If you have an adventurous spirit and the ability to “go with the flow” and not worry about sticking to hard and fast schedules, cruise travel during hurricane season may be perfect for you.
Top it off with some of the best rates for cruises to be found each year, and you may discover that cruises during hurricane season have a lot of benefit.
Why choose a cruise during hurricane season? Mid July into early October is peak Caribbean hurricane season. Cruise rates are generally lower during these months anyway because the children are back in school. Add to that the fact that some people are hesitant to travel during this period and you can find some great deals. The chances of your cruise actually being affected by a hurricane are pretty small. The exception may be cruises to Bermuda. Even a big tropical storm can convince a ship’s captain to divert to Canada.
As far as cruise travel in the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera, and New England is concerned, the possibility of last minute changes to the itinerary does exist. The schedules can be affected by storms, whether they are expected or not. But the chances of being caught in the midst of a big storm are virtually non-existent. Hurricanes are typically slow moving and if a ship’s captain feels that the voyage will be threatened by a storm on a Caribbean itinerary for instance, a quick change of course will be made to another area.
Cruise ships have modern weather tracking equipment and one particular cruise ship captain once said that any captain who gets trapped in the midst of a hurricane “would have to be pretty stupid.” Because the strategy of cruise lines is always to avoid a storm rather than confront it, you’ll never have the need to know just how safe these big ships are or be faced with the possibility of becoming seasick.
Here are some key tips for planning cruise travel during hurricane season:
1. Look for the best deals since discounts are everywhere this time of year, especially during the peak of the hurricane season.
2. Even though great deals are available, it’s not a good idea to have a crucial port on your itinerary. Don’t plan a wedding or family reunion in a particular port on a certain day since itineraries can be changed at a moments notice because of the possibility of a storm.
3. Know that you need to be flexible. Even if your cruise is not affected by a storm, your flight to departure ports can be.
4. It’s always a good idea to buy trip insurance when planning a cruise during hurricane season. This type of insurance covers not only the typical things like medical expenses, it also covers cancelled cruises (which are very rare), travel delays, and traveller assistance.