There are tons of cruise options these days that offer sunny beach days and onboard entertainment. Cruises can, however, be quite expensive. Those looking to score a deal on a vacation by booking a cruise during hurricane season in hurricane-prone waters will find it is actually quite safe and can be a prudent decision with the proper planning and precautions. These four mindsets and tips going into a cruise during hurricane season will help protect you and your vacation.
See the Bright Side
For the Atlantic ocean, hurricane season lasts for six months between the first of June and the end of November, which would block out cruises during the nicest, warmest months for many if they chose to avoid this type of vacation. Though the season is long, data has been collected for decades to show when is the riskiest time to cruise to the Caribbean. The answer? The middle of September.
Again, cruises are typically cheaper during hurricane season just as accommodations are less expensive in many destinations during low season. Understanding how to take precautions to ensure you do not lose money should anything change is simple and makes taking advantage of these savings a strong move. Many cruises will not cancel a booking, but they will work with travelers and the weather patterns to adjust the itinerary to avoid danger. Even if there is a storm, the cruise can navigate somewhere else rather than be stuck in the awful weather like stationary attractions and hotels on the islands or port cities.
Purchase Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is quite useful and helpful during hurricane season bookings, but it is vital if you plan to book excursions or flights independently rather than through the cruise line. When considering losing the cost of a flight or excursions on shore, the cost of insurance is relatively cheap to protect your vacation. Do, however, check that the travel insurance you buy includes protection for hurricane-related cancellations for both the cruise and additional expenses like flights and transfers to and from the cruise port.
Cruise lines will be quite helpful and supportive to those who book airfare, excursions and other extras for their trip with the company if a hurricane or storm causes delay, alterations to the itinerary or any other unexpected changes. While these additional expenses for the trip might be more expensive up front, the customer service and assurance of a protected vacation is worth the markup for peace of mind should something happen.
Be Prepared for Change
Having an understanding attitude will make things smoother if a cruise line has to alter the order of ports, skip a port, stay in one place longer than expected or even extend or cut the trip a day or two short due to inclement weather. Even if an itinerary is not the exact version of what you booked, the cruise line and staff will do everything they can to make your trip memorable. While most will not cancel the cruise, if you simply do not want to travel unless the cruise itinerary is exactly the same, travel insurance is absolutely imperative, though the cruise always reserves the right to make changes no matter where or what time of year you travel.
If you are, or even if you are unsure of your sensitivity to stormy seas, remember to pack accordingly to be prepared for sea sickness. Wristbands for motion sickness and medication for motion sickness and nausea are very good to have at the ready should a storm pass over.
Hedge Your Destination Choice
The Caribbean is most prone to hurricanes during the middle of September, so choose to cruise in other areas during that time. The Southern Caribbean generally sees less storm activity than its northern counterpart. Curacao and Aruba lie just outside of the key hurricane range and offer many of the same beautiful attractions like sunny, sandy beaches.