Think of a cruise, and no doubt images of sunny beaches comes to mind. But remember that most cruises take you to the tropics… and that means rain.
In fact, if you don’t have a rainy day or two on your cruise, then you should consider yourself lucky. For instance, Cozumel receives about 60 inches of rain per year — or more than one inch a week on average.
That means the chances are good that you will encounter some rain on your ship, and you should prepare for that scenario. Of course, it’s always a good idea to pack a rain jacket, but more importantly than simply staying dry, what do you do with your time when its raining and what do you need to know about your cruise in regards to rainy days?
For that, we have some tips and things to know that everyone should consider when they face a rainy day on a cruise. Keep these in mind the next time you get a shower on your trip.
Don’t Think You’ll Get Your Money Back
Sorry, but there is no refund on a cruise for rainy days. Even if it pours during your entire trip, if the cruise still happens then you won’t be refunded any money. (Trips entirely cancelled due to storms may be entitled to a refund.)
That’s a bummer, but you’ve got to realize that cruise lines can’t control the weather. And having to refund passengers because a port or two had a rainy day would be a logistical nightmare. So even if you can’t hit the beach because of bad weather, you aren’t going to see any sort of compensation.
One area that’s a little different is if you booked an excursion that is cancelled due to the rain. In this case you are likely to get your money back if the excursion can’t be done due to the weather. Here, you’ll want to contact the company you booked the excursion through to inquire about a refund.
Sorry, the Casino Isn’t Open in Port
If you are in port and it’s pouring, then the casino seems like an ideal place to wait out the rain. Spend a little cash, have a drink, and keep yourself busy playing slots or tables until things clear up.
Unfortunately, the cruise ship casino isn’t open while the ship is in port. It only operates in international waters. If you want to wait things out in a casino, many Caribbean ports have a casino or two on land that you can take a taxi to get to. Still, you’ll have to brave the weather getting off the ship if you go this route.
When It’s Raining in Port, There Isn’t Much Going On the Ship
On sea days you’ll receive a listing of all the activities going on the ship. From movies to trivia contests to evening shows and more, there’s always something going on when you are at sea. If you are in port, however, there’s hardly anything happening around the ship. That means if it’s raining and you aren’t headed onto land, then you’ll have to find your own way to stay entertained. To be sure, many of the amenities around the ship like pools and bars are still open, but there just isn’t much staff-led entertainment.
Shopping in Port Is a Dry Option
Just like a rainy day at home — where you might head to the mall — going shopping on a rainy day in port is a smart way to stay dry. The best news? Most shopping areas are located either at the port or close by. For example, Cozumel offers a number of shops within a short walk of the ship in the port area, as does Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize City and more. We know that shopping isn’t for everyone, but if you want to kill some time to wait out the weather, it’s an easy way to stay dry.
Rain Showers Can Pass Quickly
If it’s raining in the Caribbean, don’t get too worried. The weather in the area is known for changing on a dime. It’s not unusual for showers to pass through (especially afternoon pop-up thunderstorms) and then quickly move out after a few minutes of torrential rain. In other words, just because there is some rain doesn’t mean the entire day is going to be a wash out. Don’t stress either if you wake up in the morning to a rainy, cloudy day. It could be completely clear by the afternoon.
Ditch the Slick Flip Flops
If you plan to stay around the ship, we can’t urge you enough to ditch the flip flops and wear some shoes with grip. With even a little bit of rain the ship’s deck can get extremely slick — almost like walking on ice. Meanwhile, when that water gets tracked into the smooth walkways inside the ship, those spots can be slippery too. There’s no point in risking a slip and fall on a rainy day when simply changing your footwear can make all the difference.
The Ship Will Be More Crowded in Port
Some people like to stay on the ship when its in port. For these folks, having the freedom to explore the ship — or hang out poolside — without a lot of people around is relaxing. If you’re in this camp, just know that you’ll have a lot of company if it’s raining while in port. Many passengers don’t have plans when they arrive in port, so they simply get off to explore. If it’s pouring rain, they often decide just to stay aboard the ship. The good news? Once the rain lets up they often leave en masse and the ship immediately gets less crowded.