When a hurricane, snowstorm, or other type of bad weather hits land, there are very few hotels, parks, and other travel destinations that can be done other than closing the doors. Walt Disney (dis) Disney World can’t be moved just because bad weather is on the way and none of its competitors can.
Disney could, of course, close its theme parks and might encourage people to change their plans by adjusting its policies to allow people to rebook. However, she simply cannot sail Epcot or the Magical Kingdom out of harm’s way.
This is one area in which cruise lines have a significant advantage over their established landlocked competition. Royal Caribbean International (RCL) Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) and any other line (also Disney) that can change itineraries to keep customers away from bad weather.
So, even though it’s hurricane season (and a hurricane appears to be heading toward Florida), cruise passengers don’t have to worry about safety when it comes to safety. However, feeling safe doesn’t mean unimpressed, and cruise customers are traveling in the area where they expect Bad weather, you should not expect their trip to go as planned.
Cruise lines sail away from bad weather
It is important to know that cruise lines will not put passengers at risk. This is their focus and they will cancel, shorten or even lengthen your flight to avoid exposing passengers and crew members to rough waters.
That’s something Carnival’s brand ambassador, John Heald, explained in a social media post.
On a more serious note I have of course a lot of people asking what will happen to their cruise next week with Fiona and Ian causing some very bad weather?
The answer is that it is too early to say and again I want to assure you and promise you that our Fleet Operations Center operates 24 hours a day to monitor and track storm tracks.
We will not put you in any harm.
As for any changes, well, we’ll tell you, of course.
All major cruise lines have their own people who monitor the weather and will make changes to sail away from any potential major problems. This does not mean that they can guarantee a sunny sky or not change anything on your trip.
Port stops are very likely to be skipped or changed to avoid bad weather. If that happens, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian will offer refunds for any beach excursions customers have paid.
Unavoidable bad weather can also lead to changes on board. Production shows, for example, may be canceled if the ship is not stable enough for the performers to work safely. In addition, outdoor events may be moved or canceled as weather permits.
What happens when a cruise line makes a mistake in port?
Standard cruise contracts state that there have been changes to the itinerary and that a missed port will not get any refunds. You’ll get any taxes or fees you paid for that port back, but cruise lines can’t guarantee that stops will go as planned.
For example, Royal Caribbean has been known to cancel stops on the private island of Kukukai when the seas are too rough to anchor safely there. All cruise lines will be making changes to stay out of danger which could mean new ports or even additional sea days.
And although a canceled port sometimes means losing a destination for which the flight is at least partially booked, in other cases, it can be a positive. It is possible that you will be transferred to a “better” destination (or at least one that you are personally more excited about).
Cruise lines can also cancel sailings or delay their departure or return if departure or return at planned times would put passengers, crew and ship at risk. And if you end up at sea longer than planned, you will not have to pay more and the Internet and beverage packages will be extended at no additional cost.
This, of course, isn’t nearly as fun for people who have flights booked for the day the cruise was supposed to return. If your flight was booked via the cruise line, it will help you to rebook. Everyone else is at the mercy of the various airlines.