Caribbean Cruising During Hurricane Season: What to Keep in Mind

windy beach

As the summer winds down, many decide that it is a perfect time to book a Caribbean cruise. With kids back in school and the summer heat fading, this time of year is appealing to many. However, when planning a Caribbean vacation in August through October, it’s important to keep in mind that is is also peak hurricane season. Cruise fares might be cheaper, but you should also be prepared for changes to your trip.

These are some things to keep in mind:

Planning a cruise to the Southern Caribbean might be your best bet. Islands like Aruba, Curaçao, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago promote themselves as being out of the hurricane zone and having great weather, and they are mostly correct. While there isn’t a 100% hurricane-free guarantee, you’ll have the best chance of having an undisturbed trip.

Airports and ports can be closed. Depending on the weather, you might not be able to visit every port on the itinerary. It is easy for a cruise line to change itineraries to avoid bad weather, and simple port changes won’t entitle passengers to any refund. Knowing that the itinerary you choose has a possibility to change when you book your trip will help you be prepared to enjoy your vacation no matter where your ship might end up going.

One important thing to keep in mind however, is that there is a slim chance that your port of demarkation might change and you’ll have to get off somewhere else. In cases like this, cruise lines will make arrangements to return guests to their original point of embarkation, usually by motor coach, so that guests can return to where they parked their cars, booked extra hotel nights, or booked their flights home. Wi-Fi and phone charges will also usually be dropped so that guests can make new air travel arrangements as they need.

Consider getting travel insurance. If the weather is really bad and your cruise is cancelled, you don’t want to get stuck with a plane ticket to a rainy destination. If you’re traveling during peak hurricane season, it might be a good idea to make sure you have the ability to cancel your trip and not lose the entire cost of your vacation.

Pack items for unavoidable rainy days. While the ship captain will make every effort to avoid bad weather, you might not always be able to avoid some rain, especially when you’re visiting the Caribbean during their wet season. A poncho and sturdy umbrella is always a good idea, as well as some games, toys, or activities that you and your family can do indoors. When it rains, the kids club can get crowded, so having something for the entire family to do together makes for a perfect time for bonding.

Cruising in the Caribbean during hurricane season doesn’t have to be an issue. Keep an open mind to change, relax knowing you won’t sail into dangerous weather, and don’t forget to have fun!