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Hurricane Gustav Causes Cruise Interruptions

September 2, 2008 By: David Eisen

While Hurricane Gustav looks to have spared New Orleans, it still messed with cruise itineraries, forcing many cruise lines to shuffle their hands.

Carnival Cruise Lines is reporting that Carnival Ecstasy's five-day voyage from Galveston, TX, has been extended to seven with the ship remaining at sea to avoid the storm. It will return to Galveston on Wednesday. The ship's next cruise will be truncated from five to three days and be tapped as a "Cruise to Nowhere," leaving port Wednesday afternoon. Guests will receive a 50 percent discount on their cruise fare and a 50 percent discount on a future cruise. They can cancel entirely for a full refund, Carnival said.

Meanwhile, the five-night cruise on the Carnival Fantasy scheduled to depart Monday from Mobile, AL, will be shortened to four nights. The same discount and cancellation process applies.

Other ships have likewise had to make adjustments. The Carnival Inspiration, which departed Tampa on Saturday, had to call at Key West instead of sailing to Grand Cayman, and the Carnival Conquest, substituted Progreso, Mexico, for Montego Bay, Jamaica. Other Carnival ships with itineraries affected by the storms were the Carnival Liberty, Carnival Glory, Carnival Miracle, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Legend.

Next, cruise lines will have to deal with Hurricane Hanna, which is tracking toward the Bahamas. The USA Today reports that Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas will eschew Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, in favor of Key West. A third ship, Mariner of the Seas, is also is skipping CocoCay this week but will not substitute another port, going ahead with calls in St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

Also switching courses due to Hanna is Norwegian Cruise Line's New York-based Norwegian Spirit, which is heading to Bermuda this week instead of the Bahamas. Norwegian Sky will skip the Bahamas in favor of the Western Caribbean.

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