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What Happens if a Hurricane Disrupts My Cruise?

Note: The article below originally appeared on our sister site,

In today’s world, humans have made day-to-day life relatively passive. Mishaps, unplanned events, or other hurdles have been systematically removed from most of our lives.

There is one area, however, where man will never have full control — the sea and the weather.

And with cruise ports dotting the coast, the big weather concern is a hurricane. So what actually happens if there is a hurricane that impacts your cruise?

First, the likelihood of you ever seeing a hurricane while on a cruise is very, very small. Thanks to radar and advance weather reports, the ships have plenty of time to avoid a major storm. So if you are sailing in the middle of the Caribbean and a storm is nearby, then the ship will sail in a direction that avoids the trouble altogether.

Now, avoiding the storm may mean that your cruise itinerary is adjusted. The cruise line may decide that in order to keep the ship and passengers safe, it won’t be able to port. Sometimes a port will simply be scratched altogether (meaning another day at sea) or the cruise line will replace it with another port.

But what if the hurricane is bearing down on your port of departure in the United States? Or what if it hits your home port while your ship is on your cruise?

In that case, there are several factors that will decide what the cruise line will do.

A major hurricane bearing down on a home port, even if it is several days away, may result in a cancellation of the cruise (and a refund of your money or have the fare apply to a future cruise). After all, if the hurricane destroys the port infrastructure while the cruise ship is gone, then the question of unloading passengers becomes a logistical nightmare.

If the storm isn’t as big a threat or hits on what would be the embarkation day, then it’s possible that the cruise line may decide to delay boarding, shorten the cruise, and refund a pro-rated amount to passengers.

What’s most important is to keep in touch with the cruise line if you think a hurricane may disrupt your trip. The cruise lines will do their best to keep in constant contact with passengers regarding the situation.

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