So, you want to go on a Disney Cruise?
We totally get it. A tropical escape, Disney-themed dining, AND getting to see Mickey and Minnie in their captain attire? Sign us up. But, there’s a pretty big situation that you might face on select Disney cruises: hurricanes. Thinking about booking a cruise during hurricane season? Read this first.
Is it Safe?
First things first, hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from June 1st through November 30th. That’s a pretty long time and includes a big section of the year that many families like to travel — summer vacation! So, is going on a cruise during this time of year even safe?
You’d be surprised how well cruise lines are able to handle hurricanes. Planning a trip during this season is actually pretty safe because hurricanes are really well-tracked. Meteorologists can spot them days, if not weeks, in advance, and cruise lines are able to adjust course if they need to to avoid any danger.
Cruise ships can delay the trip a bit so that it has time to pass, stay in port longer than planned, or take a different route altogether to avoid the storm. So, you’re unlikely to ever be in an unsafe position if a hurricane occurs during your scheduled trip.
Will My Cruise Get Canceled?
Since there are so many ways to manage an unexpected hurricane, it is actually pretty rare for a cruise to get canceled. Cruise lines would much rather adjust course than call off the cruise entirely — so they do!
They will often change the itinerary, route, or departure port or delay the trip for a few days instead of canceling a cruise. So, it’s unlikely that your trip will be canceled if a hurricane forms, but, it can definitely be changed.
Your departure date could be moved up or pushed back, you might spend more or less time at port, or you may even go to different ports altogether.
However, there is a small chance that your cruise could be canceled if the situation calls for it, so you should keep that in mind when making plans. It’s a good idea to get travel insurance to deal with any changes you need to make to your airfare, rental car, hotel, or other travel plans surrounding your cruise.
Will I Get My Money Back?
So, in the rare occurrence that Disney actually cancels your cruise, they will issue a refund. Occasionally, they might even offer you a discount on a future cruise. But, if you are booking through a third party — make sure you do your research on their cancelation policy!
However, refund policies get a little trickier if the cruise hasn’t been canceled. As we said, the cruise line may decide to move the timeline for the cruise by a few days in order to avoid the storm. Flight plans, rental cars, and other travel accommodations that you have made in order to make the cruise will have to be adjusted, too — so make sure you look into all of the cancelation policies for these services!
According to Disney, “If Disney Cruise Line cancels your cruise or delays your cruise for more than three calendar days, and you do not accept an alternative cruise or choose not to travel on a delayed cruise, you may request a refund or a cruise credit by emailing Disney Cruise Line at [email protected]”
Requests for these refunds must be made within 90 days of the scheduled sail date and must include a copy of the cruise confirmation, proof and amount of payment, and cancellation or delay notice. And, keep in mind, that if you decide to cancel the cruise because you are concerned about a hurricane, typical cancellation policies should apply.
So, you will be able to get a refund if they change the dates of your cruise in certain situations, but if this level of flexibility isn’t ideal for your group, you might want to reconsider taking a cruise during hurricane season on this part of the map.
As always, make sure you do your due diligence when planning a Disney cruise during hurricane season. We’ll continue to bring you all the Disney tips for your trip planning, so stay tuned to DFB for more.
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Has a hurricane ever impacted your cruise? Let us know in the comments below!
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