Disney Cruise – Hurricanes vs Low Costs
A client of ours recently brought up a good point, which we’d like to share with anyone considering a fall Disney Cruise.
August and September represent the peak of hurricane season in the Caribbean. With this comes lower rates from Disney Cruise Line. But, are those lower rates worth the risk of a shortened cruise, or skipping key ports along the way?
This is an extremely important decision that must be made before booking a fall cruise. The client we mentioned above recently returned from a 4-night Bahamian cruise with Disney Cruise Line. During their trip, Tropical Depression Nichole was hot on their tail, and generated some extra wind and rid tides.
It may not sound like a little breeze and some waves are a real problem, but they can be if the ship is trying to dock at Castaway Cay. Although the ships are giant, and have enormous stabilizers on their hulls, they still can’t attempt a docking if there are rid tides and currents below the surface of the water. These forces of nature can wreak havoc on a ship – or more specifically, on the dock (when the ship is slammed against it repeatedly).
Our client experienced the wrath of Mother Nature by way of missing Castaway Cay completely on their trip. The Captain attempted the maneuver once, but decided it wasn’t safe enough. He promised he’d try again the next day. Well, the weather was worse on Day #2, so they had to head back to Florida instead.
Disney makes it clear in their contract and Terms and Conditions that something like this might happen, and that they don’t owe you anything in return for missing a port. And be forewarned that while being trapped onboard, your disappointment may only be addressed with extra character meet-n-greets, a few extra showings of movies and shows, and additional opportunities to spend more money.
Disney is known for it’s customer service, but there is only so much they can do with limited resources on a boat in the middle of a storm. Safety comes before anything else.
This is merely a public service announcement from Mouse Unlimited to its current and future clients, and not representative of Disney Cruise Line’s point of view. We simply want our clients to understand that with lower fall rates comes the risk of missing out on key parts of the trip. If it happens to you, your sadness might be addressed with some sympathy, but not with any sort of compensation.