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Old 10-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
mjaclyn
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For the Podcast Team... The Next Time You Record:

Could you possibly talk about what happened with the Fantasy and Hurricane Sandy? My family and I have a cruise on the Fantasy scheduled for the first week of September 2013 which is prime hurricane season. I booked this cruise knowing full well that because of the season, our ports could change at any moment or we may miss one. However, it never occurred to me in my wildest dreams that the Captain would choose to sail INTO the storm. Reading reports of what passengers went through that night, I cannot imagine how horrific it must have been. It took me awhile to go on a cruise because I was nervous about sailing, and that would probably cause me never to cruise again. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the whole thing and if in your opinion it merits changing our sailing to non-hurricane season. We have sailed before in January and May and had wonderful weather both times. I do realize that bad weather can come at any time of the year, but there is a tremendous difference between the ship rocking and it moving so violently that furniture is overturned, dishes and glass break everywhere, and the shops look like a tornado hit them. Thanks so much for all the work you put into the podcast!! I love listening!
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good topic for a podcast.

I know there weren't any of the podcast regulars on board so they will be depending on reports from others. I suspect we don't know everything yet though. Surely the captain would not actually sail into the storm - at least not intentionally.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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I really cannot imagine a Captain of cruise ship INTENTIONALLY sailing into a hurricane!!! Especially a DISNEY one!!! I haven't heard very many reports, but from what it sounds like, they got caught up in the storm. I would google it or search other topics on this, but I can't imagine someone ever intentionally endangering the lives of passengers like that.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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I don't think it was at all intentional. The Captain said the next morning that the weather was worse than they has anticipated. I am with you: I never dreamed I would be in a situation like I was. I am a totally irrational worrier. I don't know what I would have done if I had read about experiences like we went through before we sailed.

I will say this though...

I think that it was a fairly isolated incident, not at all indicative of a normal cruise.
I also don't think we were probably ever in actual danger (beyond being hit by flying objects) even if it at times FELT like we were maybe in danger.
Also, the ship sustained a fair amount of surface damage: glassware, desks, etc. I think it was probably a fairly costly storm for them. Had they known what it would be like, I don't think they would have sailed they course they did.

I am not ready to book another cruise for myself, but wouldn't discourage others from booking
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:50 PM   #5
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I definitely don't think the Captain said "Hey, let's damage the ship and scare people half to death by sailing through this thing so we can make it back on time." However, I DO think he saw that in order to get back to PC in time he would have to sail in the very outer bands of the storm which WOULD cause a rough night and decided to do that. It then bit him in the butt because the storm slowed down and they got caught in the thick of it. Personally, I think it would have cost them far LESS to hide out in the Caribbean for a day than to have to pay for all the damage done to the ship not to mention the flights people missed, etc. for still being late to PC. Also, I'm sure the bad press isn't helping.

And, what about the people who had to get on the ship right after all that craziness? I know I would be extremely disappointed if I had paid thousands of dollars to sail on the Fantasy to board and see so much damage to the ship. In addition to how exhausted the poor Captain/Crew must have been after working through that all night and then having to clean up as best they could the next morning.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjaclyn
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the whole thing and if in your opinion it merits changing our sailing to non-hurricane season.
Really? The Podcast crew's opinion would influence your decision on traveling during hurricane season which is 6 months long? You do know that they cruise during hurricane season, right? In fact, they are cruising at the end of Aug next year on the Oasis. That would be an interesting ship to be on in a hurricane!! I'm guessing they would advise the purchase of trip insurance instead!!!

You might find some broader info on the Cruise Line board. I can tell you we've sailed 6 times (all on DCL) - 1 in Jan, 1 in Feb, 2 in June, 1 in Aug, & 1 in Oct. We have 5 more DCL cruises scheduled. I live in FL & hurricane season doesn't influence my decision on when to cruise. Hurricane season is from June 1-Nov 30th; that includes all of summer break, which is our favorite time to cruise.

Good luck with your decision!

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:36 PM   #7
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My advice would be that if the idea of sailing during hurricane season bothers you, go when it's not hurricane season.

As pointed out, hurricane season is 6 months of the year.

That being said, I can give the example of the fact that I dont like to fly when there is the possibility of ice and snow.

The solution is that I severely limit my flying into areas where ice and snow are a distinct possibility.

Sandy was a bit of a freak storm in that it happened very late in hurricane season. It shows you that while it's unusual, it can happen.

August and September are the busiest months for hurricanes.

I dont really worry about traveling during hurricane season for a couple of reasons. Hurricanes dont surprise people. We know about them days or even a week in advance. If a hurricane is going to affect out cruise, we would make a decision based on the information we had at the time and we would err on the side of caution.

As the previous poster has pointed out, we have a cruise booked for next August. I am not worried about it as I have always have the option of not boarding the boat.

I would also suggest that this was a rare occurrence. DCL has a couple of sailings a week and has been doing this for many years. This is the first time anyone has ever heard of anything like this. Dont get me wrong...any repeat cruiser will have a story of rough seas.....but nothing like this.

I dont know if my opinion is valuable, but this is pretty much it.

I also suggest that you listen to this week's show. You will get more than one opinion on this topic.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyKevin View Post
My advice would be that if the idea of sailing during hurricane season bothers you, go when it's not hurricane season.

As pointed out, hurricane season is 6 months of the year.

That being said, I can give the example of the fact that I dont like to fly when there is the possibility of ice and snow.

The solution is that I severely limit my flying into areas where ice and snow are a distinct possibility.

Sandy was a bit of a freak storm in that it happened very late in hurricane season. It shows you that while it's unusual, it can happen.

August and September are the busiest months for hurricanes.

I dont really worry about traveling during hurricane season for a couple of reasons. Hurricanes dont surprise people. We know about them days or even a week in advance. If a hurricane is going to affect out cruise, we would make a decision based on the information we had at the time and we would err on the side of caution.

As the previous poster has pointed out, we have a cruise booked for next August. I am not worried about it as I have always have the option of not boarding the boat.

I would also suggest that this was a rare occurrence. DCL has a couple of sailings a week and has been doing this for many years. This is the first time anyone has ever heard of anything like this. Dont get me wrong...any repeat cruiser will have a story of rough seas.....but nothing like this.

I dont know if my opinion is valuable, but this is pretty much it.

I also suggest that you listen to this week's show. You will get more than one opinion on this topic.

I appreciate your thoughts Kevin, thank you for sharing them. I did listen to the podcast this week and while I do agree that under any circumstance there is going to be THAT person who complains about anything and wants something they don't deserve, like you, I felt that Disney did share some of the responsibility by choosing to sail back to port rather than wait it out for 1 day like the other cruise lines.

That being said, I also think that this is probably some kind of freak thing that doesn't happen often. I booked my cruise for next year fully knowing that it was hurricane season and planning to use trip insurance if anything happened. I'm still going to do that and if at cruise time I don't feel comfortable going, we won't go. I personally wouldn't mind (and would actually expect) to miss a port or have a schedule change in the face of bad weather, but again, I feel that sailing through it is something that I would NOT expect and am not okay with doing. Regardless of whether folks think Disney sailed through the storm on purpose or not.. it still happened and Disney has to expect that it will bring up some kind of anxiety for future cruisers wondering if they would make that same decision again. For me, I certainly hope they wouldn't!
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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I know this wont help you much but, Im with Kevin on this: I book cruises before storm season.

My next is in the April/May range. (at least east coast cruises that is.) I think you did the right think with trip insurance.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:33 PM   #10
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I was on the September 8th sailing of the Fantasy a couple months ago. We didn't experience any hurricane activity. The trip was uneventful, but I did expect that it was possible to encounter tropical storms or hurricanes.

My friend Brenda, however, WAS on the October 20th sailing. She is currently writing a trip report on the Cruise boards, and I know that she is not one to exaggerate events for the sake of drama. Her DIS name is Oybolshoi and the thread is "Rock the Boat, Don't Tip the Boat Over". She just started her first post, so it will be a while before she gets around to the events from the last couple days of the trip.

I expect that no matter what the crew decided to do, there's always someone who'd complain, no matter what.
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