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  #1  
Old 02-19-2010, 11:35 AM
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Default Wind/Weather Castaway Cay

Anyone know (about) how windy or how bad the weather it has to be to keep the ships from docking at CC? Seems like there are a lot of folks saying that their ship didn't get to dock at CC b/c of wind. I noticed the forecast for our cruise (leaving Sunday) on the day of CC is 10-15 mph winds, decreasing to 4 mph by night (so presumably getting less windy throughout the day).

Just seems that all it has to be is a slight breeze to keep them from docking! I don't want to miss out on CC!!
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2010, 01:11 PM
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I don't know the exact wind speed that DCL considers critical, but there are numerous other factors that go into the go/no go decision. In addition to the wind speed, the wind direction is one of those factors; wind striking the ship broadside is much more critical than wind coming directly into the bow or stern.

Then you need to factor in the ocean currents; again, a current hitting broadside (or nearly so) will create much more havoc than a current that is running in a fore-and-aft direction.

Any combination of wind and current that keeps the ship from lining up with the pier requires a lot of skill and careful maneuvering to get the ship in or out without damage and the potential for injury to people as well.

The two existing DCL ships each have five "thrusters", propellers that are mounted in tubes perpendicular to the hull. These thrusters - three at the bow and two at the stern - can be operated independent of each other, and independent of the primary props which propel the ship ahead and backwards. The entire ship can do a 180 degree turn in her own length by using the thrusters in opposing directions. For example, the forward thrusters can push the front of the ship to the right while the aft thrusters push the rear to the left; the ship will then turn in a clockwise direction without moving forward or backwards.

The thrusters are also used when docking and undocking, eliminating the need for tug boats to nudge the ship sideways. You can see this in action when the ship leaves Port Canaveral; you'll see a lot of water movement along the starboard side, pushing the ship away from the pier and into the basin.

In your own case, a 10-15 mph wind by itself should not be enough to cause any problems, unless it is coupled with a strong current, or if the wind direction is constantly shifting. The channel into CC is fairly narrow, and if the Captain is not confident that he can safely navigate the channel, the CC stop may be cancelled.
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