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Hurricane Irma Comes to Claim Your Soul! (Or just cruise plans.)

Hurricane Irma is picking up speed and power.  Per our updated image here, thanks to the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center, Irma is expected to be near or ashore in the Florida Keys and possibly the greater Miami area.  Major cruise lines are already canceling cruises ahead of time and sending ships to alternate ports ahead of time.  If you are cruising within the next two weeks you should contact your travel agent or cruise line today.

 

Hurricane Irma Notes

Hurricane Irma caused wide-spread damage on St. Maarten/Saint Marten.  St. Thomas is only starting to report damages.  Having said that, despite the hefty winds and rain the last 30 years of building to modern standards appears to have helped prevent swaths of business' and homes from being annihilated entirely.  Evacuation orders for areas throughout Florida have lead to early closing of ports, airports and even some cruise lines corporate headquarters.  Irma is expected to reach southern Florida by Sunday afternoon and will proceed north over the next day.  Virtually all cruises leaving from Florida are already canceled starting with those departing Thursday.  Expect to see cruises up the eastern coast of the U.S. cancel soon.

 The Red Cross has updated their hurricane relief page for those that wish to help.  

Hurricane Irma Notes - Thursday P.M.

Hurricane Irma caused wide-spread damage on St. Maarten/Saint Marten.  The French side of the island appears to have taken the brunt of the damage.  St. Thomas is reporting heavy damage and many buildings that simply failed against 185 mile an hour winds.  All cruises leaving from Florida are now canceled.  Expect to see cruises up the eastern coast of the U.S. cancel soon.  Cancelation policy varies but most lines are refunding 100% of the cruises canceled with some credit toward an additional future cruise.  Most ships are seeking refuge in the Western Caribbean.  Most of Florida is at risk of wind and rain damage and many roads north are clogged.

 The Red Cross hurricane relief page for those that wish to help.  

Hurricane Irma Notes - Saturday

Most of Florida is at risk of wind and rain damage and many roads north are clogged still.  The hurricane is in a state of decline but could become stronger as it crosses open water approachign the Florida Keys.  There is a great deal of uncertainty in regards to where the path of Irma may go.  There isn't any news specific to cruise cancelations to relate.  Those that will be, have.  The ETA of ports reopening is harder to guess and when the first cruises will again start to flow out of Florida isn't something that can be predicted at the moment.  Damage to the islands and ports along the leeward islands is hard to come by.  Media sources and political types are using the most inflated terms possible, either to position for funding and support or to ganer ratings and clicks online.  Without question there were lives lost, lives ruined and damage across the scale that comes with such storms.  However how dire the collective impact is something yet to be determined.  Most ports throughout the Caribbean likely will be open and operational within 90 days.  Business' and excursions within many ports will be a case-by-case issue depending on the damages suffered.

 The Red Cross hurricane relief page for those that wish to help.  

Hurricane Irma Notes - Sunday Sunday Sunday!

Irma is ashore for the time being, having crossed the Keys and landed on the mainland near Napals.  So far damage is consistent with a catagory 3 but not producing the over-hyped devestation predicted.  Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise lines are sending ships to several islands to pick-up stranded travelers and make drop-offs of emergency supplies.  Despite massively over-stated social media posts describing nothing short of primal chaos and even civil war among the leeward islands, the recovery process is underway.  Schools are preparing to reopen in several U.S. Virgin Islands, damage assessment is underway at St. Thomas, and U.S. Navy ships are well represented in the relief efforts.  The much discussed situation on St. Maarten is one of two sides of one island.  The Dutch side of the island is essentially stable and quickly recovering.  Some looting was reported and verified but was never the wide-spread gangs of roving thugs.  Even the initially panic stricken descriptions from government officials has become far more constrained and accurately detailing the situation.  The French side of the island however both took the brunt of the storm, the bulk of major damage and was the location of most of the worst civil unrest.  Irma will begin to wind-down from this point forward but will reach Indianapolis, Indiana by 2 p.m. on Thursday.  The greater Ohio region will see a considerable amount of rain.

 The Red Cross hurricane relief page for those that wish to help.