Potential Tropical Storm Barry Causes Cruise, Air Disruptions

Photo by National Hurricane Center

A potential tropical storm is threatening the Gulf Coast. The storm has also forced Carnival Cruise Line to modify the itinerary of the Carnival Valor, a cruise line representative tells Travel Agent.

“Based on the latest forecast of Tropical Cyclone Two in the Gulf and its potential effect in New Orleans, in the interest of guest and crew safety Carnival Valor has been rerouted and will now dock at the Port of Mobile this morning instead of its homeport of New Orleans,” a Carnival spokesperson says. “Carnival will provide complimentary bus transportation for all guests from Mobile to the New Orleans cruise terminal.  Those who have purchased airport transfers will be taken directly to the airport in Mobile.”

The ship’s next cruise, a four-day itinerary to Cozumel departing July 11, will operate from the Port of Mobile. Carnival said it will also provide complimentary bus transfers for all guests from the Port of New Orleans to Mobile. 

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“Our Fleet Operations Center continues to monitor the path of the storm for other ships in the region and we will make any changes as needed,” the cruise line said. “Carnival sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciates our guests’ cooperation and patience.”

The storm system, which would become Tropical Storm Barry if it strengthens to tropical storm status, is projected to develop into a tropical storm or potentially a hurricane before making landfall in the Gulf Coast this weekend, according to the latest forecast from The Weather Channel. Hurricane watches are in effect in southern Louisiana from the mouth of the Mississippi River west to Cameron, Louisiana, while tropical storm watches are in effect for southeastern Louisiana from the Mississippi mouth to the mouth of the Pearl River at the border with Mississippi

That forecast path means that the storm could impact Galveston, Houston, New Orleans and Mobile as port destinations. 

Air Travel

The storm has also prompted a number of airlines to issue flight waivers. 

United Airlines is allowing customers scheduled to fly July 11 – 14 through Gulf Coast airports to rebook with no change fee or difference in fare for new flights departing through July 21, so long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin and between the original city pair. For rescheduled travel departing after July 21, 2019, or for a change in departure or destination city, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. Rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

JetBlue will waive change fees and fare differences for customers flying through New Orleans through July 13. Rebooking must tack place for travel through July 20. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment.

Southwest Airlines warns that its service may be disrupted through July 13 at Panama City Beach and Pensacola and through July 14 at New Orleans, Corpus Christi and Houston. Customers flying through those airports on the corresponding dates may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs without paying any additional charge. 

Frontier Airlines will waive fees for customers flying through affected airports through July 14. Rebooked travel must be completed no later than July 26, although origin and destination cities may be changed. 

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