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Caribbean and 2007 Hurricane Season: To Go or Not To Go?

Caribbean and 2007 Hurricane Season: To Go or Not To Go?

Old Jun 2nd, 2007, 01:06 PM
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Caribbean and 2007 Hurricane Season: To Go or Not To Go?

I have travel arrangements made to visit St.Kitts, Nevis, and St.Martin at the end of June-beginning of July. The travel agents never expressed their concern over hurricane season. In fact, they say, it's still a high season. Nor did I remember that this would be the case at the time of booking. I do, however, have cancellation insurance. I need an advice of one prudent, experienced in Caribbean travel person: given this active hurricane season, should I go or should I not?
Thanks
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Old Jun 2nd, 2007, 01:13 PM
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Go but watch the National Hurricane Center on a regular basis for a storm brewing in the Caribbean. If one develops you should probably cancel otherwise, go and have fun. Don't worry about it. I have been to the Caribbean 12 times and never had a problem. If one develops and it bothers you then be sure to change your plans in time to fly out if you are already on an island. If you wait too late they will close the airport and you will have to sit it out. But sitting out a hurricane is not that bad. We sat one out in Bermuda once. No problem. Have fun.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
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Old Jun 2nd, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Hurricanes are nearly nonexistent in the Eastern Caribbean that early in the season. The early part of the season is western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. To have one would be a 100-year event. Have fun!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 04:56 AM
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I'd miss half a year of traveling if I didn't go during hurricane season, since most of my travel these days seems to be the Caribbean and Central America.

Just keep an eye on the national hurricane center forecasts, and probably get travel insurance. Unlike tornados, there is lots of advance warning with hurricanes.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 06:02 AM
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We travel to the Caribbean every year during hurricane season. Only twice (separate years) did we have to change our plans because our hotels had to do some repairs from hurricanes that had hit a few weeks earlier.
I say go for it.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 06:48 AM
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xkenx, your statement "Hurricanes are nearly nonexistent in the Eastern Caribbean that early in the season. The early part of the season is western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. To have one would be a 100-year event. Have fun!" is very interesting to me, living as I do in Cayman in the Western Caribbean.

In my (Western Caribbean) mind, I thought the exact opposite...we only ever see storms at that time of year in the Eastern Caribbean

The OP refers to Hurricanes in late June, early July, and I guess the point is that they are rare in the Caribbean that early in the season.. period.

Hurricane season will naturally be a major topic of conversation for the next few months.. and the stock answer is something along the line of... the Caribbean is a big place, over 40 destinations across thousands of square miles, and even a busy Hurricane season would see storms impacting only an average of one or two destinations per month over the six months of hurricane season....so the chances of your individual vacation being disrupted are slight.

The second part of the answer is that (contrary to the OP's ill informed travel agent), Hurricane season is low season, not high season, hence room rates are much lower than high season (ie winter), so if you are concerned, spend a little of the savings on trip insurance


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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 06:56 AM
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late June early July is still a pretty safe bet when heading to the Caribbean especially to those islands where the later Cape Verde season is the height of activity. But, things do happen and the hurricanes don't check the calendar for their visiting schedule!
Besides, your "cancellation insurance" probably won't pony up because you've decided to cancel. An actual hurricane has to affect your plans to go or you have to do some juggling because airlines aren't flying, there was major damage and you've had to rebook your trip or you incurred expenses due to the hurricane at your destination (or some other covered event occurs such as illness, etc.)
There is little doubt that I would still go and you'll find that there are loads of others who feel the same way!
I've not once cancelled because of an active hurricane in many years of traveling nor been unlucky enough to get caught in one in the Caribb and my plans include early October and post-Turkeyday trips. Have had to change island destinations in the winter months because of damage but only twice in years of traveling.
Just go and enjoy. Check the weather forecast and remember how often they are wrong! You are still betting with the odds going when you are - but it is not "high season" - that's when the icicles are hanging off the roof and planes might not be able to fly due to major snow events!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 08:17 AM
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OMG! We took the exact same trip last year late June-early July...St. Kitts/Nevis/St. Martin. We have done it for the past 3 years and have been fine. Please don't cancel! The insurance is nice, but that is a great time to go, IMHO.

You will surely enjoy your trip. I think that you have picked 3 fabulous islands and will have different experiences at each one.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 08:22 AM
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Here's the way I look at it.

I live up in Canada, and if I book a Caribbean trip in January, Feb or March, there is always a chance that my flight won't get out because of cancellation due to a winter blizzard or snowstorm.

If I book a flight during our summer months I'm virtually guaranteed to get out of Canada, but might not get into the Caribbean due to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane.

Either way, the weather will ALWAYS be a potential wrinkle in any travel plans, but there are also weeks or months when nothing at all happens. None of us can look into the future and get any reasurrances no matter where we live.

For heaven's sake, just make you plans, make your reservation, pack your bags and go. What happens is what happens. No sense in worrying about it.

Steve
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 08:32 AM
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Just a clarification:

July-August is not as high season as mid-December through mid-April, but it's the next "highest" season (if that makes sense). It's one of the times of year that is most popular with travelling families *and* it's the time of the year when Europeans tend to travel to the Caribbean. The "lowest" time of the year is September - October. It's peak hurricane season time, kids are back in school and it's pleasant weather-wise in North America and Europe. I've travelled in September and it is QUIET!

Hurricane season is pretty long. It "officially" starts June 1st and "officially" ends on November 30th. By the end of May of this year, there has already been one named storm, and they are predicting an "active" season. Does that mean a hurricane will hit when you're in the Caribbean? Probably not, as the chances of getting hit are not high, even in peak season. And even during the seasons that are not predicted to be very "active" you can have a hurricane that will cause major damage. But the advice given here - to monitor storms as they develop off the coast of Africa and move in the Atlantic - is important so you can make changes to your itinerary. Make sure that your cancellation insurance allows you to cancel for any reason. Some policies exclude acts of nature.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 10:18 AM
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First, there is always the chance that the weather will be perfect your entire vacation. Outside of the fact it's hurricane season, it's considered rainy season. So your insurance will do you no good if you simply get hit by a tropical depression. If you are too worried, don't go. But you could have a great week with lots of sunshine. While there is much data on trends, etc., it really cannot be relied upon in traveling during hurricane season - the weather will be what it will be the week you are there. Here is a link to a great article on today's CNN website in the travel section. While too late for planning purposes, it's still helpful.

My opinion: go! As much of a chance you'll have for rainy weather, there is just as much of a chance you'll have great weather.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TRAVEL/ADVIS....ap/index.html
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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 11:20 AM
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I agree with the other comments. Definitely go, and have a great time in beautiful St. Kitts & Nevis.

A website you might enjoy is www.myislands.myeyez.net

Where are you staying?

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Old Jun 3rd, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Many tourists travel to St. Kitts in June for the annual St. Kitts Music Fesitival. This year it is being held June 21-23. www.stkittsmusicfestival.net

The summer months are pretty quiet on both St. Kitts and Nevis. (It's not considered high season for the hotels and restaurants)


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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 12:55 AM
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Mariarosa: mid september would be a bad choice for Aruba? thanks
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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DeathRipple, I would still go to the Caribbean in September, especially the ABCs since they are so far south. The last time a hurricane caused major damage to the ABCs was November 1999 (Lenny), although a tropical storm in December 1999 also caused quite a bit of flooding and damage to Aruba. That was 8 years ago! So, as you can see, the chances of running into major bad weather is very, very minor, even in hurricane season. I would not change plans, just make sure you have bought cancellation insurance (if you have bought a package) that allows you to cancel for any reason, OR booked hotel with a deposit that allows you to cancel up to a certain number of hours in advance.
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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IMO, travel is frought with risk. But what else can you do? Stay home always? Weather is so tough to predict accurately even with our modern technology. I'd buy travel insurance and be as flexible as possible. Most airlines will simply arrange to fly you another time. Lodgings etc. of course, are much more difficult. I'd be very clear re: what your options are should your trip be affected by weather. Some places can re-book you, but others like villa rentals are very limited in what they can accomodate. In some cases, only a partial refund is possible. But for every travel horror story, there's probably 100 times it turned out just fine. For me, I guess I don't mind rolling them dice... knock on wood!
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Go! But, get travel insurance, just in case....

Julia
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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To amplify my earlier comments about the eastern Caribbean where you are going, there are some good climatology statistics on www.stormcarib.com then clicking on climatology. The western Caribbean (Hispaniola,Cuba,Jamaica, Caymans, Honduras, Belize, Mexico), since 1851 (155 years) has had storms of tropical force or hurricane force winds 54 times in May, June, July, with 23 in June. Where you are going in the eastern Caribbean, there have been only 22 such storms, only 1 in June. The season (called the Cape Verde season for storm origination off the coast of Africa), starts later because of cooler water temps., so the eastern Caribbean is very very rarely bothered by a tropical storm/hurricane when you are going in late June or early July.
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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Mariarosa: thanks I'll stick with the original plan then. just want to make sure. it' my first time there.
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Old Jun 5th, 2007, 06:11 AM
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Some more from StormCarib... for the Western Caribbean there have been only 9 storms that hit Hurricane force in May/Jun/Jul (a 13 week period)between 1944-2006....ie in that period chances of a Hurricane in any one week through end July about once every 70 years

Of those 9 hurricanes, 4 of them are on the chart on that website as purple, ie Cat 3 plus... those are the ones we residents worry about, anything less is just a bit of wind and rain

While the Cat 3 plus storms are most prevalent between mid Aug and mid Oct, no one week has had more than 4 such events in the 63 year period measured, or less than one every 15 years.

Again, chances of Hurricanes hitting you are slim
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