The period between June and November witnesses the visit of Hurricane. In experts’ estimation, visitors stand a quite slight chance having their cruises affected by the storm. If there would be, the tour could be rearranged.
Is it dangerous to go cruising during hurricane season? Definitely, but with early warnings and thorough preparation, the cruise is never put at a disadvantage.
Thus, there are some notices should be taken.
Time hurricanes are more likely to visit the Caribbean
The first thing to keep in mind is hurricanes will occur outside the official season of Caribbean. For more details, 97% of storms hit during Jun 1 and November 30. The period most visited by hurricanes are mid-August to mid-September in the Eastern Caribbean and along the U.S. East Coast, and mid-August to early November in the Western Caribbean. The storms rarely occur in early and late season – June and November.
How to avoid hurricanes
Encountering a hurricane by sailing outside peak hurricane times is rarely possible. Moreover, the Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Margarita Island in Venezuela are located on the very edge of the hurricane zone and are rarely affected by tropical storms. If tourists must sail during hurricane season, the solution is to raise the odds of smooth sailing by choosing an itinerary that focuses on the Southern Caribbean – the more southern, the better.
Obviously, visitors can also avoid hurricanes by choosing a cruise in a different part of the world, such as Alaska, Canada and New England, or the Mediterranean.But the must thing is that never move from one hurricane zone to another. For instance, the northeast Pacific hurricane season runs from mid-May through late November (it peaks in late August and early September) and can affect Mexican Riviera cruises. Asia can experience cyclones (same as hurricanes) year-round, with the main hurricane season in the northwest Pacific from July to November. Australia’s cyclone season runs from late October through early May.
The possibility that a ship hit by a hurricane when being at sea
Cruise ships are equipped with modern technology which can monitor the weather. Besides, cruise lines can add the information they have onboard with forecasts from weather assessment companies. If a storm is threatening one area of the Caribbean or Atlantic, cruise lines will simply reroute their ships to a different destination. Cruise ships can typically outrun a hurricane because storms tend to move about 8 to 10 knots, while ships can attain speeds of up to 22 knots and beyond. It is advisable, even for stalwart cruisers, to pack a seasickness remedy as passengers might experience rough seas as their ship skirts the edges of a storm. A good attitude is also important, as irritation may grow when a Caribbean cruise turns into a Bahamas and Florida (or even a Canada and New England) cruise.
What happen to the sea surface during hurricane season
As a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.com, Paul Walker, the seas are generally not rougher during hurricane season if it is not hit. Seas are calmest in late summer and early fall while storms are stronger in the winter and early summer.
Compensation may be offered if tourists’ itinerary altered by a storm
As a general rule, cruise line passengers are not entitled to compensation for storm-related itinerary changes. But that does not mean passengers will get nothing. Take the period after Superstorm Sandy as an example. The storm scattered dozens of ships and interrupted even more itineraries, cruise lines give pro-rated refunds for sailing days missed; excursion, tax and fee refunds for ports skipped; and in many cases, offered future cruise credits. However, If a scheduled port is replaced with another port, there will be no compensation, but obviously if there is no replacement port, the line will refund any port charges in the form of onboard credit.
What a travel insurance covers
Not all types of insurance will give travelers privilege to get compensate from trip delay, interruption and cancellation in the event of a major storm or to minus any compensation you get from the cruise line or airline, but a good travel insurance plan does.
So, if bad weather forces participants to miss or reroute a flight, miss part of a cruise because of a travel delay or get stuck unexpectedly in a city overnight, they should be covered under a travel insurance plan. However, if passengers to reschedule a flight and the airline has agreed to waive change fees — or if a cruise is cut short by a day, but the line reimburses for the missed day passengers will get no additional compensation payment.
One thing to notice is that passengers will not be made up for if there is a change in cruise itinerary. For example, one booked an eight-night cruise to the Western Caribbean, but to avoid a hurricane, the cruise line changes the path to the Eastern Caribbean. If the passenger is onboard for all eight nights, no compensation from insurance provider would be provided.
Besides, travel insurance covers only unexpected events. If one do not pre-book insurance, their departure in a week and an upcoming storm is forecast, it is no good calling up an insurance broker as it is too late. Hence, the best time to register is within 24 hours after the final payment due date. That assure you go on the cruise and follow the rules of cruise line. More importantly, one is definitely covered by the insurance for unforeseen events occurring at the last minute.
An important notice: Cruise line protection plans are technically not insurance plans, because they are not supported by a government agency. Therefore, there will be better coverage and an outlet for help in case of an argument with the plan provider to book with a third-party provider. Mind the fine print to determine what circumstances are covered before making a decision.
Compensation for who books a shore excursion but not through the cruise line
Check the fine print or ask about cancellation policies before making a deposit or pre-pay for the tour is highly recommended as all tour operators have different policies. Some big tour operators that cater for cruise travelers or shore-excursion reservations agencies (such as Shore Excursions Asia, ShoreTrips, Viator or PortSide Tours) will generally provide a full refund if the itinerary misses a port of call. Smaller operators or private guides may ask for nonrefundable deposits. If the contract signed does not give full refunds for missed port calls, one should invest in travel insurance to cover the excursion for weather delays.
What if the port supposed to cruise out of is closed
In most cases, the ships need to wait until the port reopens to return in safety. In these situation, the cruise line will be in touch to inform the ship when it is ready to come to the port. Until then, passengers should be responsible for their own accommodations. In some rare cases when a cruise sailing is rerouted to another port for debarkation and embarkation, the cruise line will provide ground transportation to take passengers from the original port to the new port at no charge.
What if the passengers’ flight is delayed or cancelled because of the storm.
It’s advisable to set an extra day or two into their vacation as it is in hurricane season. Arrive at the port a couple days early in case unexpected disadvantages arise. If one is in trouble with getting into the port, make sure to contact the cruise line (carry the toll-free emergency number). Most will do everything possible, even if they are not obligated, to help passengers get to the ship, but unfortunately there’s no guarantee.
Support from the cruise line for late coming back due to the storm
According to Chuck Flagg, owner of The Flagg Agency, a cruise travel consultancy, a cruise line will typically make the Internet and phones available for free or at a reduced rate if a ship’s arrival back in port is delayed so passengers can make plans. Keep in mind, many others will be trying to change their plans all at once. Having a travel agent to assist passengers with these changes could be immensely helpful. Also, remember there is a likelihood that one have to pay airline change fees, which might not be covered by the cruise line. However, a good travel insurance policy will reimburse clients for such costs.
What if customers’ car is damaged in port while they are at sea.
That is such an unfortunate situation for the owners because neither the port nor the parking lot operators are responsible for the loss. It is the owner that have to take care of filing police reports, contacting insurance companies, filling out paperwork and making upfront payments.
Packing and Preparing differently for a hurricane cruise is necessary
Flexibility is key, according to Flagg, owner of The Flagg Agency. Besides, it might not be the best idea to plan a beach wedding on an island in the Eastern Caribbean when a hurricane may cause cruise ships to reroute to the Western Caribbean. In such cases, a Bermuda cruise can become a New England or Canada cruise, so it is better to make sure bring along at least one sweater and a long pair of pants no matter where supposed to be going.
A deal during hurricane season
That deal depends on which part of hurricane season is mentioned. For the most part, cruises during early hurricane season will not offer any savings for the period from June to August tend to have higher demand, and thus higher prices, said a spokesman for Carnival Cruise Lines. Flagg confirmed passengers can absolutely find values during peak hurricane season (mid-September to mid-October).