruising During Hurricane Season

Is Caribbean cruising during hurricane season a bad idea?  In all honesty, I don’t think so! The Atlantic Hurricane season is officially June 1st through November 30th, with peak storm activity from August through October. That’s an awful long span to disregard cruising due to a somewhat irrational fear!  Besides, the cruise lines do everything they possibly can to ensure that a hurricane has little to no impact on your vacation.

Cruise lines have the best, up-to-the-minute weather forecasts at their disposal 24/7. Sophisticated radar, modern satellite equipment…no worries!  They’re on top of their game and would never put passengers, their crew and even their ship in harm’s way.

When a hurricane directly threatens a ship's itinerary or a Caribbean port of call, the cruise line will simply change their itinerary to avoid a storm. These deviations may be focused on avoiding the path of the storm or avoiding the aftermath of the storm for example.  It is not uncommon for a ship to skip a particular port of call or extend its time at sea to avoid a storm passing through the area.

The ship’s captain may accelerate or delay a cruise ship's itinerary to work around the storm. And isn’t it comforting to know that ship's move faster than hurricanes. A typical hurricane will mosey along at a speed of about ten knots, but cruise ships can move at twice this pace.  That means that even the largest cruise ships are able to move quickly away from the path of any hurricane.

Worried about a bit of rockin’ and rollin’?  It’s definitely a possibility but keep in mind, you’re not cruising on the SS Minnow (remember...Gilligan’s Island)! Today's cruise ships all handle rough seas quite well thanks to stabilizers, those large, underwater “wings” on the sides of the ship. The newer the ship, the more advanced the stabilizers, which will keep the vessel steady in stormy weather.  Nevertheless, it’s always smart to have some bonine or sea bands with you.

Booking a Caribbean cruise during hurricane season may even work out to your advantage, but not for the reason you may think! Travel deals often abound during September through November. Reason being that kids are back to school so families put the brakes on family cruise vacations leaving the cruise lines with lots of empty cabins to fill.

So tell me, are you going to let a little weather get in the way of your Caribbean cruise?

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