Hurricanes in the Caribbean are a big part of the weather news every summer and fall. If you plan to visit the Caribbean this year but are leery of hurricane season, you might consider a cruise. With today's sophisticated hurricane information systems, ships can navigate around severe tropical storms or hurricanes. Although you might miss out on a favorite island or destination if a hurricane or tropical storm is heading its way, your Caribbean cruise vacation might be saved because the cruise ship captain changed the ports of call.
The Caribbean hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a Web page that provides immediate access to current weather warnings worldwide. These warnings include hurricanes and other special marine warnings such as severe thunderstorms. If reading about the current weather is not enough for you, NOAA can even show you an infrared satellite image of the Caribbean. NOAA also has visible and water vapor images of the hurricane-prone Caribbean area. These pictures are all fascinating to look at even if you are staying at home! They also give you a chance to see your tax dollars at work.
As odd as it may sound, one of the preeminent hurricane forecasting units in the United States is located at Colorado State University, not in Florida. Scientists at the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State believe that 2014 will have a "below-average" hurricane season. They predict 9 named storms, with 3 classified as hurricanes. Their model uses data collected over the past 30 years.
How Can You Best Avoid a Hurricane When Planning a Cruise?
Although Caribbean hurricane season runs from June through November, the most active months are usually August and September when the waters of the Caribbean are at their warmest. Some islands in the southern Caribbean such as Aruba and Barbados are less hurricane-prone than further north. If you are really hurricane-averse, you might want to plan a cruise elsewhere in the summer (Alaska, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, or Europe), or book a cruise that mostly sails in the southern Caribbean. Given the severity of the past few hurricane seasons, cruise bargains will certainly be available in the summer months for those who know that the odds of getting caught in a hurricane on a cruise ship are very low.
Hopefully, all of this news will not keep you from planning a cruise vacation to the Caribbean during the summer or fall months. At least on a cruise, your ship can use all of the available satellite technology and aircraft reconnaissance and steer you away from impending weather disasters. You can't do that at a resort! Cruise lines have a big dollar investment in their ships and a big investment in their reputations for safety. They want you to have a great cruise vacation so that you will book another cruise. Probably the biggest risk is that you might end up with a different itinerary, but what a story you will have when you get home!