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Hurricanes
Hurricane Season   Cruise lines plan for and are always prepared to keep their passengers and ships out of harm's way. In the event of severe weather, certain operational protocols are in place for cruise lines, including: Today's cruise ships feature the most technologically advanced weather forecasting systems and equipment available, allowing officers and company officials to forecast weather-related disturbances in advance. Moreover, cruise ships are completely mobile and able to alter, cancel, shorten, or extend ship itineraries to keep guests safe in instances of threatening weather. In the event that ports of embarkation and debarkation are closed due to severe weather conditions, cruise lines can use a nearby alternative port. In these cases, cruise lines coordinate the logistics of loading food and supplies and getting passengers to and from the original port. BE FLEXIBLE - Understand that the cruise line can change the itinerary in order to keep out of harm's way. Safety always remains the first priority. Cruise lines communicate itinerary changes up until the sailing date to their passengers. Travelers should monitor cruise line Web sites and contact their travel agent about modifications to itineraries prior to finalizing travel. In the rare instance a cruise is canceled due to weather-related circumstances, cruise lines, on a company-by-company basis, traditionally offer various solutions that extend to guests the opportunity to enjoy a future cruise vacation within a reasonable time period and with the guest's convenience in mind. Consult with your cruise counselor/agent before accepting such offers. PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE - The purchase of travel insurance, always an important element of any vacation planning, assumes additional significance in instances of severe weather. Airline flight delays, which are covered in policies available from several providers, are most often the critical factor when guests experience problems reaching their ship. Guests can purchase insurance to cover these situations and related expenses. Added assurance in the event that your vacation doesn't go as planned is a valued investment in peace of mind. Your cruise counselor is the best source of information in choosing a policy appropriate for your needs. Moreover, if purchased through your independent booking agent, he/she will serve as your ombudsman in guiding you through the claims "thicket" with airlines, cruise lines, and insurer. Post-cruise claim guidance is even more crucial than pre-travel policy advice. IMPORTANT: For fewest exclusions, travel insurance should be purchased within a week or so of booking and making a deposit on a cruise.