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Are itinerary changes due to storms just that?


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If you don't go to a port, you will get back port taxes and fees as OBC. If you change ports then best you can hope for is another, cruise contract say itineraries can be changed without any compensation or little notice. Of course, any excursion will come back as refundable OBC. I wouldn't go in, during hurricane season, expecting OBC or anything for itinerary changes. 

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I'm sailing on Celebrity Equinox departing Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, the 17th and heading E to Key West, porting there on the 18th, tracking back NE with a day at sea, then a planned port call in Bimini, Island of Bahamas on Sunday the 19th. Fiona is far enough south through that time period that while it might be a bit rainy, nothing serious associated with Fiona is in the offing weather wise.

Fiona will be approaching PR from the ESE and moving WNW on Sunday the 18th, slowing down and extending its presence in that area through the 19th. Starting on the the 20th, we'll have a day at sea, while we cruise enroute to the NE and to Grand Truk to arrive on the 21st. Then we head a short distance in a southerly direction to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Not looking good! for that. Like, no way as the consensus tracks through day 5 are pretty firm. There is a high likelihood that part of our itinerary won't happen as we'd be cruising right into the path of Fiona as it tracks slowly W over Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) then (maybe) makes a right turn to head out into the Atlantic. Fiona isn't a Hurricane but rather a TS with a ton of rain and winds to 50-60+ kts. Right now, it is not very organized and isn't showing signs of strengthening. It is predicted to do that as it clears Hispaniola and turns to the N (fingers crossed) over open water late next week. 

I'm going to speculate that after Bimini, Equinox will make a dash to the west passing Havana Cuba to port and making a call in Cozumel.... and that all depends on berthing and the plans of 1/2 dozen or more cruise ships who will be altering E Caribbean itineraries to the western region due to Fiona's track. Lots of moving parts for all concerned to deal with. If Coz works out for Equinox what could happen next is a port call in the Caymans than east via a dash between S Cuba and Haiti then on to Grand Truk. After a day there, back to Port Everglades in FL. Sounds nice and like a decent plan if I were in charge. I'm not so ...... who knows.  

All very speculative at this point but we're not at all concerned as we've cruised numerous times in the Caribbean during Hurricane season and always had great trips even though we've experienced itinerary changes. It's up to the line to decide what sort of compensation you might receive - port fees and taxes come to mind but even then, the contract doesn't require the lines to offer anything. They usually do though. We just go with the flow.

For those traveling to Fort Lauderdale this weekend to start a cruise, it's been wet and stormy especially after 2pm with heavy downpours and lots of thunder and lightening. However, there is  plenty of sunshine early, breaks in the PM weather and sunshine between storm clouds. It is typically hot and humid though. It does dry out a bit on Sunday and into early next week.

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2 hours ago, JeffB said:

I'm sailing on Celebrity Equinox departing Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday, the 17th and heading E to Key West, porting there on the 18th, tracking back NE with a day at sea, then a planned port call in Bimini, Island of Bahamas on Sunday the 19th. Fiona is far enough south through that time period that while it might be a bit rainy, nothing serious associated with Fiona is in the offing weather wise.

Fiona will be approaching PR from the ESE and moving WNW on Sunday the 18th, slowing down and extending its presence in that area through the 19th. Starting on the the 20th, we'll have a day at sea, while we cruise enroute to the NE and to Grand Truk to arrive on the 21st. Then we head a short distance in a southerly direction to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Not looking good! for that. Like, no way as the consensus tracks through day 5 are pretty firm. There is a high likelihood that part of our itinerary won't happen as we'd be cruising right into the path of Fiona as it tracks slowly W over Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) then (maybe) makes a right turn to head out into the Atlantic. Fiona isn't a Hurricane but rather a TS with a ton of rain and winds to 50-60+ kts. Right now, it is not very organized and isn't showing signs of strengthening. It is predicted to do that as it clears Hispaniola and turns to the N (fingers crossed) over open water late next week. 

I'm going to speculate that after Bimini, Equinox will make a dash to the west passing Havana Cuba to port and making a call in Cozumel.... and that all depends on berthing and the plans of 1/2 dozen or more cruise ships who will be altering E Caribbean itineraries to the western region due to Fiona's track. Lots of moving parts for all concerned to deal with. If Coz works out for Equinox what could happen next is a port call in the Caymans than east via a dash between S Cuba and Haiti then on to Grand Truk. After a day there, back to Port Everglades in FL. Sounds nice and like a decent plan if I were in charge. I'm not so ...... who knows.  

All very speculative at this point but we're not at all concerned as we've cruised numerous times in the Caribbean during Hurricane season and always had great trips even though we've experienced itinerary changes. It's up to the line to decide what sort of compensation you might receive - port fees and taxes come to mind but even then, the contract doesn't require the lines to offer anything. They usually do though. We just go with the flow.

For those traveling to Fort Lauderdale this weekend to start a cruise, it's been wet and stormy especially after 2pm with heavy downpours and lots of thunder and lightening. However, there is  plenty of sunshine early, breaks in the PM weather and sunshine between storm clouds. It is typically hot and humid though. It does dry out a bit on Sunday and into early next week.

amazing insight thank you for the response!

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The cruise line will keep everyone safe by avoiding the heart of the storm.  Itinerary changes and sometime cancellations can occur due to weather.  Indy from Port Canaveral offers short 3 and 4 night cruises so unlike longer cruises there are not enough days in a 3 night cruise to reach more distant destinations beyond the Bahamas.  If the Bahamas closes it could end with a cancellation.  If the situation ends up with a cruise cancellation then they will refund the cruise fare. 

Royal is at the mercy of the weather just like all of us are.  Royal is not responsible for the weather and they can't control the weather.  It is not reasonable to expect compensation when a cruise line has to make changes for something that is beyond their control.  If they can't visit one port on an itinerary sometimes port fees are refunded, sometimes they are not.  The single largest expense of operating a ship is fuel and a ship that ends up having a sea day when a port closes costs the cruise line substantially in fuel costs.  Each situation is unique so there is no single way it will be handled.  

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16 minutes ago, Toby said:

Personally I am concerned with the conditions of the ports after Fiona passes.  Flood or wind damage takes time to fix. Our Harmony itinerary in early October will take us to the ports Fiona passed over.

I don't think you have much to worry about. Storms of this magnitude (and stronger) have come straight over my area before and the damage/effects are usually superficial and taken care of in a few days. If it were a stronger hurricane  it would be different.

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39 minutes ago, OCSC Mike said:

I don't think you have much to worry about. Storms of this magnitude (and stronger) have come straight over my area before and the damage/effects are usually superficial and taken care of in a few days. If it were a stronger hurricane  it would be different.

I hope so.  These islands do not have the resources or building codes that compare to the USA.

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As a follow up on my post above.... am now aboard Infinity and, no suprise, when we got to our stateroom a prepared sheet of paper showing the itinerary change was on the bed with our usual stuff. We'll do Key West, then Bimini then day at sea then to Cozumel, then Costa Maya, day at sea, Port Everglades. This is a much shorter route than the one I speculated about that would have gone to Caymans and then Grand Truk, the higher cost fuel route I would have liked to sail. Nope, fuel's expensive.

The Captain came on Infinity's info channel and provided a great weather briefing that explained why we are headed to the western Caribbean. He used windy.com which has a very nice and easy to understand graphic presentation. The graphic the Captain showed displayed 100kt winds off shore from Puerto Plata as Fiona moves in a NW direction from PR to Hispaniola to pass by on Wednesday the 21st.  In any event, that's a lot of wind, not safely approachable so, no, don't go there, go somewhere else RCL concludes...... and, yes, damage could be done to the port. 

While Fiona is strengthening, it is turning N faster which is exactly as predicted.......weaker storm would stay more west, stronger storm to bend to the NE. It's already doing that on the most recent Huricane Watcher flights. Hurricane force winds are expected in PR tonight and tomorrow (70+ kts). If things hold, Bermuda is in Fiona's target zone.  

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10 hours ago, twangster said:

The cruise line will keep everyone safe by avoiding the heart of the storm.  Itinerary changes and sometime cancellations can occur due to weather.  Indy from Port Canaveral offers short 3 and 4 night cruises so unlike longer cruises there are not enough days in a 3 night cruise to reach more distant destinations beyond the Bahamas.  If the Bahamas closes it could end with a cancellation.  If the situation ends up with a cruise cancellation then they will refund the cruise fare. 

Royal is at the mercy of the weather just like all of us are.  Royal is not responsible for the weather and they can't control the weather.  It is not reasonable to expect compensation when a cruise line has to make changes for something that is beyond their control.  If they can't visit one port on an itinerary sometimes port fees are refunded, sometimes they are not.  The single largest expense of operating a ship is fuel and a ship that ends up having a sea day when a port closes costs the cruise line substantially in fuel costs.  Each situation is unique so there is no single way it will be handled.  

Great point, we have a 4 nighter so maybe there is some wiggle room there. 

and everyone yes I asked about OBC but thats the least of my worries hahah

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