Sailing During Hurricane Season with Disney Cruise Line

Sailing During Hurricane Season with Disney Cruise Line

Sailing during hurricane season? While your cruise will most likely not be affected, it’s important to be aware of how cruising may affect your trip. Read on for what you need to know about cruising during hurricane season with Disney Cruise Line.

Disney Wish Deck

Sailing During Hurricane Season

Sailing during hurricane season, especially the later part of the season, can actually get you a really great deal on your Disney Cruise.  But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s a reason September and October cruises tend to be cheaper. And it’s because that’s when your cruise is most likely to be impacted by weather. 

Being on a Disney Cruise during a hurricane

The idea of being on a cruise during a hurricane sounds scary. In reality, no one takes better care of you in an emergency than Disney. Disney will do what they need to do to make sure you are safe and well cared for. The seas could be a bit bumpy for a little bit of the time, but that is always a possibility at sea. Some of the outdoor activities, like water slides or pools, may be shut down for safety if the winds get too high. And obviously things like high winds and rain can impact your ability to enjoy the upper decks. 

But most of the activities inside will not be impacted, and you can still have a fantastic time onboard!

Disney Fantasy Welcome Party on board

How can a hurricane impact your Disney Cruise?

There are a lot of ways a hurricane can impact your cruise, and all of them should be noted. So, let’s take a look at how a hurricane could affect your Disney Cruise. 

Your cruise could be canceled 

Disney does everything they can to avoid this, so just know if your cruise is canceled, chances are it was the only option. Stay updated through your email, or through your travel agent, and make sure you know what the cancellation policies are for your other travel plans like flights, transportation, and hotels.  If you’re staying at a Disney hotel before or after your trip, they are usually very understanding and modify their cancellation policies during hurricanes. 

Your cruise could be delayed

Usually when it’s delayed, it’s delayed by a matter of hours. Sometimes, it’s a little more than that.  Again, make sure you keep up to date by checking your Disney emails, or through your travel agent.  The biggest issue here is that this changes the time you are able to arrive at Port Canaveral. So it’s important to stay updated!

Your cruise could be extended

This is also a rare scenario, but if you are on a Disney Cruise and unable to make it back to port, Disney will extend your cruise. When we recently sailed on the Disney Wish, our trip was extended by two whole days, because we had to move away from the hurricane, and then had to wait for clearance to dock back at Port Canaveral.  After talking to others onboard, this had happened to them on previous cruises during hurricane season. So it’s just good to keep in mind that it’s a possibility. 

Your itinerary could be changed

Many times, this is the most common action that takes place. The captain will usually make the call to change itineraries to move away from the hurricane, which could bring you somewhere you didn’t expect.  Headed to the Bahamas? You may be rerouted to Mexico.  The same goes for Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises as well. It’s also possible that your port days can be canceled as well. Disney will usually only make this decision when it’s not possible, or not safe to dock. 

Disney Wish Cruise Guide

sailing with disney cruise line voyage path
Our altered voyage due to Hurricane Ian

Tips for Sailing During Hurricane Season

Sailing during hurricane season can be unpredictable! Here are a few tips to help you be prepared for all the scenarios.

Be Flexible

This is the biggest tip we can give you. Be flexible! And keep your expectations grounded. It’s very possible your Disney Cruise will go completely as planned. But in the event that hurricane activity affects your cruise, it’s important to be flexible. Disney Cruise Line doesn’t want you to miss a port, be delayed boarding, or have to cancel your trip. But they have to do what they have to do to keep the crew and passengers safe. And if that means changing your itinerary at the last minute, then that’s what they will do. If you can’t be flexible with your travel plans, we highly recommend scheduling your cruise during a different time of year, when the risk of hurricanes is much lower. 

Disney Cruise Line Disney Fantasy

Be Prepared

How do you be prepared for hurricane season on a ship? Be sure to have something on hand for motion sickness. We pretty always recommend this anyway, but it’s especially important during hurricane season. The waters will be a bit rougher if you do encounter bad weather, and even if you’re not prone to motion sickness, rough seas can get the best of us! If Dramamine makes you drowsy, we like sea bands and motion sickness patches as a great alternative. 

Accept the fact that you may have to end up doing laundry onboard if it’s extended. Make sure you have a waterproof layer in case you need it for a rainy port day. If you know you’ll be traveling during a potentially rainier time, be sure to add a light rain jacket to your Disney Cruise packing list. Shameless plug, but we love these rain jackets from our shop! They are light, package and really keep you dry.

And be sure be mentally prepared for the fact that your cruise may be a little different than you expected. Disney Cruises are not cheap, and no one likes to see their plans changed at the last minute. But if you’re planning a cruise during hurricane season, especially September-early November, just know that this is a possibility. 

Know what your insurance covers

Did you get travel insurance? Know what it covers. Not all insurances cover the same thing, and some definitely don’t cover hurricanes. If you’re traveling during hurricane season, we highly recommend having travel insurance that covers things like hurricanes in case you have to cancel your trip. Or worse, in case Disney cancels your trip. You’ll want to make sure you can recoup the cost of additional travel services like flights and hotels that may have been booked along with your cruise. 

The Bayou on the Disney Wish

Know how to stay in touch 

Did you know you can use iMessage for free onboard a Disney Cruise Ship? If you have an iPhone, just make sure your iMessages are turned on and you can send and receive them using Disney Cruise Line’s free internet. If you have one of the larger carriers for your cell phone, like Verizon or AT&T, you can sign up for service at sea before your cruise begins. But if your cell phone carrier doesn’t offer that, downloading an app like Snapchat or WhatsApp on your phone before boarding can be helpful. Both of these apps can be used with the ship’s paid Wifi. So if you need to contact someone on land, just make sure they have that same app, and staying in touch will be easy. 

When is hurricane season?

Hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1 to November 30, with September being the peak month for hurricane activity. 40% of all tropical cyclones occur during September, so it’s important to keep this in mind when planning.  Hurricane season is pretty much the same for the Caribbean, with risk being just a little higher in August. That being said, most of the hurricanes that affect cruises are in the fall, and usually just for a couple of months of the year. 

disney cruise line

Is it safe to go on a Disney Cruise during hurricane season?

Is anything ever 100% safe? Probably not. But in terms of sailing with Disney Cruise Line during a hurricane, we felt very safe. The captain made sure we avoided hurricane winds and bad weather, sailing us to sunnier parts of the Atlantic Ocean.  They also made sure we had plenty of food, onboard activities and guest services worked hard to ensure that everyone was able to make whatever arrangements they needed to for returning home. 

Hopefully, this post has helped you learn a little more about sailing during hurricane season. The likelihood of your Disney Cruise being impacted by a hurricane is generally pretty low, but it’s good to be prepared and know whether or not you’re willing to deal with these potential scenarios for your cruise. Have you sailed on a cruise during a hurricane? How was your experience?

Sailing during hurricane season on a Disney Cruise

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .

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