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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Taking a Caribbean Cruise during Hurricane Season in the Atlantic

Hurricane season can be a rather tricky time for summer travelers. Kids are home from college, the younger kids are out of school, mom and dad are taking time off of work and the family want to take a Caribbean cruise. Wait...what about hurricanes? The official hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1 and extends until November 30. Dozens of cruise ships sail from a variety of ports in that zone throughout those months. The chance of your cruise being affected by a storm is quite minimal.

Atlantic hurricanes can wreak havoc on the Caribbean islands, the Bahamas, and the East Coast of the United States and sometimes as far north as New England and Canada. But most tropical storms bear down on the Caribbean.

When booking a Caribbean cruise during hurricane season try to choose an itinerary that heads as far into the southern Caribbean as possible, especially if your cruise is in the late summer or early fall.” Islands like Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and Trinidad and Tobago are on the far edge of the hurricane zone and are not affected by tropical storms as often as islands farther north.

If you have already booked a cruise or thinking about booking know that passenger safety is of the utmost importance and the captain of your cruise will ensure that passengers are not in harm’s way. Unlike land-based hotels and resorts, cruise ships can reroute to avoid dangerous conditions. When faced with a hurricane in its path, a cruise ship will simply modify the itinerary and sail around the bad weather. Of course, sometimes a ship may still encounter rough seas, wind, and rain despite having changed course. But today’s cruise ships are built to withstand the harshest environments. It would be a good idea to bring along items to treat motion sickness and dizziness

If a storm is brewing, you needn’t worry. Your ship’s captain will be watching it closely. You can rest assured that your captain will steer as far away from any impending tropical event as possible. It’s rare that it happens, but cases of bad weather can mean certain ports are swapped for others, or that the order of calls is changed. That’s why it’s especially important to book refundable shore excursions when traveling to the area during hurricane season. You may even get an extra day on your cruise if your home port is closed due to a hurricane.

A few weeks before your cruise you should keep your eyes on the weather in the region so that you will have a heads-up on any weather related issues you may have to deal with. You should also get familiar with the distinction to various types of storms..
  • A tropical depression is a weather event with a sustained surface winds 38mph or less. 
  • A tropical storm has winds ranging between 39 and 73mph. 
  • A hurricane status when sustained surface winds reach 74mph or more.
When thinking about booking a Caribbean cruise during hurricane season one has to weigh the pros and cons. One should also consider the option to purchase trip insurance. The answer to that question will depend on how cheap or expensive the cruise fare. In other words, is the trip so expensive that travel insurance is worth it or is the trip so inexpensive that you can personally afford whatever loss may occur.

If you keep one thing in mind, it should be to stay flexible. You’ll still have a good time, but you might end up having your schedule changed a little bit. Give yourself an extra day or two on either side of your trip in case of bad weather, and don’t be dead set on doing certain excursions.

Cruising during hurricane season can be a great way to save some money on your vacation, and it’s safe, too. You might have to be a little flexible when planning your trip, but you’ll still be able to have a great time. Cruising is fun no matter what season it is.

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