Tropical Storm Emily causes cruise ship itinerary changes

When the going gets rough, cruise ships get going.

It’s that time of year again.  Like a slow moving train, storms formed off the coast of Africa make their way across the Atlantic, one after the other, creeping their way towards the Caribbean.

As of today, Tropical Storm Emily, though still slightly disorganized, is gradually moving towards the Caribbean.  TS Emily is located 145 SSE of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on the mountainous island of Hispaniola, shared on the west side with Haiti.

According to NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization) there has been a tropical storm watch issued for the central Bahamas and a tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.   Where Emily will meander to after that is questionable, based on the computer models and scientific data.  What is clear is that, whether a tropical storm or hurricane, Emily will be somewhere within 200 miles off the coast of Florida by the end of the week and into the weekend.

What this means for the cruise lines, they must quickly reroute those ships already nearing the area in question as well as the ships that are scheduled to depart at the end of this week.   Here are the latest updates in itinerary changes as they are being made available:

The Carnival Dream, on a seven-night cruise from Port Canaveral, will spend Wednesday at sea instead of stopping in St. Maarten.  If all goes as planned, she’ll visit Freeport in the Bahamas on Thursday instead of a day at sea.  The Dream is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday.

The 2,974-passenger Carnival Liberty, on seven-day cruise from Miami, will bypass San Juan today and head to Key West for Thursday in lieu of Grand Turk.  Freeport is scheduled for Friday and back to Miami on Saturday as scheduled.

Royal Caribbean’s 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas will miss St. Maarten today and take a westerly course towards Mexico to the ports of  Costa Maya today and Cozumel on Thursday.  She is still scheduled to return to Port  Everglades, Florida, on Saturday.

The Freedom of the Sea is moving into the western Caribbean and calling on Grand Cayman and Cozumel today and Thursday, a change from St. Thomas and St. Maarten.  She is on track to Port Canaveral as planned for Sunday.

With only two other cruise lines in the Caribbean this summer, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines, they have both stated that they are closely monitoring the situation and will issue any itinerary changes as the situation warrants it.

As of 11:00AM EST the latest update has Emily tracking almost the same as earlier this morning.  The five-day forecast shows at 8AM Saturday, Emily will be about 120 miles east of West Palm Beach.  This is good news for those who are disembarking in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday as the storm will have already passed north of both ports.


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