Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cruising During Hurricane Season

As hurricane season starts tomorrow, I am reminded that I'm often asked about cruising during hurricane season. Frequent questions include: 1) Is is SAFE to be at sea when a tropical system is, or might b, around? 2) WHY would anyone want to cruise then, anyway? and 3) What about seasickness?

Is it safe? Pretty much! If you think about it, NO PLACE is absolutely safe in a major hurricane. But, I'd rather ride one out at sea, where the ship can move out of the way of the storm, than cooped up in a stationary hotel room with no power and only emergency food rations.

Yes - there may be minor inconveniences, as the ship moves through rough seas, seeking safe harbor, or sunny skies. The outside decks may logically be off limits. Even when they aren't, taking a dip in the pool may be out of the question. But, rest assured the captain of the ship WILL use all the skill and navigational equipment at his disposal to get his (or her!) vessel fillled with human cargo to a safe location.

Why cruise then? There are often some awfully good deals to be had during hurricane season (June 1 - Nov 30), but particularly during the peak part season, when most storms tend to occur. Peak season is roughly from mid August through late October. Personally, if a system is heading my way, and my area is under orders to evacuate, I'd prefer to hop on a ship and set out to sea than evauate inland. But, that's just me.

What about the motion of the ocean? It happens! Be prepared. Different people are more or less subject to sea sickness. And different remedies work well for some, but not others. I HATE the pills. Took 'em once, as a precaution, sailing during Hurricane Jeanne. I slept - a LOT. Many folks who ARE subject to motion sickness, and don't like a drug-based solution use products containing real ginger, including ginger candy, like these, available at Cruise Ready Store.

There are also some special considerations that should be taken by anyone considering a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise during the season. Some that I believe to be quite important are listed on my Tips for New Cruisers page. I'll post them here in more detail later this week.