Just as the Caribbean was beginning the long process of recovery from the powerful Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria is now poised to strike seven islands, prompting cruise lines to issue more itinerary updates.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald reports that the following itineraries have been modified due to Maria:
- Carnival Glory – September 16: Departed Saturday and will now operate a cruise to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Roatan and Cozumel, Mexico.
- Carnival Magic – September 16: Departed on Saturday and will now operate a cruise to Amber Cove, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
- Carnival Fascination – September 17: Departed Sunday and will now operate a cruise to Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts.
Additionally, as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Irma, Carnival Victory’s September 18 cruise from Miami has been modified to a four-day cruise to Cozumel.
In a separate post, Heald noted that the latest assessments from Grand Turk indicate that the island is going to need a little more time to be ready for cruise guests, and as a result Carnival will not be calling at the destination this week.
Pre-purchased shore excursions for canceled ports, as well as taxes, fees and port expenses, will be refunded to guests’ onboard Sail & Sign accounts.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line reports that it is continuing to work closely with its partners in the Caribbean to determine the best way to provide relief to areas impacted by Hurricane Irma. The cruise line is anticipating that itineraries will be adjusted, and that it should have further information within the next two weeks as new ports of call are secured.
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas are continuing to provide humanitarian assistance to St. Maarten and St. Thomas, respectively. Empress of the Seas is also standing ready to assist Key West.
Majesty of the Seas’ September 18 Bahamas cruise will now depart September 19 to allow the ship to finalize its relief efforts. The ship will still sail to Nassau and Cococay, Bahamas, except on a three-night itinerary. Guests will receive a 25 percent refund in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as a 25 percent future cruise credit on bookings within the next year. Guests who need to cancel will receive a 100 percent future cruise credit on bookings within the next 30 days.
Empress of the Seas’ September 23 and 27, as well as its October 2, 7 and 11 cruises to Cuba have also been modified. Due to the severe impact of Hurricane Irma on Key West, the cruise line will swap that port with a sea day. Royal Caribbean is continuing to work with local authorities to schedule a humanitarian stop on the way to Havana. Guests who choose not to sail will be provided with a 100 percent future cruise credit on bookings within the next year.
Given Hurricane Irma’s impact on St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Key West, Royal Caribbean is continuing to work on alternative ports until the islands have fully recovered. The line will continue to communicate any port changes approximately four weeks prior to departure. Here are the changes so far:
Adventure of the Seas:
- 9/16, 10/7 – St. Maarten to St. Croix
- 9/23 – St. Thomas to Bonaire
- 9/30 – St. Maarten to St. Kitts
- 10/14 – St. Thomas to St. Croix
Allure of the Seas:
- 9/17 – St. Maarten to St. Kitts
- 10/1 – St. Thomas to Labadee
- 10/15 – St. Maarten to Labadee
Enchantment of the Seas:
- 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9 – Key West to Freeport
Harmony of the Seas:
- 9/23 – St. Thomas to St. Kitts
- 10/7 – St. Maarten to St. Kitts
Oasis of the Seas:
- 9/24 – St. Maarten to St. Kitts
- 10/8 – St. Maarten to Nassau
MSC Cruises’ MSC Divina departed PortMiami the night of September 16 on a modified itinerary calling at Montego Bay (Jamaica), Georgetown (Cayman Islands), Costa Maya (Mexico) and Nassau (Bahamas). From Saturday, September 23 and forward, MSC Divina will resume its regular weekly scheduled service and itineraries, alternating eastern and western Caribbean cruises. The only change to the Caribbean itineraries is that the scheduled call to Philipsburg (St. Maarten) will be replaced with Antigua for eastern Caribbean cruises until the island of St. Maarten recovers from Hurricane Irma’s passage. This change will take place until further notice.