Sunday, May 31, 2009

Welcome to Hurricane Season 2009: What Does That Mean For Cruise Travel?

It's only one day until the first of June and you know what time of year it is... the annual "hurricane season" has begun in North America. I'm not going to bore you with any of the dire predictions for 2009—we've already looked at them (see our earlier blog). For the most part, seasonal estimates haven't proven very accurate over the years and even coastal emergency management directors largely ignore them. However, you do have to pay attention when a storm is brewing, although there's usually plenty of warning when one is about to impact your cruise plans. Just because it's our least favorite weather season (in terms of tropical storms), that doesn't mean you have to forgo a cruise vacation.

Passengers numbering in the hundreds of thousands embark on cruises during the "official" hurricane season every year without a thought about storms on land or at sea. For some, it's the only time they can schedule a family vacation. For others, it's just not a consideration. After all, the official hurricane season consumes a full six months of the year, from June 1st until November 30th. While it is something to ponder in terms of comfort and convenience, I wouldn't let it stand in my way of scheduling a cruise during that time frame. Chances are, you'll never have a problem. It's a big ocean out there and there's room for you, your ship, and Mother Nature.

Consider what can happen on a land vacation; I once had to evacuate a hotel on the Hawaiian island of Kauai because of a tsunami warning. I'd rather be drinking coffee on a pitching cruise ship than in a Red Cross Evacuation Center any day. But, before you plan your cruise this summer or fall, take a look at what Cruising into Hurricane Season can mean to your plans.

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