Tropical Storm Karen has passed Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; meanwhile, in the Atlantic, Hurricane Lorenzo has become the fifth Atlantic hurricane of the season.
The National Hurricane Center discontinued tropical storm warnings for Puerto Rico and all of the Virgin Islands early Wednesday as Tropical Storm Karen continued to head north. The storm, which currently has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, is expected to continue heading away from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through Thursday, strengthening somewhat over the next two days.
Meanwhile, approximately 640 miles west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands, Hurricane Lorenzo is heading west-northwest, a track that is expected to continue through Thursday before the storm turns toward the northwest Thursday night. Lorenzo has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, and it is expected to continue strengthening over the next couple of days, potentially becoming a major hurricane by Thursday.
Cruise Itinerary Changes
The storms have prompted a number of cruise lines to alter their itineraries.
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line tells Travel Agent that, due to Tropical Storm Karen, St. Thomas closed for commercial operations on Monday. As a result, the Carnival Fascination’s itinerary has been revised, replacing Monday’s planned call at St. Thomas with a call at St. Maarten. Instead of calling at St. Maarten Tuesday, the ship will call at St. Kitts. Wednesday, instead of calling at St. Kitts, it will call at Dominica.
Royal Caribbean has modified the September 21 sailing on Symphony of the Seas, which will sail to Cozumel on Wednesday. Anthem of the Seas will still sail to Bermuda as scheduled.
Flight Change Waivers
A number of airlines have issued flight change waivers due to the storms.
American Airlines customers scheduled to travel through San Juan, St. Croix or St. Thomas through September 25 can rebook for travel through September 28 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference). Customers set to fly September 25 through Bermuda can also rebook through September 27.
United Airlines is allowing customers set to fly through San Juan September 25 can rebook through September 28 in the originally ticketed cabin between the original city pair.
Delta is allowing customers scheduled to fly through San Juan and St. Thomas September 25 to rebook through September 28.
JetBlue is allowing customers scheduled to fly through San Juan, Puerto Rico, and St. Thomas September 25 can rebook through September 28.
Southwest Airlines is allowing customers scheduled to fly through San Juan September 25 to rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within two weeks of their original date of travel between the original city pair.
Frontier Airlines customers traveling through San Juan September 25 can rebook through October 11.