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Jason

cruise lines reviewing options re: Frances

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Cruise lines review options

BY DONNA BALANCIA - FLORIDA TODAY

Cruise lines that sail from Port Canaveral are revising itineraries to divert their customers from destinations threatened by Hurricane Frances.

Carnival Cruise Lines for example, has swapped out locations such as St. Thomas and St. John for the Bahamas and Mexico.

"We are closely monitoring the progress of the storm," said Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz. "But we do have a ship coming into Canaveral this weekend, and we have a couple of ships coming into Miami. We're considering potential impact and game plan, but it's too early to make decisions."

Disney Cruise Line also is rerouting certain ships.

"In terms of what we've done so far, on Saturday, when the Magic left on its seven-day itinerary, we moved Castaway Cay (in the Bahamas) to be the first stop, so they went to Castaway Cay, instead of Key West," said Rena Langley, a Disney Cruise Line spokeswoman.

"We haven't made any changes to the itinerary, but, of course, we are prepared to make changes, if necessary," she said. "Safety is our first priority."

Refunds are on a case-by-case basis, Langley said.

"But I want to tell you that many of our guests want to keep their vacations, and because a cruise is something we can adjust, we rarely cancel cruises," Langley said.

A travel agent's advice Here is some advice from Geraldine Blanchard, owner of Global Tours & Travel in Melbourne:

Consider travel insurance: "We encourage travel insurance," Blanchard said. "Insurance covers trip interruptions, cancellations or if the trip is delayed for some reason. It is a must nowadays."

Check with the cruise ship if you were going on a voyage: "The cruise ships always give a voucher for future travel," Blanchard said. "Each company is different, but they offer a plan to alleviate the loss."

Airlines usually will reimburse: "If the flight does not leave, you're entitled to rebooking at no charge," Blanchard said. "But, then again, they say it's an act of God, and it's a gray area. There have been so many reasons for trip delays and cancellations nowadays, it depends on the circumstances.

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Wow, sure glad we are sailing out of San Diego this Sunday instead of our usual Lauderdale or Miami!

Think about all those cruisers getting ready to depart for FL in the next couple of days! What a turmoil they must be in!

Florida sure does not need this new storm. :sad:

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Here is a pair of cruisers slated to leave Sunday from Miami on Carnival's Paradise Panama Canal sailing. My husb-y and I are occasionally watching the Weather Channel on tv and National Weather Service on Internet (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/). He tends toward the guessing game of "what if" whereas I'm not too preoccupied with the whole thing. Our flight out of Salt Lake City goes to Houston then Fort Lauderdale, so we may actually get stranded in Houston for a while if the timing of Frances is wrong for us! I have no doubt that both the airline's and cruise line's first concerns will be safety . . . then the closest fit for achieving the original itinerary. We're going with a large group (200+ people in different flights) through a travel agency with agency escorts. I'll leave the worrying to them. :grin:

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Thanks for the information, Jason!

Skipper...glad you're sailing out of SD.

ssetcetera...hope things work out for you...stay safe!

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We are leaving on the Paradise for the Panama Canal Tour this weekend for our honeymoon. We are flying in from Phoenix to Chicago to Miami. Will they run this cruise no matter what since it is a repositioning cruise for the ship? Do you think they would just delay it x amount of hours to allow guests to arrive? We have the cruise insurance, but we still want our honeymoon. Hopefully we will be lucky.

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crewzer,

Congratulations on your marriage and honeymoon! What day does your cruise leave, Sat or Sun? We would think they would delay the ships arrival in Miami if need be.

If your flights can get you to Miami you should be okay except maybe delayed by a day or so. One thing for sure, it will be a memorial trip! Good luck! :wink: :wink:

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We just noticed that ssetcetera is on the same cruise and it leaves on Sunday. Hopefully everything will be over by then with minimal damage.

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I thought I just heard that all flights going into Florida were cancelled for the weekend but I could definitely be wrong. It was on the TV in the restaurant Ken and I went to for lunch and the sound was turned down so I don't know if I heard it right or not

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