Fall is one of the best times of the year to travel, between moderate temperatures, lower crowds with the back to school season, and often more affordable options. This time of year also homes with one gamble when it comes to going on vacation however and that is hurricane season.
Hurricane season around Florida and the Caribbean runs summer through about November 30, with the peak of storm activity often taking place between September and October. While Central Florida largely does not sustain as much hurricane damage as areas like the Caribbean, a Walt Disney World vacation could still be altered by storms due to closures for weather and travel delays and cancellations.
The vacation most often affected by hurricanes and tropical storms is sails aboard cruise ships, which can end up changing itineraries or skipping ports entirely when the weather calls for rough seas or dangerous conditions.
Guests sailing aboard the Disney Fantasy this week are receiving a taste of this hurricane season spontaneity as Hurricane Fiona has forced the ship to switch from an Eastern Caribbean itinerary to a Western Caribbean route.
Cruise Hive shared that Guests set to cruise aboard the Fantasy received emails with the itinerary update one day prior to setting sail on Friday, September 16, 2022. (If you have a cruise booked during hurricane season, this last-minute change is something to note as officials will usually wait until the last minute to ensure the move is for the best.)
With the updated itinerary, Guests sailing on the seven-night cruise will depart out of Port Canaveral, Florida then stop at Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Castaway Cay with two days at sea. The original itinerary called for three days at sea with stops at Tortola, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay.
So what exactly happens if your itinerary changes on a Disney Cruise Line vacation? In short, just the itinerary as Guests will receive refunds for any pre-booked excursions to ports they are no longer stopping at. It is important to note that this refund process only applies to excursions booked by Disney, if you have your own tours or experiences booked, you will want to cancel those on your own and refunds may vary.
With Hurricane Fiona now officially classified as a Category 3 storm, warnings have been prevalent throughout the Caribbean with several cruise lines changing course to avoid the storm as it is believed to center near Turks & Caicos. Hurricane Fiona is expected to bring with it 110 mile-per-hour winds as she moves north/north-west, perhaps slowing down by the end of the week near Bermuda.
If you have a Disney Cruise Line or Walt Disney World vacation planned during hurricane season, remember to confirm all travel arrangements and check on what you should do if plans do change. We will continue to monitor Hurricane Fiona and other storms that may impact Disney vacations this fall, and will report back as we know more here on Disney Tips.