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David Maryland

Coco Cay Question

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RC has to cancel excursions to Coco Cay sometimes due to weather conditions.  My itinerary has us at Coco Cay on Tuesday.  The forecasted winds are 19 mph from the NE.

 

Is this enough wind to cause choppy seas leading to RC cancelling or am I over-reacting?  I know they cancelled the Coco Cay excursions on the Anthem during the prior week.  What were the weather conditions on that day?

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Proverbial "It depends". 

Wind speed isn't the only factor and wind speed doesn't always dictate all aspects of wave conditions.  The Captain has to consider the weather over the whole day.  Off-loading several thousand guests and then having conditions worsen during the day so that several thousand people are now stranded on the island is a worst case scenario. 

Wave pitch plays a significant factor - the distance between the peaks.  Slow rollers tend to cause more motion in large ships even with low wave height compared to waves that are very close to each other.  Wave pitch can be influenced from water current and direction relative to wind speed and wind direction. 

They do this week after week and they know what is safe and what probably won't be as they review conditions and forecast nearing arrival.  If they make the call to abort it really is for all the right reasons but sometimes they don't know until they are approaching the island.  Predicting weather on land has become more reliable but isn't perfect in itself.  Predicting weather in the islands or on the ocean is much less exact and it usually is a game day decision for the Captain.

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2 hours ago, David Maryland said:

RC has to cancel excursions to Coco Cay sometimes due to weather conditions.  My itinerary has us at Coco Cay on Tuesday.  The forecasted winds are 19 mph from the NE.

 

Is this enough wind to cause choppy seas leading to RC cancelling or am I over-reacting?  I know they cancelled the Coco Cay excursions on the Anthem during the prior week.  What were the weather conditions on that day?

Sorry I did not think to document that info that day. In retrospect, it would have been helpful to others like you. Anyway, I can tell you that it wasn't very windy in the air but I could tell by looking at the water that it probably wasn't going to happen. The water was not smooth, but not bad enough that you saw the white caps either. Somewhere in between that. From what I understand, it has to be pretty ideal, all day, for tendering.

Like @twangster said, I'm sure many factors are considered. I can tell you they tried that day. We were in our room the whole time but I could hear them trying to drop anchor and manoeuvre for over 1/2 hour before the Captain came on with the announcement.

One tip here...if by some unfortunate luck you end up missing it, make sure to check you account for the refund in port charges. We got ours within a few hours but in talking to others, some were not refunded at all. 

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On 3/23/2018 at 7:10 AM, twangster said:

Proverbial "It depends". 

Wind speed isn't the only factor and wind speed doesn't always dictate all aspects of wave conditions.  The Captain has to consider the weather over the whole day.  Off-loading several thousand guests and then having conditions worsen during the day so that several thousand people are now stranded on the island is a worst case scenario. 

Wave pitch plays a significant factor - the distance between the peaks.  Slow rollers tend to cause more motion in large ships even with low wave height compared to waves that are very close to each other.  Wave pitch can be influenced from water current and direction relative to wind speed and wind direction. 

They do this week after week and they know what is safe and what probably won't be as they review conditions and forecast nearing arrival.  If they make the call to abort it really is for all the right reasons but sometimes they don't know until they are approaching the island.  Predicting weather on land has become more reliable but isn't perfect in itself.  Predicting weather in the islands or on the ocean is much less exact and it usually is a game day decision for the Captain.

To add to this from living at a tender port. Thursday was smooth as ice in the morning (around 9am). Waves were so very calm and perfect conditions. However, by 5:30pm when I walked up to the waterfront waves were extremely choppy and I saw a boat struggling never mind trying to get a bunch of people on/off safely. Wave runners were finding it troublesome to try and get back to shore (probably got stuck out there before the weather came in). It wasn't extremely breezy maybe a little but nothing more than normal. By the next morning, it was perfectly fine. So I agree wind is not always the thing to consider. They have ways to tell if there will be trouble coming that we may be unaware of. 

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Coco Cay in the morning.

I have a few more questions.

We have an excursion planned for Coco Cay.  Can we go down anytime we want to catch a ride over to the island?

Once on the island, can you return to the ship during the day and then go back to the island again?

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10 hours ago, David Maryland said:

We have an excursion planned for Coco Cay.  Can we go down anytime we want to catch a ride over to the island?

Yes

10 hours ago, David Maryland said:

Once on the island, can you return to the ship during the day and then go back to the island again?

Yes

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They cancelled CocoCay.  I think it was obvious it would be cancelled, rough seas and boat was rocking all night and morning.  The captain still made a show of it, driving the ship straight towards the island so we could get a glimpse of untouchable paradise but I have a sneaking suspicion he knew we would not be making go of it before sunrise.

The captain made the announcement that we are on our way to Nassau.  2 weeks ago, they did this and there was no room to dock, I have a feeling we will get this announcement again when we arrive and they already know we will have no where to dock.  I am getting frustrated at this point.

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10 minutes ago, David Maryland said:

They cancelled CocoCay.  I think it was obvious it would be cancelled, rough seas and boat was rocking all night and morning.  The captain still made a show of it, driving the ship straight towards the island so we could get a glimpse of untouchable paradise but I have a sneaking suspicion he knew we would not be making go of it before sunrise.

The captain made the announcement that we are on our way to Nassau.  2 weeks ago, they did this and there was no room to dock, I have a feeling we will get this announcement again when we arrive and they already know we will have no where to dock.  I am getting frustrated at this point.

Sorry to hear about the cancellation @David Maryland.  This did happen to us too 2 weeks ago.  Make sure you check your account later for refunds to your shore excursions and port charges.

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They cancelled CocoCay.  I think it was obvious it would be cancelled, rough seas and boat was rocking all night and morning.  The captain still made a show of it, driving the ship straight towards the island so we could get a glimpse of untouchable paradise but I have a sneaking suspicion he knew we would not be making go of it before sunrise.

The captain made the announcement that we are on our way to Nassau.  2 weeks ago, they did this and there was no room to dock, I have a feeling we will get this announcement again when we arrive and they already know we will have no where to dock.  I am getting frustrated at this point.

 

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13 minutes ago, ladydiinflorida said:

On this same subject, if they know in advance that they cannot anchor in Coco Cay will they extend the stay at our first stop in Nassau?  I am on a 3 night trip in June and don't think that the pier will be finished by then. Otherwise, what do they do?

They will if they can dock.  Sometimes the pier is full at Nassau and they won't be able to dock until after 6pm.  

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44 minutes ago, ladydiinflorida said:

Lovetocruise2002-I think you misunderstood me.  Our 1st stop out of Miami is Nassau.  If the captain knows that they cannot make Coco Cay, will they extend our midnight departure to the next morning and then just cruise to nowhere until we head back to Miami??

Yes, I totally misunderstood lol. 

I don't know the answer to your actual question. Hopefully someone else does 😉

From what I do know, they usually make an attempt at Coco Cay so I can't see them calling it off while in Nassau unless there is some major weather coming. 

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16 hours ago, ladydiinflorida said:

Lovetocruise2002-I think you misunderstood me.  Our 1st stop out of Miami is Nassau.  If the captain knows that they cannot make Coco Cay, will they extend our midnight departure to the next morning and then just cruise to nowhere until we head back to Miami??

No, there is no such thing as a cruise to nowhere anymore.  A foreign-flagged ship (which Royal Caribbean ships are) must make at least 1 foreign port before returning back to the US port of original (or any US port, actually) (Jones Act).

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19 hours ago, ladydiinflorida said:

Lovetocruise2002-I think you misunderstood me.  Our 1st stop out of Miami is Nassau.  If the captain knows that they cannot make Coco Cay, will they extend our midnight departure to the next morning and then just cruise to nowhere until we head back to Miami??

2 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

No, there is no such thing as a cruise to nowhere anymore.  A foreign-flagged ship (which Royal Caribbean ships are) must make at least 1 foreign port before returning back to the US port of original (or any US port, actually) (Jones Act).

But in this case, since the ship would have already stopped in Nassau (which is a foreign port, if I'm understanding what I've read about it correctly), then would there be anything stopping the remainder of the trip from becoming a "cruise to nowhere" at that point?

 

 

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3 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

No, there is no such thing as a cruise to nowhere anymore.  A foreign-flagged ship (which Royal Caribbean ships are) must make at least 1 foreign port before returning back to the US port of original (or any US port, actually) (Jones Act).

I think that was just a terminology misfire.  The poster appears to be asking if Coco Cay day becomes a sea day.

Which the answer is yes, but you will rarely find out much in advance.  Cruise line captains know that the private islands are a big draw and make every reasonable attempt to make those stops.  They would almost never make that decision the night before and even if they do they may or may not opt for a late departure.  It will almost certainly not become an overnight stay as the dock will probably be reserved for another ship the next day.  But very importantly weather reports change, it is extremely unlikely the decision to skip Coco Cay will be made until they are at the island and know whether they can tender/dock.  Doubly so when Perfect Day opens, RCCL is not going to want to refund that excursion money unless it truly is too dangerous to dock.

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