Heavy Rain Expected in Florida This Week. Will it Impact Cruises?

Update (June 12, 6:15 Central): Since this article was published, heavy rains have hit southern Florida — including Miami and Fort Lauderdale — especially hard. Flooding is occurring and the mayor of Fort Lauderdale has also issued a state of emergency. Numerous flights to the area have been delayed or cancelled.

If there is good news regarding cruises, both Miami and Fort Lauderdale have few ships scheduled today and tomorrow, giving time for rain to leave the area. Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale has no ships scheduled until June 14. Miami has Valiant Lady (Virgin Voyages) leaving today, but no other ships until June 14 as well.

As always, your cruise line will be in touch if there are any updates to your cruise schedule. 

Original Article:

The cruise capital of the United States will need an umbrella for the coming week. As the tropical weather season ramps up, Florida looks to start off with a soggy forecast, with predictions of more than a foot of rain in some areas over the next week.

So will this impact cruises?

Areas With Up to 15+ Inches of Rain in Florida?

Forecasted rain stretches across the entire Gulf of Mexico over the next seven days, with some of the heaviest areas hitting Florida.

First things first, take a look at the rainfall predictions the state is seeing. Practically the entire state is set to receive significant rainfall over the coming seven days according to the National Weather Service.

Their current 7-day precipitation map shows the southern half of the state — where most of the state’s cruise ports are located — with between 3-5 inches of rain. In fact, the entire Gulf of Mexico looks to see heavy rainfall, whether sailing from Galveston, New Orleans, Tampa, or Miami.

For Florida, that’s not completely out of the ordinary. But there are some spots (the light brown and yellow colors) on the map that indicate the potential for 7-10 inches of rain. Some isolated spots even show the potential of 15 inches of rain in the Fort Myers area.

Beyond that, heavy projected rainfall in the gulf and even over to The Bahamas means that cruise passengers going practically anywhere over the next week should be ready for rain.

In fact, these areas have already seen rounds of storms, with some areas near Tampa seeing flooding and a flood watch in effect for many areas. In fact, some flights from Miami International have been delayed or canceled due to weather.

Will your cruise be impacted?

Impact on Cruise Schedules Likely Limited

Rain — even heavy rain — isn’t unusual for a cruise ship. In our opinion, it’s unlikely to cause any delays to cruise schedules but may impact your travel to the ship.

Historically, cruises are rarely completely canceled due to weather or other circumstances.

For instance, when the Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed recently and closed the port, ships were adjusted to dock in Norfolk and passengers were bussed back to Baltimore.

During hurricanes, trips may be delayed if the storm hits the homeport when a ship is due and itineraries may be adjusted to avoid storms in ports of call during a trip.

But the impact of adjusting a cruise’s itinerary has wide-ranging effects from dock schedules to the travel arrangements of thousands of passengers to crew changes, supplies for the ship, and more. Hence, cruise lines try to avoid canceling a cruise or delaying unless it’s absolutely necessary.

In fact, we have heard of no changes from the cruise lines due to the forecasted rainfall. But if your cruise schedule is adjusted, the cruise line will be in contact with details.

On a question asking about cancellations on the Facebook page of Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald, he went as far as to tell the person with an upcoming trip that “I am sure your cruise will not [be] canceled.”

In our history of covering cruises, we can’t think of an instance when a cruise was canceled due only to heavy rainfall.

That said, these storms can still impact your travel.

Possible Delays With Passengers Getting to Port

Given the amount of rainfall, there could be issues with road flooding and airline delays.

If driving to the port, you definitely want to give yourself more time to get to the port, just in case the weather slows things down. If flying in, it’s a good idea to aim to fly in the day before the cruise. This should give you plenty of time to get to the ship if your flight is impacted by the weather. If your flight is already booked for the day of the cruise, you might see if you can adjust the schedule last minute.

We recently found out firsthand that weather can cause you to miss the ship, at which point your cruise fare is taken as a cancellation penalty.

Assuming you do make the cruise, be prepared for wet weather onboard. The projected rainfall looks heavy all across the region, which means your sunny cruise could see periods of heavy rain.

Popular: 39 Useful Things to Pack (17 You Wouldn't Think Of)

Read Next: Park & Cruise Hotels for Every Port in America

Popular: 107 Best Cruise Tips, Secrets, Tricks, and Freebies


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here