A year ago this week I was on the Carnival Paradise having fun at sea. On my last sea day as we headed back to Tampa, I heard rumblings about a hurricane heading for Carolina coastline. Breaking my no connection policy, I turned on the television in the stateroom as I got ready for dinner. There is was! this massive Hurricane heading right for my island community!
Sitting in the Tampa airport my phone was lighting up with messages and phone calls. My island was getting ready to be evacuated. I made it home and spent the next day preparing our home and making evacuation plans. Hurricane Florence caused much damage to our island more than I had ever seen with any other hurricane I had been through in the ten years I have lived there. Many homes are still not completely repaired. Our beaches still are not fully recovered if they will ever be.
Almost exactly one year later, here we go again. As I write this I am at a friends house on the mainland. Yesterday there was a mandatory evacuation. I have many friends who have remained on the island. I decided to leave mostly because the island is without water and sewer services. I have only come over the bridge to the mainland. I am still conflicted but I an here now and so I will remain until the island is opened back up to residents.
So far we have only experienced outer bands. This morning we even had a beautiful breakthrough of sunshine. Many people were out and about. Now the clouds and some bands of rain are moving in. the wind gusts at moments and then dies down. Our boat Captain friend has been keeping a close watch on the storm and sends out updates and his assessment. The town has been sending out updates regularly through social media.
This sitting and waiting is harder than riding through the storm. Once it comes does its damage then it is gone and we can pick up the pieces. Even being in the throws of the storm are better than this waiting, watching and not knowing.
It may seem odd that I would rather be in the thick of the storm then this calm before the storm. I would almost rather be on one of those cruise ships that was stuck out at sea during the hurricane than sitting here waiting. I have experienced a hurricane at sea many years ago. It still remains one of my favorite cruises!
For me Storms are part of the sea, of beach life and of cruising.
If you choose to take a cruise during hurricane season one must be aware that your cruise may just not be the cruise you were planning.
If there is a hurricane roaming out in the ocean
- Seas might be a little rough but the Captain will move the ship out of path and away from the hurricane to keep passengers and crew safe.
- You might just have an entirely different cruise, one that goes to different ports of call then you thought you were going to.
- You might have a lengthened cruise upsetting your return home plans
- You might have a shortened cruise if the ship has to arrive late into port because of port closings
- You might even have to embark or disembark at a completely different port- although that only happens if the cruise line can not find another solution.
You might think this will be a nightmare but if you are prepared, open to changes and have travel insurance -which I highly recommend during hurricane season
Cruising in hurricane season can make for an exciting adventure if you are open and relaxed and able to go with the flow.
Hurricanes can be devastating but they can be an adventure that bonds family, friends and community together.
Here our island community has a pre-hurricane gathering of fun and friendship then we ride it out and then again we will come together afterwards in some sort of celebration of strength, support and celebration for whatever we will be facing and dealing with.
As I wait for our turn we offer our support to those in the Bahamas that have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
The Bahamas is a popular cruise port and the cruise lines are already preparing support and resources.