A monster hurricane is on the way and Kiwi Kyle Preece is stuck on a cruise ship off Florida.

He can't get home and his worried mum's already yelled down the phone at him after he and his friend, fellow Kiwi Jason Tabrum, seriously considered making a dash to the airport to escape the danger.

The friends, who are aged in their mid-20s and live in Perth, are now sailing away from Florida on the Carnival Victory before Hurricane Irma makes landfall as a category 5 superstorm tomorrow night (NZT).

It's been an eventful holiday for the pair, who are both from Pukekohe.

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"[We] were on a cruise from Miami to Key West to Cozumel, Mexico, and back to Miami.

"Our cruise was cut short by half a day to get back to Miami for people on the boat to leave and get back to their homes to evacuate the state of Florida which is in a state of emergency."

The friends were due to fly to Las Vegas at noon today local time, but they did not travel to Miami International Airport amid fears their flight would be cancelled and they would be forced to go to a shelter - instead they chose to stay on the Carnival Victory, Preece said.

"All of the shelters are basically full, gas stations, fuel and basics are mostly sold out and Floridians have until 9pm to have evacuated South Florida.

"We chose the option with a couple of hundred others to stay on the ship and re-embark.

"We are currently sailing past Key West, which is set to get destroyed with storm surge and flooding.

"We are roughly tracking a day ahead of the Hurricane, we are headed past Mexico at this rate, however Mexico just had its largest earthquake in a century and are at risk of a tsunami [and] the coast is also being evacuated."

Kiwis Jason Tabrum, left, and Kyle Preece are stuck on a cruise ship off Florida as Hurricane Irma approaches. Photo / Supplied
Kiwis Jason Tabrum, left, and Kyle Preece are stuck on a cruise ship off Florida as Hurricane Irma approaches. Photo / Supplied

The friends had briefly considered making a dash to the airport - an idea that earned an earful from Preece's mum.

"[Our] families have been very concerned. In fact, we made the call to try to catch our flight today and apparently it did leave and was delayed for one and a half hours before leaving Miami International. However, over 2000 flights out of Miami were cancelled Thursday night.

"My mum yelled at us down the phone as the risk was to great going to the airport. If the winds reached more than 35mph (56km/h) they would not fly. All flying out of the state stopped about an hour ago," he said via Facebook message about noon (NZT).

The men were not sure when they would return to Miami, but had been told it would not be until Tuesday at the earliest.

The cruise operator had been fantastic, he said, and there were plenty of supplies on board as the hundreds on board sailed away from danger, destination unknown.

"There is still entertainment on the ship and some normality."

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this view of Hurricane Irma as a Category 4 five days ago. Photo / Supplied
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured this view of Hurricane Irma as a Category 4 five days ago. Photo / Supplied

Nerves remained for all on board though, Preece said.

"[Just] not knowing what's going to happen and having to go back to the aftermath of it all next week in Miami sometime.

"Also having spent time in Miami knowing how beautiful the city is. We are unsure of exactly where we are sailing to but there are also two other hurricanes on the ocean but aren't going to be destructive like Irma will be.

"We also spent time at Key West, which is about to be destroyed and potentially uninhabitable."