Tropical Storm Spurs Travel Disruptions

Royal Caribbean has closed its newly revamped private island destination in the Bahamas, CocoCay, and modified a number of itineraries due to Tropical Storm Dorian. CocoCay will be closed as of August 28 and it will reopen Wednesday, September 4. 

According to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, Dorian is expected to move near the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and then continue over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas over the next day or two, strengthening into a hurricane late Wednesday. 

A hurricane warning is now in effect for Vieques and Culebra, as well as the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are both in effect for Puerto Rico, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic in an area ranging from Isla Saona to Samana

Additionally, President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency for Puerto Rico. 

“CocoCay Team is made up of over 400 Bahamian locals on the island and it’s important that they evacuate to care for their families and secure their homes, as soon as possible,” Royal Caribbean said in a written statement. “We evaluated all options, and this is the best decision, as there is no room for error when it comes to the safety and security of our guests, crew, and employees. This is our top priority.”

As a result, for the August 26 sailing of Navigator of the Seas, the ship will remain in Nassau until Wednesday, August 28. The rest of the itinerary will remain as scheduled. The cruise line is working to secure alternative ports for the below itineraries:

Empress of the Seas August 24, 2019
Symphony of the Seas August 24, 2019
Mariner of the Seas August 26, 2019
Navigator of the Seas August 30, 2019
Mariner of the Seas August 30, 2019
Harmony of the Seas September 1, 2019

As a result of the CocoCay closure, guests that pre-purchased Royal Caribbean International shore excursions for CocoCay will receive a refund to their onboard expense account in the form of a credit, the cruise line said. If guests’ onboard spend does not reach this amount, the remaining balance will be refunded to their credit card on file. 

Earlier this week, the cruise line had modified itineraries of the Symphony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas from Eastern to Western Caribbean routes.

Carnival Cruise Line says that it will adjust itineraries on the August 27 Carnival Sunrise sailing out of New York, on the August 24 sailing on Carnival Breeze out of Port Canaveral, and on the August 25 Carnival Magic sailing, which is also out of Fort Lauderdale. 

The Carnival Sunrise will modify the order at which it calls at the ports of Grand Turk, San Juan and Amber Cove, which had previously been scheduled for August 30 and 31 and September 1. Instead, the ship will call at the ports in the order of San Juan, Amber Cove and, lastly, Grand Turk. The Carnival Breeze will replace its planned call at San Juan that had been scheduled for August 28 with a day at sea. The Carnival Magic will replace an Amber Cove call that had been planned for August 29 with a day at sea, while a sea day that had been planned for August 30 will be replaced with a call at Nassau. 

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line tells Travel Agent that there have been no itinerary changes at this time, but that the line will continue to monitor the path of the storm. 

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