Hurricane Idalia Impacts Cruise Itineraries, Flights to Southeast

Hurricane Idalia—currently a category 1 storm—is forecast to make landfall with Florida’s Gulf Coast Wednesday night. That said, it is expected to continue to strengthen (potentially up to a category 4) before bringing “life-threatening storm surge inundation” to areas including Tampa Bay and the Big Bend region. Inundation of eight to 12 feet above ground level is expected between Chassahowitzka River and Aucilla River, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Areas of flash and urban flooding are expected across portions of the west coast of Florida, the Panhandle and southern Georgia Tuesday and Wednesday. The same effects might be felt in the eastern Carolinas Wednesday into Thursday.

Should the storm make landfall as a category 3 or higher, it would be the first to hit the Big Bend and Nature Coast in 170 years, according to USA Today. (This comes on the heels of Hilary becoming the first tropical storm to hit California in 84 years.)

For a current list of evacuation orders, visit

American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United all have issued advisories/waivers to numerous airports in the southeast, from Florida to Georgia to South Carolina. The airlines are typically waiving change fees for travel through August 31 but check specifically with each airline you might be flying this week.

As for cruises, Port Tampa Bay says it is monitoring Hurricane Idalia and “is coordinating closely with federal, state and local agencies, as well as the maritime community to prepare for and respond to [its] potential impacts.” Carnival Paradise and Serenade of the Seas are scheduled to disembark from the port on Thursday, August 31.

According to CruiseMapper, several lines have adjusted their sailings as a result of Idalia. Among those:

  • Carnival Conquest’s current itinerary will skip ports such as Key West and Cozumel.
  • Disney Fantasy will no longer visit Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica; instead, it will travel to Tortola and St. Thomas.
  • Grandeur of the Seas will forgo Costa Maya and make its way to Cozumel at a later time. Additionally, Wonder of the Seas has canceled a stop at Roatan, Honduras, and will spend the day at sea. The visit to Cozumel has been rescheduled for Thursday.
  • Celebrity Equinox swapped its Grand Cayman visit with Falmouth, Jamaica.
  • Scarlet Lady has rearranged its plans to visit Grand Turk on Tuesday, bypassing Costa Maya.
  • MSC Seaside will skip the line's private island, Ocean Cay; instead, it will have an overnight visit to Nassau, Bahamas.

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