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Tips for cruising during hurricane season

SmarterTravel

The 2007 hurricane season is just beginning to ramp up, and you never know when the next big storm will hit. Follow these tips to take advantage of cheap September cruise deals without worrying about a tropical storm ruining your vacation.

  • Be flexible: A cruise is an ideal vacation during hurricane season because a ship can alter course to avoid a storm. The flipside is that cruise lines will dramatically change your itinerary if a hurricane is threatening. A western Caribbean cruise could become an eastern Caribbean one, or even a Canada and New England sailing. Port days may be swapped for extra sea days. If you don’t have your heart set on a particular destination, you’ll be fine—just don’t forget to pack a sweater and some slacks.
  • Extend your pre- or post-cruise stay: Hurricanes often hit major departure ports in Florida and Puerto Rico, delaying your ship’s or flight’s departure or arrival. To prevent these snafus from wreaking havoc on your vacation schedule, add a few days’ stay before and after your cruise. The extra days at the beginning will give you wiggle room if your original flight is canceled, and the added days at the end will protect you if your cruise returns late.
  • Buy travel insurance: Even if you normally scoff at travel insurance, you’ll want to protect your vacation dollars when you travel during hurricane season. Insurance will help you out if your flight or cruise is canceled or delayed, especially if you have to rebook a flight or stay an extra night in a hotel. Just make sure your policy covers problems due to weather.
  • Pack that Dramamine: A ship will do its best to outrun a storm, but sometimes choppy waters are unavoidable. Even if you’re typically a stalwart sailor, throw some anti-nausea medicine or ginger candies in your suitcase in case you encounter rough seas.

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