Ok im going on the Dream in a couple of months and am stopping at Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Cancun. I know that the hurricane hit but I dont know what ports were damaged/closed/reopened. Are those ports open right now? Has anyone been to them recently?
Does Cozumel still have Senior Frogs and all the great shopping? Any response would be great!!
You should be fine. Cozumel was hit the hardest and most of the stores etc. downtown are now open and ready to do business. Unfortunately, Senior Frogs and Carlos and Charlies were creamed and are still not open, however, the Shrimp Bucket (owned by the same folks) in the same mall is open and untouched.
Look forward to having a great time and don't worry about the hurricane damage.
Cancun was also hit very hard, and its port has not reopened yet. since it was a tender port, and Cosumel wasn't, most of Cancun's tenders are supporting tendering operations in Cosumel.
Cancun probably will not reopen until the piers have been repaired or rebuilt in Cosumel. The government of Mexico has concentrated in getting the airport open in Cancun, and getting cruise ships back to Cosumel. It's their choice, not the cruise lines, and when Cancun will reopen its port.
We just returned from the Dream on the 12/31 Cruise. Cancun was removed from the itinerary. If you call NCL they will tell you that the ship will be making the stop. While embarking, we asked the nice people collecting our credit card and they didn't know. My wife and another one of our party called NCL the week before departing and NCL indicated we would be stopping at Cancun. We were on board for two days before we got the "official" notice that we were not stopping at Cancun.
What baffles me is that NCL (and probably other lines) have known this for quite some time now and they have not picked an alternate port of call. It's not like there's a shortage of them in that area. Not that Cancun is one of our favorite stops, it beats the beans out of an additional day on the ship at sea.
It['s easy to say NCL should substitute another port, but the only alternative ports of call in the area that allows the Dream to go as far south as Roatan and Belize is Playa Del Carmen, which was damaged as bad as Cosumel by the hurricane.
The day the Dream can dock at another port is Thursday, the day of the week NCL planned to anchor in Cancun. The closest alternate cruise piers available that were not damaged by th ehurricanes are Costa Maya, 300 miles south of Cancun, or Progreso, 325 miles west of Cancun.
At 20 knots = 23 miles per hour, therefore
300 / 23 = 13+ hours
325 / 23 = 14+ hours
Originally, the Dream arrived in Cancun at 9:00 am and departed at 3:00 pm on Thursday. It was only a 6 hour stay.
If the Dream to left Belize on time, it wouldn't arrive in Progreso 13 hours later, at 11:00 pm Thursday. Even if it immediately left Progreso, it would arrive in Houston 8 hours late.
If it left Belize on time, it would arrive in Costa Maya 14 hours earlier at 7:00 pm Wednesday. It could stay in Costa Maya 6 hours, as that's what the original schedule for Cancun was. Meaning you'll have to leave Costa Maya at 1:00 am Thursday to get back to Houston on time to start the next cruise.
Would a six hour stay in Costa Maya be worthy after the sun has set? I don't think so.
It's easy to look at a map and say we can go here and there instead, but when you look at a map with time and the ship's speed in consideration, you realise there's no way you can fit these alternate ports in and keep three quarters of the Dream's original itinerary.
I saw your previous post in regards to alternate ports of call, Ron, after I had posted, and of course your point is valid. I never considered any additional travel time and just assumed...dangerous!
I think that NCL should have been more forth coming with the information regarding Cancun. Somewhere I think I read (probably in these forums) that the ports affected by the huricane(s) were closed by the Mexican authorities and won't re-open until they are rebuilt; it's not a cruise line decision. Simply making that easily accessible public information would go a long way towards keeping customers informed. Would it impact sales? Possibly, but I can tell you I was more impacted by not being told up front; I wouldn't have canceled my cruise; I'd have simply planned better for that extra day at sea. I hate 'unnecessary' days at sea especially when they are back-to-back, no repositioning cruises for me!
But take a minute and look at it from NCL's point of view. The Mexican government has been suggesting they will reopen Cancun on any day for the last month, but they haven't.
NCL's crystal ball for predicting the future isn't any better than yours or mine. NCL is being strung along too.
It's hard to tell customers than Cancun is closed in advance when the Mexician government has been stinging them along too, hinting that it will open any day. All NCL can do is hope that the latest official Mexician goverment rumor is correct, post the itinerary, and wait until the day before the Dream is to arrive at Cancun to find out if Cancun is open or still closed.
If it's open, NCL plans to anchor at Cancun. If it's closed, NCL informs the passengers that it is still closed and give you your port fees back. What else can they do?
If and when the Mexician government makes a press release saying that Cancun will be closed indefinitely, or on a certain day it will be reopened, you'd have a point if NCL didn't release its own press release.