Major cruise lines have changed their designated routes owing to Hurricane Ian, altering almost the entire itineraries or cancelling the sailings altogether.
Norwegian Cruise Line decided to reroute on Sunday from Miami with scheduled stops in George Town, Roatán, Grand Cayman, Honduras, Harvest Caye, Cozumel, and Belize — Mexico, a spokesperson informed USA TODAY via an email. The Norwegian Sky will instead visit San Juan, Saint Thomas, and Puerto Rico in the US Virgin Islands; Tortola is based in the British Virgin Islands, and Nassau is in the Bahamas.
The spokesperson mentioned that the security and safety of our guests and crew members is our priority, adding that passengers with shore excursions booked via Norwegian at the impacted ports will be refunded via onboard accounts.
MSC Cruises made significant alterations to MSC Seashore’s Saturday sailing from Miami, swapping the Western Caribbean itinerary for some Eastern Caribbean stops, including Private Island — Ocean Cay and Nassau based in the Bahamas and Puerto Plata based in the Dominican Republic.
Guests got a complete refund of shore excursions booked for destinations the vessel will no longer be calling at. The shore excursions booked for Ocean Cay were also rescheduled automatically for the new call date, an MSC spokesperson named Field Sutton mentioned over an email.
The changes come after Hurricane Fiona disrupted cruise schedules, compelling Norwegian to reroute a cruise bound for Bermuda to Canada over the last week.
Due to Hurricane Ian, other major lines like Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have also altered their itineraries.
What are the other cruise lines that have made some changes?
Carnival reportedly cancelled two future sailings due to Tampa and Jacksonville port closures. The cruise line allegedly called off a four-day sailing on Carnival Paradise and Carnival Elation from Tampa and Jacksonville, respectively, a spokesperson named Matt Lupoli mentioned over an email.
Both were scheduled to leave on Thursday, and guests are expected to get a full refund and 25% future cruise credits.
Carnival Elation reportedly swapped the scheduled visit to Princess Cays for a day at sea on Tuesday during its sailing from Jacksonville and is set to visit Freeport based in the Bahamas on Wednesday in place of a planned sea day.
Carnival Paradise is sailing from Tampa. It will extend its Tuesday stop in Cozumel via Wednesday before heading back to Tampa while maintaining a safe distance from the storm as the firm determines when Carnival Paradise can head back to the Port of Tampa after the US Coast Guard assesses the situation.
Carnival Sunrise will also skip a stop based in Bimini in the Bahamas on Wednesday while sailing from Miami, spending one whole day at the sea instead.
Carnival Ecstasy departed from Mobile in Alabama on Monday. It will reorder its visits to Progreso and Cozumel in Mexico, making stops in Progreso initially. Another vessel, Carnival Glory, departed from New Orleans on Sunday and is expected to stop in Roatán and Mahogany Bay, Honduras, Cozumel and Belize, rather than its planned stops that included Key West in Florida and Nassau.
Royal Caribbean International vessels have decided to skip many ports due to the storm.
The allure of the Seas will skip its scheduled visit to Roatán Tuesday during sailing from Fort Lauderdale, and Liberty of the Seas is not going to make a stop in Cozumel as planned on Tuesday, a Royal Caribbean Group spokesperson mentioned over an email.
Mariner of the Seas, sailing from Port Canaveral in Florida, also skipped a planned visit to Labadee based in Haiti on Monday.
Celebrity Cruises reportedly replaced stops in Cozumel and Belize on a Celebrity Infinity sailing that departed from Fort Lauderdale on Saturday with visits planned for Labadee and Nassau, a Royal Caribbean Group spokesperson mentioned.
Where is Hurricane Ian headed now?
On Tuesday, certain areas in western Cuba are expected to witness continued life-threatening storm surges, hurricane-force winds, flash floods, and mudslides. According to the National Hurricane Centre, extensive wind damage is also likely to close to the storm’s core.
The centre said Florida’s west coast is likely to also see life-threatening storm surges, especially from Fort Myers and the region surrounding Tampa Bay, among other effects experienced in the state.
References: USA Today, Travel Weekly
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