Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TS Arlene Heads for Mexico. Princess - not So Much.

Arlene Heading for Mexico

Well. 2011 Atlantic Basin hurricane activity has started. Tropical Storm Arlene, is on her way to somewhere near Tampico, Mexico.  The terrain around there is hilly to mountainous. Copious rainfall in such a region can mean life threatening flash flooding and even mudslides.  Arlene is first on the list of  2011 Hurricane Names... let's hope we don't get too far through that list this hear.

Hurricane Hunters have been flying into the storm, and  found maximum sustained winds of 50 mph this morning.  It's expected to make landfall early tomorrow. 

We are keeping the people of the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, and Nuevo Leon, in our thoughts.  There are Hurricane Watches and Tropical Storm Warnings posted for these area.

 Princess - Not So Much 
Meanwhile, in case you haven't heard, Princess Cruises has cancelled previously scheduled stops at Puerto Vallarta for the remainder of the year.  This news came out a few days ago.  The US State Department has a travel warning posted for the Mexican state of Jalisco, which includes Puerto Vallarto.  The warning cites drug-related violence. 

Mazatlan has seen its cruise ship port calls curtailed recently, as well.

So, if there is a Mexican Rivera cruise in your future, it would seem itinerary options are narrowing considerably.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Second Named Storm of EPAC Hurricane Season Strengthens

Tropical Storm Beatriz is approaching hurricane strength off the southwestern coast of Mexico.   A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is inside the system as I write this, and it would not be a surprise for them to find a hurricane.

Watches and warnings are posted  for portions of the Mexican coast.  Rainbands from the system are already affecting the coast, and tropical storm conditions are expected later this afternoon. 

The National Hurricane Center is predicting rainfall of 6 to 12 inches (and as much as 20 inches in some areas), which could result in life threatening flash floods and mudslides. 

We wish our neighbors in the affected Mexican states of  Guerrero, Jalisco, Colima, and Michoacan the best, and will be thinking of them.

Meanwhile, for our cruising friends - at this point, there have been no announcements of itinerary changes as a result of (apparently soon to be Hurricane) Beatriz, but would it be well to stay aprised of the situation.

Related Articles:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's Hurricane Season and Cruise Deals Season

Well, folks, the 2011 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season began yesterday.  Hope everyone in or near a coastal area is prepared with their emergency supplies and evacuation plans.

Once again this year, I will have the Weather Widgets from posted on this blog, and will, from time to time, highlight any storms that are affecting cruise ships and/or cruise ports.  This year, I've also set up a 2011 Hurricane Season Journal on a separate site, where I'll log each tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane, whether it affects cruises or not.  You might want to access that page now, and save it to your favorites if you think you'll be interested.

For the cruising community, we know that hurricane season also means some of the best cruise deals of the year.  So, if you haven't done so yet, here's a reminder that you might want to start looking for an attractive last minute deal from your favorite cruise line. 

If you're planning your first hurricane season cruise - especially during the peak of the season, which includes August, September, and October - you might be interested in 10 Tips for Hurricane Season Cruising

Don't be afraid to take advantage of some of the great deals you're sure to find.  Chances are your cruise won't be affeted by a tropical weather system - but yes, it could.  That's the chance you take by making the decision to cruise the Caribbean during hurricane season.  If you are prepared to accept that risk in exchange for a great time for less money than you would pay other times of year, I'd say, "Go for it."  But know the risks and what you can do  to make sure you have a wonderful time no matter what might or might not happen.  (That's what the above referenced article is about)