Time and Tide and Major Hurricanes….

Monday Mantra

Any port in a storm…Any port in a storm…Any port in a storm…

Time and Tide and Major Hurricanes….

How do cruises cope with stormy weather?

My heart goes out to everyone whose cruise was cancelled, rerouted, or adjusted because of the devastating power of Hurricane Matthew. But when the news is reporting a staggering death toll, 140 mph winds, dangerous storm surge, heavy rain, power outages, evacuations, and a trail of destruction, you can’t possibly think you’ll be donning that new bikini and sipping a mojito around the pool.

From what I see, the cruise lines have compensated guests generously for the inconvenience, offering full refunds and discounts on a future sailing which really doesn’t do a lot for those whose upcoming holiday was the only thing keeping them sane for the past six months but there you go. Blame God.

From my perch up north here, it seemed like ships were hopscotching all over the place. While many sailings were cancelled and others abbreviated, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Ecstasy guests found themselves with an extra day on board as they waited for the storm to clear. Why doesn’t that ever happen to me? I’m sure that extra day wasn’t filled with blue skies and calm seas, but that’s why bars were invented.

Many ships skipped ports, changed ports and, from the looks of it, ended up in Cozumel, an island which expected four ships to dock on Tuesday and — surprise! — got seven while, the following day, they found five ships in the harbor when they expected two. With this unexpected surge in the local economy I’ll bet “Matthew” is going to be among the most popular names for Mexican newborns in the months ahead. Both boys and girls.

Meanwhile, Disney Magic and Carnival Pride took one look at what was going on down south and said “I’m outta here,” and skedaddled up toward Canada, Disney Magic abandoning its Bahamas and Florida itinerary and Carnival Pride canceling calls at Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. This about-face was a big one for those whose bags were filled with sundresses and beach cover ups and even I, who loves Canada’s awesome beauty, its drop-dead gorgeous prime minister, and the fact that you don’t need one of those pesky currency adapters when you visit, would have been a thrown by the change in direction … not to mention temperature.

None of us wants to see our meticulously planned, highly anticipated vacation run aground but when these things happen, it’s out of our hands. We should cheerfully suck it up, reshuffle plans, adjust to change, and realize that safety is more important than any vacation. Except mine, of course. I’d be really ticked off.

— Judi Cuervo

Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

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