Cruise Lines Move Ships to Avoid Storms

Several dangerous storms in the Caribbean have forces cruise ships to change itineraries this week, keeping itinerary planners busy over the weekend.

Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall west of New Orleans over the weekend, and Hurricane Hanna, which has wavered between hurricane- and tropical-storm strength while over the Bahamas, have forced Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International to change itineraries, but not homeports, so far. Another tropical storm, Ike, could strengthen into a hurricane as it approaches the Leeward Islands, forecasters said. Behind Ike is Tropical Storm Josephine, which is gaining strength in the open Atlantic.

Gustav changed the following Carnival Itineraries:

The Carnival Ecstasy left Galveston as planned Aug. 28, but will return Aug. 3 rather than Aug. 1 as originally planned. She’ll spend two additional days at sea to avoid the storm before turning around in Galveston and call in Progreso, not Cozumel. The voyage leaving Aug. 3 – not Aug. 1 as planned – will be a sea-only cruise, skipping both Progreso and Cozumel.

The Fantasy, which left Mobile, as planned on Aug. 28, will also spend three nights at sea before returning to port Aug. 3. Progresso replaced Cozumel on this trip too. The Fantasy will leave Mobile again Aug. 3 – not Aug. 1 as originally planned – and make its lone call in Cozumel, canceling a planned call in Progreso.

The Inspiration left Tampa as planned Aug. 30 and spent Sept. 1 at sea rather than calling in Grand Cayman.

The Liberty swapped dates for calls in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, but did not have to skip any calls or change disembarkation dates in Miami.

The Conquest called in Progresso rather than Montego Bay on a sailing from Galveston.

Hurricane Hanna forced the following changes:

The Miracle’s eight-day voyage from New York called in Port Canaveral rather than San Juan Sept. 1, and spent a day sailing to Freeport, Bahamas instead of calls in St. Thomas and Grand Turk.

The Glory spent Aug. 31 at sea rather than calling in Nassau.

The Triumph skipped calls in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios to call in St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk before returning to Miami.

The Legend Called in Key West instead of Grand Cayman on its seven-night sailing form Tampa.

Royal Caribbean ships also changed their itineraries to avoid the storms:

From Port Canaveral, The Sovereign of the Seas visited Nassau on Tuesday and will overnight in Key West on Wednesday, departing Thursday morning.

The Mariner of the Seas, which departed Port Canaveral Sunday, will not visit Coco Cay, Bahamas on Monday, but will make its scheduled port calls in St. Thomas on Wednesday and Philipsburg on Thursday.

From Miami, the Majesty of the Seas, which departed Monday, will visit Nassau on Tuesday and Key West on Wednesday, spending the night and departing Thursday evening.

The Liberty of the Seas, which departed the Port of Miami Saturday, will simply reorder its ports of call. The ship will visit Labadee, Haiti on Monday; San Juan on Tuesday, and Philipsburg on Wednesday.

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