Some Florida Ports Reopen After Irma; More Cruise Updates

MSC Divina
MSC Divina will sail a modified itinerary departing Miami September 16.

Some Florida ports are beginning to reopen following the passage of Hurricane Irma, and cruise lines are continuing to cancel and modify sailings.

PortMiami and the Port Tunnel are open today, although the port remains closed to marine traffic at this time. Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald reports that port assessment activities are partially complete, although there are two sunken sailboats in the channel that must be recovered prior to reopening. Cruise ships could begin to dock Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.

Port Canaveral reports that port officials are making preliminary assessments and that no major damage has been noted at this point. The port remains closed until further notice.

Port Tampa Bay is reopening to fuel tankers only. Although the port only received minor damage and flooding from the storm, strong winds continue to pose a safety issue.

Port Everglades reports that the Coast Guard is completing channel surveys so that ships can begin entering the port later this morning. Three cruise ships are waiting to come in.

Carnival Cruise Updates

Heald reports that all ships in Carnivals fleet are safe, and that all sailings scheduled to depart as of September 14 will depart as scheduled. Carnival Conquest and Carnival Splendor are in position to dock at Port Everglades today as soon as the port officially reopens. Carnival Splendor guests from the September 3 sailing will have the option of staying onboard the ship until Thursday to accommodate anyone who may have been displaced due to canceled flights. Carnival Conquests September 9 sailing is now scheduled to depart September 12 on a four-day cruise to Cozumel.

Carnival Glory, Carnival Vista and Carnival Victory in position in Miami to dock today, contingent on the ports reopening. Carnival Sensation is expected to dock tomorrow. Carnival Victorys September 11 cruise has been cancelled, while Carnival Vistas September 9 cruise has been shortened to a four-day cruise to Cozumel departing September 13. Carnival Glorys September 9 cruise has also been shortened to a three-day cruise to Freeport and Nassau departing September 13. All guests on this cruise must arrive no later than 3:00 p.m. Carnival Sensations September 11 cruise will depart September 13 for a three-day cruise to Nassau.

In Port Canaveral, guests for Carnival Magics September 3 sailing are scheduled to arrive September 13, with the time to be determined upon the ports reopening. The ships itinerary has been modified to a three-day cruise to Freeport and Nassau. Transfers to the Orlando airport will operate as normal.

Carnival Paradise guests from the September 7 sailing departed Cozumel to make their way back to Tampa or Port Canaveral, depending on the availability of the Tampa port. The ship will arrive in either destination Wednesday. Guests may elect to be transferred to Tampa or directly to the Orlando airport, or they may remain in the Port Canaveral area and sail back with the ship to the Port of Tampa with an expected arrival date of Saturday.

Guests who sail on shortened cruises will receive a prorated refund of their cruise fare, as well as prorated adjustments on prepurchased beverage packages. Excursions in cancelled ports will also be refunded to guests onboard Sail & Sign accounts, while gratuities will be adjusted to reflect the shortened duration. Guests may also cancel and receive a future cruise credit, which will be processed automatically.

The following sailings have been cancelled:

  • Carnival Liberty – September 7
  • Carnival Victory – September 8
  • Carnival Splendor – September 9
  • Carnival Ecstasy – September 9
  • Carnival Liberty – September 10
  • Carnival Paradise – September 11
  • Carnival Victory – September 11

A full refund will automatically be processed for all cancelled cruises, including Fly2Fun reservations, pre-purchased excursions, Fun Shop purchases and beverage packages. Guests on the following sailings who were unable to travel will automatically receive future cruise credits:

  • Carnival Paradise – September 7
  • Carnival Sensation – September 7
  • Carnival Fascination – September 10

Guests can sign up for text alerts by texting the codes below to CRUISE (278473):

  • Carnival Conquest – CCL2
  • Carnival Glory – CCL3
  • Carnival Magic – CCL4
  • Carnival Vista – CCL6
  • Carnival Sensation 9/11 – CCL10

Royal Caribbean Cruise Updates

Royal Caribbean reports that the following sailings have been cancelled in order to provide humanitarian assistance to Caribbean islands affected by Hurricane Irma:

  • Empress of the Seas: September 13 Cuba cruise
  • Majesty of the Seas: September 15 Bahamas cruise

Guests will receive a full refund as well as a 25 percent future cruise credit.

Additionally, Allure of the Seas September 10 western Caribbean cruise will sail September 13 on a four-night itinerary to Nassau, the Bahamas. Harmony of the Seas September 9 eastern Caribbean cruise will sail September 12 on a four-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. Boarding will begin at 5 p.m. Oasis of the Seas September 10 eastern Caribbean cruise will depart September 13 on a four-night itinerary to Cozumel. Guests on these sailings will receive a 50 percent refund and a 50 percent future cruise credit for bookings within the next year.

Enchantment of the Seas September 11 Bahamas cruise is set to sail September 12 on a three-night itinerary to the Bahamas, with one port call in Nassau. Boarding is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Given the impact of the storm on Key West, the port will not be open to guests, but the ship will likely make a humanitarian stop with essential supplies. Guests on this cruise will receive a 25 percent refund and a 25 percent future cruise credit.

Guests who are unable to travel and need to cancel their cruise will receive a 100 percent future cruise credit on bookings within the next year. Pre-booked shore excursions will be refunded to the original form of payment, and guests will be able to book excursions in the new ports of call onboard.

Given Hurricane Irma's impact to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Key West, the cruise line will be working on alternative ports for future sailings until these islands have fully recovered, Royal Caribbean said.

Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Updates

Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Escape, which is sailing with 4,000 displaced guests onboard, was scheduled to depart Cozumel, Mexico, last night at 5 p.m. to sail to Miami, where it will dock once the port reopens. All of Norwegian Escapes upcoming eastern Caribbean sailings until November will be altered to a western Caribbean itinerary.

Norwegians Miami headquarters will remain closed through September 12, to reopen September 13. Key staff members have been relocated out of Miami, and the lines call centers are operating remotely, which may result in longer than normal hold times.

MSC Cruises Cruise Updates

MSC Cruises reports that the MSC Divina will sail from Miami September 16 on a modified itinerary due to the disruption sustained by Philipsburg, St Martin, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The modified itinerary is as follows:

DATE ARRIVAL DEPARTURE PORT
Sept. 16   7:00 p.m.* Miami
Sept. 17 - - At Sea
Sept. 18 10:00 a.m.* 6:00 p.m.* Montego Bay, Jamaica
Sept. 19 8:00 a.m.* 4:00 p.m.* Georgetown, Cayman Islands
Sept. 20 10:30 a.m.* 6:30 p.m.* Costa Maya, Mexico
Sept. 21 - - At Sea
Sept. 22 11:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. Nassau, Bahamas
Sept. 23 7:00 a.m.*   Miami

*Estimated time of arrival / departure

Related Stories

This Week in Cruise: Cruise Lines Aid Hurricane Irma Relief

Florida, Georgia Airports Begin to Reopen After Irma, But Rain Continues

Disney, Universal Reopen Following Irma

Hurricane Irma Update: Island-by-Island Hotel Damage Assessments