Setting the stage for the erratic dance of the four most-recent tropical storms, the Atlantic has been a less-than-friendly cocoon for leisurely cruising in the last nine days. The hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 through November 30, has carved four more notches on its belt, blanketing coastal areas of prime cruise destinations such as Bermuda, the Caribbean islands, and the Eastern U.S. and Canada in hurricane warnings at breakneck speed. Cruises headed toward these regions are altering their course to err on the side of caution, some switching from the Eastern to the Western Caribbean, others idling in harbors longer than planned, and more still canceling port calls completely.
Danielle sprouted southeast of Bermuda as a category 2 tropical storm on Monday, August 23, quickly cycling into a hurricane, before dissolving into pulsating residual surf along Bermuda’s coast. Tropical storm Earl ascended to hurricane royalty as a category 4 typhoon on Tuesday, August 29, after leaving marked wreckage in Antigua, Anguilla, and St. Maarten, and decidedly affecting the course of several, en route, Caribbean-bound voyages. Cities contiguous to the the Atlantic are closely monitoring Earl’s northwest-bound mass, expected to hit the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which are currently being evacuated.
Like clockwork, tropical storm Fiona originated southeast of the Virgin Islands as the season’s sixth storm (not a hurricane, yet) on August 29, seemingly following Earl’s lead northwest, with predictions of a detour in Bermuda’s waters. The youngest of the batch, and currently least alarming, tropical storm Gaston formed on Wednesday, September 1, between the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean islands, with no forecasted course yet. As these watery giants pound the swell, cruise carriers quickly reroute itineraries heading toward the Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, and New England regions in order to elude even the storms’ furthest reaches, which purportedly extend for hundreds of miles.
Here is a short summary of scheduled itinerary changes:
Canada, New England, and Transatlantic
The Eurodam, currently on a transatlantic cruise from Amsterdam, will sojourn in Halifax instead of Sydney on Friday, Sept. 3.
The Maasdam, on its way to New England from Quebec, will scratch the planned itinerary completely, and sail straight to Boston, cutting the cruise short. Passengers will be accommodated onboard, while the ship is docked.
The Veendam, on its way to Bermuda from New York, is scheduled to leave Hamilton a few hours prior to the planned departure on Friday, Sept. 3.
Carnival Cruise Lines
The Carnival Miracle concludes a Caribbean sailing one day early on Friday, Sept. 3, trading one night at sea for an extra night in the Big Apple.
The Monarch of the Seas, which sailed to the Bahamas on Monday, Aug. 30, sailed to Nassau, and resumes its journey back to Miami on Thursday, Sept. 2.
The Majesty of the Seas, in the midst of an Eastern Caribbean voyage from Miami, calls on Nassau on Thursday, Sept. 2.
Sailing from Baltimore last Thursday, Aug. 26, the Enchantment of the Seas, spent Wednesday at sea, and will continue to sail on Thursday and Friday, before concluding its journey on Saturday, as anticipated.
Oasis of the Seas, which departed Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Aug. 28, skipped St. Thomas and St. Maarten, and instead called on Nassau on Sunday, Aug. 29, and spent Aug. 30 through Aug. 31 at sea. It docked in Costa Maya on Sept. 1 and continues on to Cozumel on Sept. 2, spending Friday on the water, before returning to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Epic, which pushed off from Miami on Saturday Aug. 28, traded St. Maarten and St. Thomas for Cozumel and Roatan, and will extend its Friday port call in Nassau.
Other cruises that have been affected:
The Carnival Pride, which sailed from Baltimore on Sunday, Aug. 29, calls on Port Canaveral, Nassau, and Freeport, instead of Grand Turk.
The Carnival Dream, which pushed off the coast of Florida on Saturday, Aug. 28, is sampling Western Caribbean ports Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya, in exchange for the anticipated Eastern Caribbean route .
Rearranging its route, the Carnival Victory, which departed San Juan on Sunday, Aug. 29, is skipping St. Maarten, and sailing to St. Lucia, then Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitt’s, and St. Thomas.
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