Hurricane Dorian Sends Cruise Ships Scrambling in the Caribbean

hurricane dorian florida weather cruise itineraries
Hurricane Dorian as seen from the International Space Station - Photo by NASA

Update 9/1, 12 PM:

Hurricane Dorian has grown into a dangerous Category 5 hurricane with winds of 180 miles per hour. The storm is moving slowly through the Bahamas, and is expected to linger in the Bahamas for several days, striking a nearly direct hit on the cruise port of Freeport. The storm is expected to turn in the coming days, with the eye staying off the Florida coast, though essentially the entire Florida coast and many inland areas, including Orlando, remain in the cone of uncertainty. Even if the storm stays off shore, parts of the Florida coast are expected to receive at least Tropical Storm force winds, with worse possible.

PortMiami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral are now closed in preparation for the storm, which has led to the cancellation of a number of cruises and significant itinerary changes for several others.

Here are the impacts announced so far (updated 12 PM Sunday, September 1):

Carnival Cruise Line

Update 9/1, 12 PM: Click here to read the latest from Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Sunshine - Ports have been reordered on the ship's 8-night Eastern Caribbean cruise sailing Tuesday. The ship will now visit the same ports, in a different order: Friday 8/30: San Juan, Puerto Rico 1:30 pm to 9:00 pm; Saturday 8/31: Amber Cove, 11:30 am to 7:00 pm; Sunday 9/1: Grand Turk 11:00 am to 6:30 pm

Carnival Breeze - Instead of calling in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday, 8/28, the ship will have a day at sea. 

Carnival Sensation - The 8/31 sailing will now reverse the order in which the ports are visited. The ship will now visit Grand Turk on 9/2, Half Moon Cay on 9/3, and Nassau on 9/4. Pre-purchased excursions through Carnival will be automtically adjusted. 

Carnival Miracle: Instead of departing Miami on 9/1 as scheduled, the ship will be departing late at night on Saturday, 8/31. For those that can make it early, the extra day will not cost anything extra. Those flying in should contact their airline to change flights or cancel. Airlines are being flexible and waiving cancelation fees right now, but if they charge change fees, Carnival will pay up to $200 in change fees, per person. Those that can't make it will receive a Future Cruise Credit and a full refund of any pre-purchased items.  

Carnival Liberty - The 9/2 cruise is canceled. Guests booked on that cruise will receive a full refund. 

Carnival Victory - The 8/30 cruise will now return to port on Wednesday, 9/4. In addition to a call in Key West, Cozumel has been added to the itinerary for Monday. The scheduled 9/2 cruise will now be shortened to a 2-day cruise, with one port of call to be determined. Guests who sail will receive a pro-rated refund of their fare and any pre-purchased onboard amenities. Those who cancel will receive a future cruise credit for the full amount of their fare. 

Carnival Paradise - Those sailing on 8/31 should arrive to the cruise terminal between 10 AM and 1 PM. All guests must be onboard by 1:30 PM and the ship will depart soon after on its scheduled itinerary.  

Royal Caribbean

Update 9/1, 12 PM: Click here to read the lastest updates from Royal Caribbean.

Update 8/29, 10 AM:

Navigator, Mariner, Empress, and Symphony of the Seas were all scheduled to call on Perfect Day at CocoCay in the coming days, but Royal Caribbean has closed the island from yesterday, August 28 to September 4. Right now, calls there have either been replaced with a sea day, or a call in Nassau, Bahamas. 

Original Royal alterations:

Allure of the Seas - Has replaced the Eastern Caribbean visits to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Kitts will calls in the Western Caribbean ports of  Labadee, Falmouth and Cozumel. The ship is scheduled to return to Port Everglades on Sunday September 1.

Harmony of the Seas - Has replaced its Eastern Caribbean itinerary with one visiting the Western Caribbean, with stops in Perfect Day at CocoCay, Cozumel, Roatan and Costa Maya. The ship is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Sunday September 1.

Symphony of the Seas -  Itinerary altered to replace St. Maarten with a day at sea. Calls to San Juan, Labadee and Perfect Day at CocoCay are expected as originally scheduled.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Breakaway - As scheduled, Norwegian Breakaway will call in Cozumel on Friday, 8/31. The ship's altered itinerary was supposed to bring it back to Miami on September 1, but PortMiami is now closed. The return to port has been postponed to September 4 as of right now.  Guests can either stay onboard or arrange to fly home from Cozumel. Those who leave will receive a 25 percent future cruise credit. Norwegian should have information on a return date to Miami by 8 PM on 8/30. The 9/1 sailing has been modified to a shorter 4-night cruise which will depart on 9/4, pending approval by authorities. If confirmed, the ship will spend 9/5 at sea, 9/6 in Cozumel, and 9/7 at sea before returning to Miami on 9/8 as planned.   

Norwegian Sky - For its current sailing, the ship will no longer call in Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, and instead will return to Miami on Friday, 8/30. Guests can either disembark on 8/30 or remain onboard until 8/31. Due to the shortened cruise, all guests will receive a 20 percent refund. For the 8/31 cruise, check-in will be from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Sailaway is scheduled for 3:30 PM. As scheduled, the ship will call to Key West, Florida on September 1. The ship will no longer call to Freeport, Nassau, or Great Stirrup Cay. Instead, she will spend a day at sea on September 2; call to Cozumel, Mexico on September 3; and remain at sea on September 4 before returning to Miami on September 5, as scheduled. 

Norwegian Sun - Sun departed Port Canaveral on Thursday, 8/29 as scheduled. The calls to Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, and Freeport, Bahamas have been canceled. Instead, the ship will spend a day at sea on Friday, 8/30 and will call to Cozumel, Mexico on 8/31, overnighting there until 9/1. She is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on 9/2, but will likely not be able to return on 9/2 if the port remains closed.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney Fantasy - Replaced the Eastern Caribbean ports of Tortola, St. Thomas with calls to Grand Cayman and Cozumel, The ship will still call on Castaway Cay and is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Saturday August 31.

Disney Dream - The 9/2 sailing has been turned into a two-night cruise that will depart on 9/4 instead of 9/2, returning on 9/6. It's anticipated that the ship will visit Castaway Cay on 9/5, dependant upon whether the island is affected by the hurricane. Guests that choose to sail will receive a 50 percent refund of the cruise fare and a $250 onboard credit per cabin.

Information: USA Today, Cruise Fever, & Cruise Hive

 

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