Hurricane Dorian: How Cruise Lines are Aiding, Ways You Can Help, & Damage Reports
Hurricane Dorian continues to impact the cruise industry, even after it has left the Bahamas and Florida coast.
Here's what you need to know (last updated 9/9/19 at 5 pm):
How the Cruise Industry is Helping the Bahamas
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has committed to providing 20,000 meals a day to residents of Freeport Bahamas, through daily visits from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises ships. Empress of the Seas, Celebrity Equinox and Symphony of the Seas were among the first ships to dock just off the coast of Freeport, and visits from Mariner of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas are also providing aid. In some cases, this relief effort is altering itineraries. For example, in a letter distributed to Celebrity Equinox passengers, it's noted that the relief stop in Freeport replaces the ship's call to Nassau. The letter notes that guests will not be able to disembark the ship in Freeport, but that compensation in the amount of 1 day’s cruise fare will be issued as an onboard credit, Passengers were also encouraged to write notes of support to the Bahamas to be left on the island when the relief supplies are delivered. Travel Weekly's Tom Stieghorst was aboard the Empress of the Seas as it reached Freeport and shared this account of the preparation and relief effort. Through Monday morning, September 9, Royal Caribbean reports that they’ve provided over 70,000 meals, nearly 150,000 bottles of water, 248 tarps, 25,000 sq. ft. of plywood, 400 generators, 500 flashlights, over 114,000 diapers and 150 cases of baby formula.
Additionally, the line is sending multiple container ships with more relief supplies, and Royal Caribbean has committed $1 million in disaster relief to the Bahamas. ITM, the Royal Caribbean partner helping to develop the Royal Lucayan Resort in Freeport, has committed an additional $100,000.
Carnival Cruise Line is sending two ships loaded with food, water and relief supplies to the Bahamas. Carnival Pride, sailing from Baltimore September 8, and Carnival Liberty, departing from Port Canaveral on September 9, will each make a stop at Freeport to offload the supplies. They are also sending two ships loaded with prepared meals, dozens of pallets of water, chain saws and medical supplies to the Bahamas again. Carnival Liberty will stop at Freeport on September 12 and Carnival Pride will visit on September 13 to offload the supplies.
Additionally, Carnival Corporation and plc and the Arison Foundation have pledged $2 million for Bahamas relief.
Norwegian Cruise Holdings, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Cruises has committed $1 million to the non-profit relief organization All Hearts & Hands.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Breakaway also sailed from Miami with a load of food, water and generators on September 5, bound for Nassau, where the supplies will be offloaded for transfer to Grand Bahama, Abaco Island, and other hard-hit areas.
Led by Disney Cruise Line, the Walt Disney Company made a commitment of over $1 million to help relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. It includes a $1 million donation to non-profit relief agencies who will be working on recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as bringing supplies to those in affected areas. Also, Disney employees with immediate needs in impacted areas will have access to a variety of resources.
MSC Cruises, in cooperation with MSC cargo and the MSC Foundation, has dispatched a team of senior executives and representatives to Nassau for meetings with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organizations to identify the most timely and urgent relief needs. MSC expects to provide prefabricated modular housing for those left homeless by the storm, and to make MSC cargo ships available to deliver relief supplies from the US to the Bahamas.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line completed a Hurricane Dorian humanitarian cruise Saturday on the Grand Celebration. The ship, the first cruise ship to dock in Freeport since the storm, brought more than 300 first responders including fire rescue, medical personnel and humanitarian organizations. The ship delivered 850 boxed lunches and 225,000 pounds of supplies including water, food, personal hygiene products, medical equipment generators, dog food and more. Additionally, 100 bins prepared by family members in the US were delivered, bound for specific families on Grand Bahamas island. In Freeport, the ship loaded 1,100 documented Bahamas evacuees and transported them safely to the Port of Palm Beach on Saturday.
We’ll add any additional fundraisers or other relief efforts initiated by the cruise industry as we become aware of them.
How You Can Help
The American Red Cross has begun fundraising to assist Hurricane Dorian victims. You can donate here: redcross.org/donate/hurricane-dorian-donations.html/
Royal Caribbean is matching guest and employee donations to Pan American Development Foundation, up to $500,000. To contribute, visit padf.org/hurricane-dorian-royal
Carnival Corporation has announced that they've partnered with Tropical Shipping and The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to collect and deliver NEMA-approved food and supplies donated in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties in Florida for the Bahamian people. Tropical Shipping will serve as the distribution center for food and goods donations. For information on drop-off locations, a list of items that are needed, and more, click here.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will be matching donations dollar for dollar to assist with rebuilding efforts. You can donate here: ncl.com/hope-starts-here
South Florida residents who wish to drop off supplies to aid the residents of Grand Bahama Island can deliver them to Bahamas Paradise’s warehouse at 301 Broadway Ave., Bay #7, in Riviera Beach, FL 33404. For the complete list of supplies needed and to make a monetary donation, please visit MissionResolve.org.
Home Ports Status
Several cruise ports along the east coast were closed ahead of the storm.
Miami - PortMiami has reopened. Visit the port’s website for the latest and your cruise line’s website for itinerary updates. miamidade.gov/portmiami/
Port Everglades - Port Everglades has reopened. Cruise ships that were scheduled to arrive in port on September 1 or 2 have been rescheduled for arrival on September 4, pending reopening of the port. Visit the port’s website for the latest. porteverglades.net/about-us/weather/
Port of Palm Beach - The Port of Palm Beach has reopened as of 10:30 am, September 4. Visit the port’s website for the latest. portofpalmbeach.com/AlertCenter.aspx?CID=Port-Alerts-Advisories-3
Port Canaveral - Port Canaveral has reopened as of September 5 to cruise ships, with restrictions. Six ships have arrived/will arrive in Port Canaveral this morning. Visit the port's website for the latest. portcanaveral.com/About/Hurricane-Awareness
Jacksonville - As of September 5, JAXPORT has reopened and is fully operational. jaxport.com/hurricane-dorian-updates/
Charleston - As of September 6, The Port of Charleston has reopened and is fully operational.
Norwegian Cruise Line diverted two ships that were unable to return to their home ports in Florida to New Orleans to disembark guests.
- Norwegian Breakaway’s August 25, 2019 cruise from Miami docked in New Orleans on Tuesday September 3. Norwegian assisted passengers with changing return flight reservations and is providing transportation back to Miami for impacted passengers.
- Norwegian Sun’s August 29, 2019 cruise from Port Canaveral also docked in New Orleans on Tuesday September 3. Norwegian assisted passengers with changing return flight reservations and is providing transportation back to Miami for impacted passengers.
- Carnival Ecstasy's 9/5 sailing is now scheduled to depart from Port Canaveral instead of Jacksonville. Passengers should proceed to the JAXPORT cruise terminal from 2 pm to 6 pm. Complimentary motor coach transportation will be provided down to Port Canaveral. Cruisers should not drive to Port Canaveral, because the ship will return to Jacksonville on 9/9.
Bahamas Ports Status
Freeport - The Freeport Harbor remains closed and early reports suggest major flooding and damage in many parts of Grand Bahama island, including Grand Bahama International Airport.
Nassau - The “all clear” has been issued for Nassau and the cruise port reopened Monday, September 2 and is ready to receive ships. There are reports of no major damage to New Providence and Paradise Island, though some flooding and power outages are occuring.
Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line has indicated that winds did not exceed 60 miles per hour on the island, and that the Cast Members who rode out the storm on the island are safe. "Due to the tropical storm conditions the island experienced, we have some cleaning up to do related to landscaping and will need to make minor repairs to the roof of one small covered pavilion area,” Disney Cruise Line spokeswoman Kim Prunty told the Orlando Sentinel.
Perfect Day at CocoCay - The island was assessed via webcams and seems to have emerged “without visible structural damage,” Royal Caribbean told the Orlando Sentinel. “We hope to welcome guests back beginning with the arrival of Navigator of the Seas on Saturday — depending, of course, on what we learn on-site,” Royal spokeswoman Melissa Charbonneau said in a statement.
Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve - MSC Cruises’ under-construction private island did not suffer any major damage, according to Ken Muskat, MSC’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Great Stirrup Cay - Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island is currently closed to cruise traffic, but no update on the condition of the island has been released. The island is located near Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Half Moon Cay - Holland America Line reports that Half Moon Cay experienced minor beach erosion but no structural damage. The horses and stingrays that live on the island are doing well.
Princess Cays - Princess Cruises reports that Princess Cay suffered cosmetic damage and minor beach erosion.
Norwegian Cruise Line:
Norwegian Breakaway - 9/1
Norwegian Sun - 9/2
Mariner of the Seas - 9/2
Carnival Cruise Line:
Carnival Liberty - 9/2
The 9/2 Carnival Victory cruise is no longer canceled, but will be a 2-night sailing departing on 9/4 instead.
The 9/1 Carnival Horizon cruise will now depart on 9/4 as a 3-night cruise.
Carnival Elation - 9/5 (originally 9/2)
Disney Cruise Line:
Disney Dream - 9/4 (originally 9/2)
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line:
The 9/3 and 9/5 sailings from Palm Beach have been canceled. The line worked with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism last week to evacuate a pre-authorized list of Grand Bahama residents on board their ship Grand Celebration. Their second ship is currently operating a one-time Panama Canal cruise and is unaffected.
Visit the links below to get the latest updates from the cruise lines.
Norwegian Cruise Line: ncl.com/
Royal Caribbean: royalcaribbean.com/cruise-ships/itinerary-updates
Carnival Cruise Line: help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6292
Disney Cruise Line: disneycruise.disney.go.com/guest-services/advisory/?7
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line: bahamasparadisecruise.com/
Marine traffic image via Cruisin.me and MarineTraffic.com
CocoCay image via Orlando Sentinel and Royal Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line and relief efforts info via Cruise Radio
Royal Caribbean relief efforts info via Cruise Radio