Saturday update: Tropical Storm Isaac causes Carnival, Norwegian & Royal Caribbean to change itineraries

Saturday 7pm – Cruise Ship and Itinerary Update:

From CARNIVAL the latest updates as follows:

Carnival Valor – 8/26/12 departure
Carnival Valor’s scheduled six-day cruise will now operate as a five-day cruise departing Aug. 27, visiting Grand Cayman and Montego Bay (the scheduled call in Key West has been cancelled).  Departure time for the Aug. 27 cruise is expected to be at 8 pm. Guests who opt to sail on this voyage will receive a one-day pro-rated refund of their cruise fare and a $50 per person shipboard credit.  Guests also have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund or a future cruise credit equal to the amount of their cruise fare.

Carnival Imagination – 8/24/12 AND 8/27/12 Departures
The Port of Miami is expected to close by 11 pm Saturday.  Weather permitting, the port will reopen on Monday at noon. Carnival Imagination is currently sailing on a three-day cruise that departed on Friday and will remain at sea until the port reopens.  Embarkation for the Carnival Imagination’s four-day cruise on Monday is expected to begin at 4 p.m. and the voyage is scheduled to depart at 7:30 p.m.

TAMPA

Carnival Legend 8/19/12 Departure
The Port of Tampa is expected to close by 3 am Sunday and at this time it is uncertain when the port will reopen. As a result, Carnival Legend will dock at Port Canaveral, Fla., instead, arriving at 8 am Sunday. Carnival will provide complimentary motorcoach service from Port Canaveral to the Port of Tampa and the Tampa airport.  It is approximately a two and a half hour drive to Tampa from Port Canaveral.

Carnival Legend – 8/26/12 Departure
Due to the expected port closure in Tampa, Carnival Legend will dock in Port Canaveral on Sunday, arriving at approximately 8 am.  Carnival is providing complimentary motorcoach service from Tampa to Port Canaveral. The Aug. 26 cruise is scheduled to sail at 8 pm from Port Canaveral. At this time, the Carnival Legend’s seven-day itinerary remains unchanged, however, the itinerary may change, depending on the path of the storm.  Although the Aug. 26 cruise will depart from Port Canaveral, it will end at the Port of Tampa as scheduled on Sunday, Sept. 3.

At the moment, there are no changes expected for any other sailings departing on or after Sunday, August 26, 2012.  Additional updates will be provided as the information becomes available.

From ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Given Tropical Storm Isaac’s current location and projected path, and the forecasted weather for South Florida, Allure of the Seas’ next sailing will now begin on Tuesday, August 28.  We ask that guests who are scheduled to sail on Allure of the Seas on Sunday, August 26, not arrive at the port until 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 28.  We kindly ask that guests come to the terminal between 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, for check-in and boarding.

Regrettably, the delayed departure will have an impact on the scheduled itinerary. Allure of the Seas will now spend Wednesday, August 29, at sea, call to Cozumel, Mexico, on Thursday, August 30, spend Friday, August 31, at sea, and Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday, September 1. If you are sailing on Allure of the Seas’ next sailing and you feel you will not be able to arrive on Tuesday, please call us at 888-829-4050 in the U.S., and 408-926-9002 internationally.

**There is good news, however. I was just informed that Royal Caribbean will provide each stateroom with an onboard credit. A letter with the credit amount will be delivered to their stateroom.  Royal Caribbean will also be providing each guest with a future cruise certificate for 10% of the cruise fare paid for the August 26 Allure of the Seas sailing.  This certificate may be used for a future cruise on any Royal Caribbean ship.

Majesty of the Seas
The Port of Miami has informed us that they will close the port at 11:00 p.m. this evening and plan to reopen on Monday, August 27.  Because of this, there is a possibility thatMajesty of the Seas’ boarding on Monday will be delayed. We encourage guests sailingMajesty of the Seas continue to monitor this website for any additional updates.

Monarch of the Seas
We also suggest that guests sailing on Monarch of the Seas on Monday, August 27, also continue to monitor this website for any additional updates.

From NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE – no changes since yesterday afternoon

Norwegian Sky will depart Miami today as scheduled on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. The ship is cancelling its call to Great Stirrup Cay on Saturday. The ship will now call Nassau on Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm and spend Sunday at sea. Depending on the path of the storm, the ship may have a delayed arrival to Miami on Monday.

Norwegian Dawn will depart Boston as scheduled today to Bermuda. In order to maximize guests’ time ashore, the ship will arrive at 8 am on Sunday, three hours earlier than scheduled. Depending on the path of the storm, the ship may need to depart Bermuda earlier than scheduled.

Norwegian Gem will depart New York as scheduled on Saturday to the Bahamas & Florida. The ship will change the order of its ports, calling on Great Stirrup Cay on Tuesday, Nassau on Wednesday and Port Canaveral on Thursday.

From DISNEY CRUISE LINE –
At this time, we have not made any changes to the following itineraries:

  • Disney Dream  August 29th, 4-night sailing to the Bahamas
That’s it for now. I’ll post another update if needed at 11pm tonight.
———————————————————————————–

Saturday afternoon update.

From Disney Cruise Line:
At this time, we have not made any changes to the following itineraries:

  • Disney Fantasy  August 25th, 7-night sailing to the Eastern Caribbean
  • Disney Magic  August 25th, 8-night sailing to the Bahamas
  • Disney Dream  August 29th, 4-night sailing to the Bahamas

Royal Caribbean: regarding the Allure of the Seas, originally scheduled to depart from Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, August 26:

“Given Tropical Storm Isaac’s current location and projected path, and the forecasted weather for South Florida, Allure of the Seas’ next sailing will now begin on Tuesday, August 28.  We ask that guests who are scheduled to sail on Allure of the Seas on Sunday, August 26, not arrive at the port until 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 28.  We kindly ask that guests come to the terminal between 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, for check-in and boarding.

Regrettably, the delayed departure will have an impact on the scheduled itinerary.  Allure of the Seas will now spend Wednesday, August 29, at sea, call to Cozumel, Mexico, on Thursday, August 30, spend Friday, August 31, at sea, and Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday, September 1.”

There is good news, however. I was just informed that Royal Caribbean will provide each stateroom with an onboard credit. A letter with the credit amount will be delivered to their stateroom.  Royal Caribbean will also be providing each guest with a future cruise certificate for 10% of the cruise fare paid for the August 26 Allure of the Seas sailing.  This certificate may be used for a future cruise on any Royal Caribbean ship.

Carnival Cruise Line: No new updates since last night.

Norwegian Cruise Line: No new updates since last night.

Friday night update.

As of 10:00pm Friday night, all three cruise lines have made changes in itineraries for ships that are sailing this weekend.  Here’s the latest information.

New Carnival cruise terminal 6 at Port Canaveral

Carnival Cruise Line
Presently at sea, the Carnival Valor will be returning to Miami on Sunday as scheduled. The ship omitted the planned visit to Curacao and will stop in Nassau tomorrow before returning to Miami.  The Carnival Liberty is due into Miami in on Saturday morning after a stop at Grand Turk was replaced with Nassau today.  And finally, the Carnival Ecstasy, will return to the new cruise terminal #6 at Port Canaveral on Monday as scheduled after a substitution of Freeport instead of Half Moon Cay.

Carnival has not yet announced changes for the Liberty and so far, the ship will proceed on the planned western Caribbean course to Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay and Grand Cayman following tomorrow afternoon’s departure from Miami.

Below is the most recent Carnival Cruise Line update for the Carnival Dream and the Carnival Destiny:

Carnival Dream 8/25/12 departure from Port Canaveral will not call on Nassau on 8/26 but instead have two days at sea and visit St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk before returning to Port Canaveral on September 1.

Carnival Destiny
 8/25/12 departure from Miami will simply invert the two ports of call, stopping first at Grand Cayman and then onto Ocho Rios, Jamaica, arriving back into Miami on August 30.

Over at Norwegian Cruise Line, their three ships along the eastern seaboard will all have minor itinerary changes.

Norwegian Sky will depart Miami today as scheduled on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. The ship is cancelling its call to Great Stirrup Cay on Saturday. The ship will now call Nassau on Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm and spend Sunday at sea. Depending on the path of the storm, the ship may have a delayed arrival to Miami on Monday.

Norwegian Dawn will depart Boston as scheduled today to Bermuda. In order to maximize guests’ time ashore, the ship will arrive at 8 am on Sunday, three hours earlier than scheduled. Depending on the path of the storm, the ship may need to depart Bermuda earlier than scheduled.

Norwegian Gem will depart New York as scheduled on Saturday to the Bahamas & Florida. The ship will change the order of its ports, calling on Great Stirrup Cay on Tuesday, Nassau on Wednesday and Port Canaveral on Thursday.

Guests on board the vessels will be kept up to date by the ship’s Captain. It is also important to note that there may be a need to modify these itineraries.

Royal Caribbean has announced only two itinerary changes so far; the Majesty of the Seas and the Monarch of the Seas will not call on CocoCay, Bahamas, this weekend.  They advise that guests will be contacted if needed through the contact information that was entered in the online registration.  At this time, the Freedom of the Seas is scheduled to leave from Port Canaveral on Sunday as planned on an eastern Caribbean course.

What I learned from cruising during hurricane season.
Several years ago, I was on my way to Port Canaveral for a weekend Bahamas cruise on the Sovereign of the Seas.  Hurricane Charlie made a sudden right turn across the state of Florida.  At approximately 2:20pm, eight of us who were filling out our boarding forms were quickly told to grab our belongings.  We were rushed onboard the ship through the crew’s entrance.

The Port Authority had given immediate orders for the ship to get underway to avoid getting battered by the hurricane.  As we hopped onboard, the doors clanked shut behind us and within minutes the ropes were removed, the side thrusters engaged and we were underway.  The problem was that about 4oo people were left behind. Families were separated. Luggage was left by the dock.

As we sailed away from Port Canaveral, the purple-gray wall of water was racing across the shore leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Within thirty minutes of departure, we were treated to sunny skies and following seas.  It was a picture-perfect cruise and a fabulous weekend.

The takeaway: Check with your cruise line every few hours. Arrive at the port early. If you haven’t already done so, complete your online registration as soon as possible with an accurate way for the cruise line to contact you.

Check back often.  I will post more updates as I receive them.

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