Cruising During Hurricane Season: Worth the Risk?

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how to cruise in hurricane season

Cruising During Hurricane Season: Take a Risk?

I write this post when most of people in my city of Port St. Lucie prepare for  hurricane Erika.

I also prepare: call all my clients who start cruising on this Sunday.

Some cruise lines changed departure time. – They leave ports earlier than scheduled. So, I called every family and informed them to be on pier earlier. Also, I informed them that itinerary may be changed and they may arrive back to Florida later than scheduled.

I am very glad that my clients take my advice seriously and fly to Florida one night before cruise  begins. I am sorry for guests who will be late on Sunday to their cruise, because their planes will be landed too late to be on ship on time. In most cases, I guess, those people will be self-bookers or who ignored their cruise advisor’s recommendations.

Let’s realize that: cruise schedule and itinerary may change due to different circumstances.

A couple years ago we had a situation when Allure of the Seas returned back to Port Everglades 24 hours later than scheduled. Ship changed its path to avoid hurricane. We had a big family reunion on that sailing from different states and overseas. This translated into hours of work to change flights, arrange transfers and hotels. It was hard but we were able to send everybody back home in less than 24 hours after ship arrival. You can imagine what happened with self-bookers who tried to book hotel in great Fort Lauderdale area or spend hours on phone with airlines to re-book their flights.

Does it mean that people have to avoid to take cruise vacation during the peak of hurricane season – from mid-August through end of October?

Not necessarily!

Hurricane seasons are unpredictable. We had many hurricane seasons here in Florida without any warnings at all.  So, it may or may not happen.

On the other side, prices are the lowest for cruises during the peak of hurricane season. All imaginative discounts can’t match prices that cruise lines offer during that time. Senior discounts, resident discounts, military, police, firefighters – name it. All spectrum of discounts are available at that time due to low demand.

So, if you wish to cruise in stateroom that is above your budget – during hurricane season you can afford it! Most of my clients who cruise in staterooms with balconies book suites, budget cruisers – in staterooms with balconies.

Here a few things to take into consideration.

First of all, book through experienced full-time travel agent located in Florida. Nothing wrong with part-time travel agents and agents in other states. The only reason for that is how reliable is your travel agent and what kind connections she has in the area. If your travel agent works full-time somewhere else it will be hard for her to make all necessary arrangements quickly as possible. As she receives information about late ship arrival she has to start making changes for you in next 10 minutes. Otherwise, hotels are booked, and no availability for transfers.

When hurricane comes – in worth scenario! – Your agent has to re-book your flight as soon as airport opens. During hurricane airports are shut down and open after when it is safe to operate again. The same with hotels. All hotels are booked during waiting time. It is hard to find rooms. So, she has to know how find accommodation for you or make transfer arrangements if your hotel is in nearby town.

Second, you have to have cruise protection. Don’t take a risk. During the hurricane season it is compulsory. You may save on cruise but don’t try to save on insurance. I recommend to purchase third party insurance with rich coverage for interruptions. In case of something happened, you have extra money to spend to food, hotel and other necessities.

Another question to discuss is seasickness during the hurricane season.

Yes, it may be rough if your ship passes through the hurricane’s tail. If you believe that you may have seasickness, book the biggest ships. Oasis class ships will be just right. Personally, I was on the Oasis of the Seas once ship crossed hurricane’s tail. I was able to feel waving but not too strong as on smaller ship.

Another suggestion: pick up stateroom at the center of ‘cross.’ If you virtually divide ship in half vertically and horizontally the best place to stay will be just at the center of ‘cross.’

I hope you will like my post! Please feel free to like it and share on social media.

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Elite Cruise Counselor

Nadia Jastrjembslaia. PhD. is a CLIA certified Cruise Counselor in the highest rank of Elite Cruise Counselor and Luxury Cruise Specialist. CLIA stands for Cruise Line International Association. She is a managing director of Aurora Cruises and Travel - storefront cruise travel agency in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She experienced more than 80 cruise ships and sailings. Nadia is a published author with her new book Suite Cruising on Royal Caribbean Fleet is scheduled to hit market in March 2016.

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