Cruising during hurricane season.

With Hurricane Irene hitting the east coast, some folks probably had a wrench thrown in their vacation plans.  I thought I might address some points about cruising.  There is one major advantage to sailing during hurricane season, and that is the prices are generally much more pleasing to the pocket book.  Most of the cruises we’ve sailed on have taken place during hurricane season.  The National Weather Service signifies hurricane season as June 1 to November 30, but the most active time is during the months of August and September.  If you are looking to take advantage of some of the benefits of cruising during hurricane season, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

What will the weather be like during my cruise?

You’re going to the Caribbean so you can expect it to be, for the most part warm and tropical. is a good resource to get high and low temperature averages, as well as rainfall averages.  Expectedly, hurricane season has the highest rainfall averages for most tropical places so you should expect to be hit with an afternoon shower or two during your cruise.  The cruiseline websites will usually have information on the weather during the time of your cruise so be sure to check that out.  Another good resource is the message boards like where experienced cruisers can give you the low down on their past cruising experiences.

Should I purchase trip insurance?

In my opinion, this is a no-brainer.  Yes, you should definitely purchase trip insurance.  I have heard some people say this is like burning a 100 dollar bill, but in the event that you ever have to make a claim I don’t think that sentiment would still apply.  It is also important to purchase trip insurance early on, like before a weather event is ever forecasted.  That way there will be no issue with the insurance company if a claim is filed.  Most insurance companies will not even sell insurance for a particular sail date once a storm forecast has been issued.  In the nine cruises that we have taken we have always had insurance, but fortunately never had to use it.  I am still glad that we had it and will continue to purchase it.  It is not that expensive compared to what you’re paying for your trip.  I usually use because you can compare policies and chose the one that you like the most.

Will my cruise be canceled because of a hurricane?

It is very unusual that a cruiseline would completely cancel a sailing because of a hurricane.  They know that this may be a trip of a lifetime for you, and you may not be able to take this trip at any other time, so they will do whatever they can to make your sailing possible.  They may delay the departure time by an hour or two or even possibly a day.  Just recently with Hurricane Irene hitting the east coast Royal Caribbean moved up the departure time of one of their ships by an hour and changed some of the ports they would be visiting.  We were taking a Disney cruise to the Eastern Caribbean in September of 2005 when a storm was threatening our sailing.  We were told all the way until we boarded that all was well.  Once we set sail the captain informed us that due to the weather in the Eastern Caribbean we were now being diverted to the Western Caribbean.  Was I disappointed?  Yes, but we made the most of it and had a great cruise.  That is the chance we took knowing we were sailing in prime hurricane season, which brings me to my next point.

Will the cruiseline compensate me if a hurricane interferes with my cruise?

Okay, this is a huge point of contention for me.  Some of you may remember my post earlier in the year on Brilliance of the Seas.  Why should the cruiselines compensate you for something they have no control over.    It is an act of God that no human has control over.  If the waters get a little rough and you feel seasick, don’t blame it on the cruiselines.  Blame it on the fact that you’re on a ship….. in the middle of the ocean.  If you don’t get to send a post card back home from Hell in Grand Cayman because the winds are too high to tender in, don’t raise a mutiny on board because you’re not getting a spa credit.  If you get anything from the cruiselines, thank your lucky stars because it is a complete good will gesture on their part and nothing more.  We did not get anything from Disney Cruise Lines and did not expect to either.  We still had a seven-day cruise.  We still stopped at Caribbean ports.  We still had great accommodations aboard the ship.  It was not DCL’s fault that a storm blew up before our sailing, and they did the best they could.  So don’t book a cruise during hurricane season with the expectation that the cruiseline will compensate you if your cruise doesn’t go as planned.  If they do offer you something, you either got lucky or yelled really loud.

I hope that hurricanes don’t deter you from cruising during hurricane season because we have had some great cruises and great weather during that time.  As long as you go in knowing what to expect I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Under the weather… « disneytripandstuff

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