Hurricane Michael has passed Cuba and could hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 2 or category 3 hurricane.
According to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Michael is currently approximately 395 miles south of Panama City, Florida, and moving toward the north-northwest. With maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, the storm is a category 2 hurricane, and it is forecast to strengthen further before making landfall in Florida on Wednesday in either the Panhandle or Big Bend area. After that, the storm should weaken as it moves across the southeastern United States.
According to The Weather Channel, the Hurricane Michael could hit the Florida Panhandle as a category 3 hurricane, making it the strongest landfall in the past 12 years.
A hurricane warning is in effect for an area ranging from the Alabama – Florida border to Suwannee River, Florida, while a hurricane watch is in effect for an area ranging from the Alabama – Florida border to the Mississippi – Alabama border. A tropical storm warning is in effect for an area ranging from the Alabama – Florida border to the Mississippi – Alabama border, and from Suwanee River to Chassahowitzka, Florida. A tropical storm watch is in effect for an area ranging from Chasssahoitzka to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay; from the Mississippi – Alabama border to the mouth of the Pearl River; and from Fernandina Beach, Florida, to South Santee River, South Carolina.
A number of cruise lines have made itinerary adjustments to avoid the path of Hurricane Michael.
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line tells Travel Agent that the Carnival Triumph, which departs New Orleans Tuesday, will reverse its port calls, stopping on Wednesday in Yucatan (Progreso) and Thursday in Cozumel. Carnival Glory, which is currently sailing a seven-day Caribbean itinerary that left Miami on Saturday, will cancel its call in Grand Cayman on Tuesday and remain at sea. Carnival Freedom, which departed Saturday from Galveston on a seven-day Caribbean cruise, has cancelled its call in Mahogany Bay Monday and will remain at sea. The ship will call in Cozumel Tuesday and Belize on Wednesday. Carnival Victory, which departed Monday from Miami on a four-day cruise, is reversing its order of port calls, spending a day at sea Tuesday and visiting Key West on Thursday. Wednesday’s stop in Cozumel remains unchanged. Carnival Miracle, which departed Tampa on Sunday, will cancel its planned call in Cozumel. Carnival Paradise, currently on a five-day cruise out of Tampa, will reverse its scheduled port calls, calling at Cozumel Wednesday and Grand Cayman on Thursday.
Norwegian Cruise Line has modified the Norwegian Getaway’s itinerary to call in Falmouth, Jamaica, on October 9 and Grand Cayman on October 10 before returning to its regularly scheduled route.
A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean tells Travel Agent that the cruise line is monitoring the path of the storm and will advise guests and travel partners of any itinerary changes.
Air Travel Updates
Several major airlines have issued flight change waivers due to the storm.
Guests scheduled to fly through Gulf Coast airports on American Airlines through October 11 can rebook through October 13 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).
Delta is allowing guests set to fly through October 10 to rebook through October 13, with the new ticket to be reissued on or before that date.
United Airlines is allowing guests scheduled to fly through October 11 to rebook through October 18 in the originally ticketed cabin and between the original city pair. Guests can also rebook after October 18 within one year of the date the ticket was issued, or change their departure or destination city, but a difference in fare may apply.
Frontier Airlines is allowing guests scheduled to fly through October 11 to rebook through October 31. Origin and destination cities may be changed.