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We are new residents of Florida, scheduled to cruise from Miami next Monday.  We planned to drive to the Port (150 miles).  Does anyone have experience with how departure times might change?  A neighbor mentioned they sometimes close southbound traffic on all major highways, to allow for evacuation, if Miami is affected by the hurricane.  What is a good source of information regarding updates as our cruise departure date approaches?

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Welcome to the message boards!

First and foremost, Royal Caribbean will email both you and your travel agent with any itinerary changes.

Royal doesn't provide "non-update updates", meaning don't expect emails that say "We're monitoring things" or "Nothing has changed". They only communicate when a change has been made.

It's a good idea to follow James Van Fleet, Royal Caribbean's meteorologist, on Twitter or Facebook: 

It's anyone's guess what could happen and where you might go otherwise. It'd be pure speculation right now to offer ideas.

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You can also follow the Port of Miami and the USCG.

https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/miami

Ultimately port closures are at the discretion of the USCG.  They have set condition Whiskey for most ports in Florida as of yesterday or today.  As a storm begins to present more risk they will evelvate through a series of port conditions that could ultimately lead to closing a port and that generally requires that most ships leave the port.  If USCG closes a port cruise lines have no say in the matter, they must move their ships out of the port and that could impact the ability to embark or debark a ship on schedule.

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For those curious:

The Port Conditions are:

Condition Whiskey (IV): The ALERT condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 72 hours.

Condition X-Ray (III): The READINESS condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 48 hours.

Condition Yankee (II): The WARNING condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 24 hours.

Condition Zulu (I): The DANGER condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 12 hours and until the storm has passed and is no longer a threat.

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9 hours ago, Gadget Hackwrench said:

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Glad I have decided not to cruise at this time of the year. Remember when everyone was talking about quiet August was for tropical development?

It’s really not an issue. RC does a great job working around the storm systems to the point where it’s almost a non issue. 

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10 hours ago, tonyfsu21 said:

It’s really not an issue. RC does a great job working around the storm systems to the point where it’s almost a non issue. 

Agree Tony.  However, when a storm hits the home port on or near embarkation/debarkation day, the port may close, traffic may counterflow, and air travel may be delayed or worse.  Not much they can do about that.

If there is a storm in the East, the cruise line can send all ships West for the week.  If there is a storm in the West, all ships can go East.  But, what if there is one both East and West?  Or what if there is one coming up the East coast of FL... which looks like a possibility for Ian?  These are the risks that come with the cheap rates in Sept and Oct.

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On 9/23/2022 at 8:56 PM, Alpinelady said:

We are new residents of Florida, scheduled to cruise from Miami next Monday.  We planned to drive to the Port (150 miles).  Does anyone have experience with how departure times might change?  A neighbor mentioned they sometimes close southbound traffic on all major highways, to allow for evacuation, if Miami is affected by the hurricane.  What is a good source of information regarding updates as our cruise departure date approaches?

I'm not sure where you are in Florida,  but we're all wishing you the best as you prepare your property for this storm.  May it avoid your home and allow you to take your cruise 

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Every county has an Emergency Operation Center. They will have the best localized advice for your given area. Used to be that you should look in the telephone book, and see what level storm would need evacuation.  Some people,  because they are coastal or in a low lying area, are advised to evacuate at a tropical storm level where others that are in a relatively high area (about 15 feet above sea level -- this is Florida) are best to stay put. 

Also, if you plan to drive to the port of Miami, make sure you check roads to make sure they are not closed (for mass evacuations, traffic goes just one way). Also fill up with gas beforehand, and keep an emergency kit in case you get stranded. The parking garages in the Port are probably the safest place for vehicles. 

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Since no one has phone books anymore,  the info is on the EOC website.  Main thing is be safe and do not contribute to problems by being unprepared or going to areas that are closed for the storm, such as the beach (lookyloos). Plan ahead with your emergency plans. 

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Scheduled to sail on Saturday so keeping an eye on this - at this point the most I've done is change my layover on Friday away from Atlanta (which is feeling like the correct decision) to Detroit instead.

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43 minutes ago, KLA said:

Scheduled to sail on Saturday so keeping an eye on this - at this point the most I've done is change my layover on Friday away from Atlanta (which is feeling like the correct decision) to Detroit instead.

Good idea. Hopefully you are sailing out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale because obviously Tampa & Cape could be a big mess after this storm passes through. 

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20 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Mariner is the only ship risking a delay at this point.  Though going to be frustrating for people trying to get into Orlando by air.

 

I also suspect frustrating for people trying to drive through the state to other ports. 

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1 hour ago, bobroo said:

Anyone sailing out of Florida over the next 5 or 6 days should be taking a hard look at Cruise With Confidence.

 

For sailings booked by March 31, 2022, that depart by September 30, 2022, you can cancel up to 48 hours before your sail date and get the full paid value in a Future Cruise Credit.

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What is the policy for those who fall outside of the Cruise with Confidence booking/sail dates?  While I assume our Oct. 1-8 cruise out of Miami will go as scheduled, we are worried about travel delays getting to Miami.  We are outside of the Cruise with Confidence policy, so we are not sure what options we may have.  We purchased Travel Protection, but I'm not sure how to go about making a claim and when (or even if that is the best way to approach it).  Bottom line, with travel to Miami being risky, what options do we have to cancel or rebook with credit?

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5 hours ago, jmoore09 said:

What is the policy for those who fall outside of the Cruise with Confidence booking/sail dates?  While I assume our Oct. 1-8 cruise out of Miami will go as scheduled, we are worried about travel delays getting to Miami.  We are outside of the Cruise with Confidence policy, so we are not sure what options we may have.  We purchased Travel Protection, but I'm not sure how to go about making a claim and when (or even if that is the best way to approach it).  Bottom line, with travel to Miami being risky, what options do we have to cancel or rebook with credit?

What type of delay are you concerned about? Driving, flying?

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9 hours ago, jmoore09 said:

What is the policy for those who fall outside of the Cruise with Confidence booking/sail dates?  While I assume our Oct. 1-8 cruise out of Miami will go as scheduled, we are worried about travel delays getting to Miami.  We are outside of the Cruise with Confidence policy, so we are not sure what options we may have.  We purchased Travel Protection, but I'm not sure how to go about making a claim and when (or even if that is the best way to approach it).  Bottom line, with travel to Miami being risky, what options do we have to cancel or rebook with credit?

MIA, FLL and PBI airports are all open and operational.  The FAA isn't restricting traffic to those airports.  Hurricane Ian didn't really impact South Florida so it's not really risky.  

Oct. 1 is 3 days away at this point.  Highly unlikely cruise operations will be impacted in MIA or FLL this coming weekend.  Even Port Canaveral will possibly be fully operational this weekend.

If driving the road on the east coast of Florida will likely be fully operational on Friday.  I-75 most west may be questionable soon after the storm but I-95 shouldn't be impacted nearly as much as I-75 potentially has been. 

Depending on your state of residence the Royal Caribbean travel insurance might have 75% CFAR (Can For Any Reason) coverage.  You are best to contact Royal about their insurance coverage for your state.  However it's not likely that travel to South Florida would be considered risky so you'll need to find a covered reason to cancel and receive an insurance payout if the Royal CFAR isn't enough or your desired approach.   

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