Following the extensive damage sustained by many popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean during Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, MSC Cruises has announced updates for a number of its itineraries in the region. According to the cruise line, its ports of call in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Road Town, British Virgin Islands; and Roseau, Dominica, were particularly affected.
MSC said that it will continue to operate four ships in the Caribbean over the next few months – including MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia and MSC Opera – with the introduction of a fifth, the new MSC Seaside, in December. The cruise line is working closely with officials in affected areas to continue destination assessments, but in the meantime, it is making the following itinerary updates:
On the three eastern Caribbean itineraries departing from Miami on September 30, October 14 and October 28 and that formerly included Philipsburg (St Maarten) and San Juan (Puerto Rico), MSC Divina will now cruise the following western itinerary:
- Miami/Florida (USA)
- At sea
- Montego Bay (Jamaica)
- George Town (Cayman Islands)
- Costa Maya (Mexico)
- At sea
- Nassau (Bahamas)
- Miami/Florida (USA)
Starting with the itinerary departing from Miami on November 11, on seven-night eastern Caribbean itineraries, MSC Divina will now call at St John (Antigua and Barbuda), instead of at Philipsburg (St Maarten).
For MSC Divina long cruises departing from Miami in January and February 2018:
- Departing January 3, 2018: The ship will call at Oranjestad (Aruba) and Willemstad (Curaçao) instead of at Road Town/Tortola (British Virgin Islands) and Basseterre (St Kitts & Nevis).
- Departing January 25, 2018: San Juan (Puerto Rico) will replace Philipsburg (St Maarten)
- Departing February 15, 2018: The ship will call at San Juan (Puerto Rico), Bridgetown (Barbados) and Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe) instead of at Philipsburg (St Maarten), Road Town/Tortola (British Virgin Islands) and St John (Antigua and Barbuda)
MSC Fantasia: November 25 – March 31, 2018
On the MSC Fantasia’s seven-night itineraries from Forte de France (Martinique) and Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe), MSC Fantasia will now call at La Romana (Dominican Republic), instead of at Road Town/Tortola (British Virgin Islands), and at Basseterre (St Kitts & Nevis), instead of at Roseau (Dominica), while spending an additional day at sea instead of calling at Philipsburg (St Maarten).
MSC Seaside: December 23 – March 17, 2018
On MSC Seaside’s eastern Caribbean itineraries departing from Miami, the ship will now call at St John (Antigua and Barbuda), instead of at Philipsburg (St Maarten).
Previously, MSC Cruises had reported that the MSC Opera was able to resume operating regular cruise service out of Havana, Cuba, starting September 16, after the passage of Hurricane Irma.
The damage caused by Hurricane Maria has also caused Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean to cancel upcoming cruises out of San Juan, where Carnival reports that its pier could take weeks to repair.
In Florida, Key West has since reopened to cruise ship’s ahead of the Florida Keys’ official reopening to tourism October 1.
Princess Cruises has also modified itineraries on the Caribbean Princess, which returns to the Caribbean October 7, as well as the Regal Princess.