Some of the most popular places to cruise are the tropical islands of the Caribbean. It’s easy to see why, thanks to the gorgeous white sand beaches and clear, glistening waters that seem to jump right out of a postcard. Though these islands get year-round warm weather, they also suffer from the dreaded hurricane season. If you’re planning a Caribbean cruise, there’s no need to avoid this time of year, but you may want to follow our simple tips of the trade before you go.
When is hurricane season?
The Caribbean hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Of course, the weather will be unpredictable – you may cruise during this season and not experience any choppy weather, or cruise during the dry season and experience rain. The southern areas of the Caribbean, including Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago and Margarita Island in Venezuela lie on the very edge of the hurricane zone and are rarely affected. If you want to avoid hurricane season and still cruise during these months, booking a cruise to the southern islands is therefore, your best bet.
How do cruise ships deal with hurricanes?
There’s no need to panic when you hear of a hurricane warning onboard a cruise ship. Cruise ships have the added benefit of being fully mobile and will generally get advanced warning of any incoming storms from sophisticated technologies onboard. If a hurricane seems to be in the way of the ship’s itinerary, many will simply reroute to a different destination. Cruise ships can also outrun a hurricane, as storms generally move about eight to ten knots while cruise ships can go up to speeds of 22 knots and beyond.
Benefits of cruising during hurricane season
Cruising during hurricane season does have some added benefits, one being that you might be able to find some cheap deals. Because there’s a greater chance your itinerary will be affected, cruise lines offer hurricane season deals that you can snatch up. You’ll also be a lot safer at sea. If you’re staying on one of the islands and a hurricane hits, you’ll have to use the hotel’s bunker, but a cruise ship can simply avoid the hurricane’s path by changing routes. You might not be visiting the same ports you planned to, but you can enjoy the activities at sea and the excitement of a surprise itinerary.
Tips for cruising during hurricane season
Purchase travel insurance
Purchasing travel insurance is the most important piece of advice for cruising during hurricane season. Travel insurance will cover you for any cancellations or delays that aren’t covered by your cruise line. Be aware that travel insurance will only cover unexpected events, so it won’t cover hurricane-related delays if a storm has already been forecast.
While most cruises that set off during hurricane season have no unexpected delays, you may be on one of the unlucky few that do. Be flexible that your itinerary might change and aware that your ship’s captain has the authority to divert your course. Be prepared for all options and bring extra necessities including nappies, medication and any other items you were planning on purchasing when you port.
Cruise to the south
If you want to avoid any possibility of a cruise ship hurricane interrupting your plans, book to set sail in the southern Caribbean islands. These islands are on the outskirts of the hurricane belt and usually see less storm activity. These islands are also more remote and don’t see as many holidaygoers, meaning you’ll have extra space to lounge out on the beach and deepen that tan. Royal Caribbean, Carnival® and Celebrity Cruises are all well-versed in cruising to the Caribbean and know how to handle the tricky weather conditions during hurricane season.
Whenever you decide to travel, the Caribbean is a gorgeous tropical getaway ready to welcome you with sun, surf and sand. Book your next cruise today.
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