Tag Archives: Mexico

There’s a strong wind blowing…

What to do?  It’s hurricane season and they are coming fast and furious this year.  For the poor people whose homes are hit by hurricanes of course this is a calamity beyond compare – however being in the travel industry hurricanes bring their own chaos to airlines, hotels and ships.

So what to do if you are booked to go on vacation during the hurricane season?  Depends what kind of vacation and who you are booked with.  Most tour operators have a pretty flexible policy with regard to their packages down in Mexico or the Caribbean.  They offer options such as postponing, changing destination or some even offer a credit which would be valid for one year.  Clearly they don’t want to send their passengers down there – or their aircraft – to be damaged or hurt.  But it is hurricane season after all ….This is why you will often see packages being offered at a much cheaper rate during the hurricane season which typically runs from August through to beginning of November.

I took a peek at a couple of the webcams at Puerto Vallarta resort hotels and it looked very overcast and rainy 😦 not the greatest for a vacation.  The pool area was deserted – I guess people are preparing for the hurricane which is good that they are taking precautions.

Now what happens if you are down there during a hurricane?  Rest assured, resort staff have generally been through this before and there are protocols in place to ensure the safety of staff and guests.  This is a good article that explains exactly how hotels operate Hurricanes and hotel guidelines.

One thing that is important in all of this is your co-operation.  If you are told to evacuate do it!  Local authorities will make shelters available if necessary.  Hotels may ask you to congregate on the lower level of the hotel or in the basement.  The last thing you need to do is to go out onto your balcony or down to the beach to take photos to post on Instagram ….
stupid hurricane photo

I was in Tahiti once when a Tsunami alert was raised.  I thought the telephone operator was joking …. but no … we had to leave our rooms and assemble in the lobby of the hotel while we waited and waited.   Nothing happened – I am happy to report – although we did feel the need to order a bottle of Champagne while we waited!

What about if you are going on a cruise? Now with a cruise you are in the more fortunate position of being able to be moved.  Cruise lines will often change their itineraries at the last-minute which has already happened with Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines – passengers on their Mexican Riviera itineraries will now be visiting San Francisco and San Diego.  And when on a cruise ship you are in the lucky situation of being able to outrun the hurricane –

“Ships sailing the Caribbean during hurricane season have an out — they can move. … Cruise ships can typically “outrun” a hurricane — storms tend to move about 8 to 10 knots, while ships can attain speeds of up to 22 knots and beyond. Passengers might experience rough seas as their ship skirts the edges of a storm.”  (courtesy Cruise Critic).

So if you are outrunning a hurricane on a ship you are probably OK (unless you get seasick)

seasickness

But it is likely to be a bit windy up on deck.  However there are those who just love the challenge of being in the centre of weather’s worst moments.  One of my fellow passengers on a recent cruise on Star Clipper told me with relish about his trans-Atlantic crossing.  Ropes had been strung across the public areas for passengers to hang on to and the tables in the dining room remained unset for obvious reasons.  Hmmm –  I think I am a fair weather traveller …. so thanks but no thanks!

 

 

Getting out of Dodge …..

There’s no denying it – that white stuff all over the place is sending the message loud and clear. Winter is here and although I am not an “all-inclusive” fan the thought of lying on a beach for a week with nothing to do but sleep, eat and drink is starting to look very attractive.

I am not the only one thinking that way either – when I talked about Mexico this morning on Global TV this morning  http://youtu.be/fQldfjPxago  the phones were hopping off the desks.

Another fun competition at Butlins

Another fun competition at Butlins

It got me thinking about the all-inclusive holidays. My first experience of something similar to this would have been our family holiday at Butlins Holiday Camp in Bognor Regis, England. It was hell! I am not sure what we expected but dinners were served in giant aircraft hangers and if one of the poor girls serving happened to drop a plate the whole place erupted in hoots and cheers. There was all the fun around the pool that you can think of – the hairy chest contest, the knobbly knees contest not to mention Miss Butlins 1962…. Oh what fun we had…NOT.

Oh I remember this well

Oh I remember this well

Just to get everyone in the spirit there were speakers in all of the “rooms” (if you can call them that – three lots of bunk beds and there you go). After an exhausting drive from Cornwall through the night and a huge breakfast at a trucker’s café we fell into bed that night virtually in a coma. But there was to be no lying in at this resort –

“Good morning Campers!” boomed out of the speakers at some ungodly hour. We levitated from our beds (bunks) staring around dazedly (is that a word) not quite understanding what was happening.

“Come on Campers! Rise and Shine! We have a day full of fun and merriment. Up you get, Rise and Shine”.

Well that was the end of that speaker. My Dad had his Royal Navy handy tool bag and quickly dismantled that, all the while ignoring the notices containing dire threats to anyone who would think of even touching it.

“Jeez” he said “it’s like bloody 1984.”

Things have changed quite a bit….. or have they?

water-balloon-fight-wasHave you ever tried to take an afternoon sleep in a Mexican resort when it just so happens that you have the “pool view” room. Yep – every afternoon down by the pool it is the Mexican version of the hairy chest competition accompanied by drunken cheering from those large red guys sitting around the swim up bar (do they ever pee and if so…. Where?).

In fairness, there are some exquisite upscale resort hotels catering to a different life style – still all-inclusive but a la carte with premium brand drinks and quiet adult only areas.

Sign me up!

Sign me up!

 

Mmmm – right now looking outside the window that sounds really really good!