Since everyone said stay away from August we have been doing research and have read so many horror stories. Mainly that they weren't allowed to get off the boat at their stops because of choppy water(mainly in the caymans) And I never read of a good itinerary change. Mostly of people getting the short end of the stick. And now we don't want to do that either. *sigh* Im so over this vacation right now. August is when we can afford to take the whole family even though the kids will miss school. We haven't completely ruled out a cruise but its not looking good.
Let me try to put your mind at ease. You are far more likely to hear of the horror stories than the far more frequent occurrences of everything going smoothly. We cruise every summer as my husband is a teacher, including three or four August cruises to Bermuda, and have never had an itinerary change due to a hurricane in that time period. In the off-chance a hurricane interferes with your planned itinerary (as happened to us one year in November), the ship simply avoids it. I don't even recall the itinerary change we had -- but I do remember having a great time on the ship. Having your port of embarkation impacted due to a hurricane is another story, as Long Time Waiting indicated, yet this is also quite rare. As Cruise Fanatic said, be sure to purchase travel insurance that covers trip delay and interruptions. (BTW, this is another area in which an experienced travel agent is valuable.)
Please don't rule out a cruise because of rants you read online, especially if this is your only chance at a getaway this year. Reviews are one thing, rants are another.
Do too much research and you can talk yourself out of leaving your house.
So you usually go the Panama City for summer vacation? Have you always had great weather? Never had it rained out, or had some other issue which made things less than what you expected? Did you still return the following year?
I don't dwell on hurricanes. People make too much of it as though every cruise which sails during peak hurricane months (September is highest, statistically speaking) is heading into the unknown. I've had one cruise which changed itineraries due to a hurricane - and it was in June 1996. Our cruise was shifted from the eastern Caribbean to the western run. We had perfect weather every day and the seas were calm. Sure, the ports were different but we rolled with it and had a great cruise. We have to cruise in the summer because of school and all of our other Caribbean cruises have gone as scheduled.
We are cruising this July. Is there a chance of a hurricane? Sure. But I am not going to plan things based on "what if".
Put us in the group that always cruises in Hurricane season. We have also cruised in non hurricane season and were not able to port once due to high winds... so just because its the season, doesn't mean the weather always cooperates.
We have cruised twice while there were actual hurricanes out there while we were sailing. Never once did we feel we were close to a hurricane. The worst that happened to us is we reversed our itinerary and basically followed the hurricane by 2 days... So I guess my advice is .. don't worry about it. The ships can handle things and the captain would never get close enough to a hurricane to put you or the ship in danger. You can't say that about your spot in Panama City, can you?
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007
Yall are such a treasure trove of information and advice. Both my hubby and I read over all your responses and we honestly think we are still going to book it. And if something happens, we will just go with the flow. Plus I think our kids will never forgive us if we don't go on the boat with the water slides
Bet you've already booked by now but wanted to add that I went on a cruise with DH a few years ago and had a fabulous time, didn't notice any bad weather...also didn't watch any news. When I got back to work I found out my coworkers had all been worried about us because we were apparently skating around a hurricane the whole time...had NO clue and NO itinerary changes that I can remember...was too busy relaxing to care about anything!! Book the trip if you haven't... you won't regret it!!
We've been on 27 cruises since 1995. Never a regret. About the food - the deli makes the best sandwiches - always to your order - reubens, pastrami, roast beef,turkey, etc.
Pizza is always good. We have taken to eating a lot more in the dining room since we are getting older, and we are not running around looking at all the stuff on buffet, going in different directions, etc. The fish and chips is always good on the ships that have it.