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Cruising during Hurricane Season?


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Hi all.  My family and I usually cruise in the springtime.  I'm turning 50 this year in October and I want to go on a vacation and cruising is my favorite way to travel.  But, I've never cruised in the Caribbean during Hurricane season.  Any advice from the cruisers that travel during this time of year?  Pro, Cons, anything else I should think of that would be different than cruising in the spring.  Thanks!

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Generally, it's a crap shoot - mainly affecting embarkation/debarkation days. The ships can adjust their sailing dates and locations to avoid most of the hurricane effects. Actually safer on a ship than on land in most cases. I know of very few cruise ships sunk (stray ice burg, torpedoes, pilot error) - one river cruise boat that sunk ,due to adverse weather was in China in 2015. Google may prove me wrong lol

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Dont let hurricane season get in the way of your families cruise planning. I have lived in South Florida my entire life and hurricane season has never once been an issue with cruising. Obviously things could one day be different and a storm could interfere with cruising plans but I’ve been sailing since the 1980’s…..

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We got caught out in Hurricane Maria. Left San Juan the day before it hit. Royal adjusted our itinerary from eastern Caribbean to Aruba. Ended up returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Royal setup phone lines so we could make free calls to the airlines. Also let us stay on board for an extra night. I have no problem sailing during hurricane season.

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I would not worry at all. Royal has a great weather team and they are always watching what may or may not develop. If anything does, ships will adjust the itinerary to make sure everyone is safe. 

We have sailed during hurricane season many times and have never run into any problems. 

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I have many on a number of cruises during hurricane season and had great cruises.  It helps to have a flexible attitude and realize there could be an itinerary adjustment, we call that an adventure!  Several years ago while cruising in Hawaii we missed Hilo because the volcano was erupting and throwing rocks the size of VW's several miles into the air along with poison gas.  I didn't mind the itinerary change and we ended up in Victoria, BC.

Bill

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7 hours ago, Huntr104 said:

Hi all.  My family and I usually cruise in the springtime.  I'm turning 50 this year in October and I want to go on a vacation and cruising is my favorite way to travel.  But, I've never cruised in the Caribbean during Hurricane season.  Any advice from the cruisers that travel during this time of year?  Pro, Cons, anything else I should think of that would be different than cruising in the spring.  Thanks!

no need to worry about things.  We cruise often during the season and hurricane season runs from June to November, so that’s the majority of the year.  Of course, you should pay attention to the forecasts in the weeks before your cruise since, rarely, a hurricane could affect embarkation or debarkation of the ship. If you’re flying to the port,that could,be affected by the weather (much like any other time). Once the cruise starts you should be good to sail!
 

if your worry is changing the ports while on the cruise, there’s literally nothing you can do about it and it could happen, also rarely, for reason other than a hurricane.  

my advice is to go with the flow and have a great time.  I have family that got 2 days added to their cruise when a hurricane went through once and they enjoyed the extra days at no charge!  (Once again this is a rare occurrence).

 

here’s the link to the National Hurricane Center. Being that we also do a lot of Disney trips and were on property during Matthew, I follow along for informational purposes, even when we don’t have trips planned.

 

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Due to timings and finances we have always booked right at the start of hurricane season in late Sept. And honestly...it's great. We did have one or two rough embarkations that were either pushed up to avoid storms or on rocky waters, but nothing that made the start bad. What's great though, is the traffic in the ports is less. The summer season is just dying down and there is a lull before the holiday pick up so it's not super crowded.

I personally recommend it for sure and would just echo what others have said about flights.

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We've been impacted twice by tropical weather.

September 2019 Boston -> Bermuda, hurricane was passing Bermuda the day before we would have arrived.  We were supposed to be 2 days at sea, 3 in Bermuda, 2 days back.  Instead, we went to Portland on day 1 (just a 2 hour drive from home for me, some who were from that area got off and went home for a few hours 😄), we lost one day in Bermuda.  Losing the day in Bermuda was disappointing, but there was some minor damage to the island, so sailing there a day earlier would have been tough.

Two weeks ago, Southern Caribbean on Explorer.  TS Bonnie was passing close to Curacao and Aruba when we were supposed to be there.  We ended up going to Jamaica and Coco Cay instead.  Disappointing since Curacao/Aruba are 2 of our favorite stops, but can't control the weather and we made the best of it.  Just more motivation to do the Southern Caribbean again.

Travelling between June and October is always going to carry that risk in the Atlantic.

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On 6/22/2022 at 11:33 AM, Huntr104 said:

Hi all.  My family and I usually cruise in the springtime.  I'm turning 50 this year in October and I want to go on a vacation and cruising is my favorite way to travel.  But, I've never cruised in the Caribbean during Hurricane season.  Any advice from the cruisers that travel during this time of year?  Pro, Cons, anything else I should think of that would be different than cruising in the spring.  Thanks!

We sailed in Sept 2019, and as it turned out we sailed 2 days after the hurricane hit our NC coast.  The water was unusually clear where we traveled, and lots of debris on beaches to pour through.  On the other hand, we've had plain old rain in May on the Oasis and got soaked trying to eat in Central Park.  Pack a small folding umbrella just in case.

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18 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

O.O

well...someone certainly lied to me lol

This made me laugh! I live on Long Island, part of the Atlantic hurricane season - in my lifetime we've gotten them as late as November and from my memory the worst ones for the Atlantic have been later on in the season. 

 

On 6/22/2022 at 1:25 PM, AandD said:

Royal adjusted our itinerary from eastern Caribbean to Aruba

I've heard this happens a bunch with hurricanes and tropical storms, they just change course. 

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We generally cruise during hurricane season because of our Grandkids and their school schedule.  We've had itinerary changes, port cancelations, embarkation delays by a day.  But, it all was good.  I just love being on the ship, period.  However, our preferred cruise timing is one week before Thanksgiving or one week after.  Or, one week before Christmas or one week after New Year when it's just the two of us. It seems less kids onboard and sometimes the price is a little better, too.  

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The key is flexibility. In 2017, my Eastern Caribbean cruise was changed to Western 2 days before we set sail due to Hurricane Irma. On day 4, the captain announced the cruise is extended 3 days because we wouldn’t be able to get back to Florida. The itinerary changed daily and we had no idea where we would end up. We made two stops to Cozumel!

The cruise after us got shortened and they were offering discounts to extend the cruise an additional few days since so many people on the next cruise cancelled. I was already missing too many days of work so had to head home. 

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