One of the most fun parts of planning a cruise is deciding what excursions to book before your trip. Whether it’s a day at the beach, strolling through local markets, visiting ruins and historic sites, or spending a day snorkeling and diving in nearby waters, there’s certainly something for everyone. And while we all imagine that our port of call visits will be sunny days, it’s also possible that they won’t be. Then what?
The Show Must Go On
In many of the ports of call that cruise ships visit, tourism is a critical industry that keeps entire local, regional, and national economies afloat. Even if the weather is poor, just about every excursion takes place as planned. The only exception is those for which it wouldn’t be safe to carry out. A good rule of thumb is that if your excursion is on land, expect it to continue as scheduled. If your excursion is on the water, it may be cancelled if surf conditions make it dangerous to have you out there.
Some Common Outcomes
Every cruise ship and every local tour company is different. However, there are some outcomes that are more likely than others when bad weather threatens booked excursions. In cases where conditions are expected to be so poor that it threatens the safety of tourists, an excursion is typically cancelled by the tour company and all reservations are refunded. In some cases, tours aren’t cancelled but passengers are given the chance to opt-out of an excursion with a full or partial refund. And finally, sometimes the excursion goes on anyway, and tourists can go and make the best of it or bow out and take the financial loss.
The Best Way to Be Prepared
When booking your cruise ship excursions, it’s important to read the fine print carefully. Your ticket is generally a contract and those terms and conditions govern whether the trip is cancelled or not depending on the weather. That language may also spell out what your other options could be. Know and understand what the possibilities are and that way you can plan ahead appropriately, no matter the weather.
Even though no one wants to think about rain on their vacation, it does happen. The key to not letting it ruin your trip is to have a back-up plan, such as packing wet weather gear, and realizing that some things are just out of our hands.