Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Carnival Cruise Line Updates Cruise Itineraries

Itinerary Updates 9/20/17

Carnival Fascination – September 24
We continue to monitor Hurricane Maria and will confirm our itinerary once the post storm assessment has been completed. To stay up to date, please text CCL1 to CRUISE (278473).

As a result of damage caused by Hurricane Irma, we have modified the following itineraries in order to provide our guests with the best possible shore experience.

Carnival Ecstasy – September 20
Departing Charleston on a 5 day cruise to Nassau and Freeport.

Carnival Sensation – September 21
Departing Miami on a 4 day cruise to Cozumel.

Carnival Splendor – September 23
Departing Port Everglades on a 7 day cruise to Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay and Grand Cayman.

Carnival Vista – September 23
Departing Miami on an 8 day cruise to La Romana, D.R., Aruba and Curacao.

Carnival Conquest – September 24
Departing Port Everglades on a 6 day cruise to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Carnival Magic – September 24
Departing Port Canaveral on a 6 day cruise to Cozumel, Belize and Costa Maya.

Carnival Pride – September 24
Departing Baltimore on a 7 day cruise to Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Freeport.

Carnival Paradise – September 25
Departing Tampa on a 5 day cruise for an overnight stay in Havana.

Carnival Victory – September 25
Departing Miami on a 4 day cruise to Cozumel.

Carnival Glory – September 30
Departing Miami on a 7 day cruise to Half Moon Cay, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Carnival Sensation – September 30
Departing Miami on a 5 day cruise to Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport.

Carnival Splendor – September 30
Departing Port Everglades on an 8 day cruise to Princess Cays, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Carnival Pride – October 1
Departing Baltimore on a 7 day cruise to Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport.

Pre-purchased Carnival Adventures for cancelled ports, as well as any taxes, fees and port expenses will be refunded to your onboard Sail & Sign account. An email with detailed itinerary information will be sent to all guests scheduled to sail on these cruises. We sincerely apologize for the disruption Hurricane Irma has caused and look forward to welcoming our guests on board.

At this time, all other future cruises will depart as scheduled.

St. Kitts Hurricane Maria Update

Basseterre, St. Kitts: The eye of Hurricane Maria passed to the south of St. Kitts & Nevis yesterday afternoon, with the center having been located 90 miles west-southwest of the islands. Rapid assessment teams are currently being deployed to determine the extent of disruption caused by the storm. Everyone is advised to remain indoors until the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) states that the "all clear" is given. All storm watches and warnings for St. Kitts & Nevis have been discontinued. Essential services are up and operating.

St. Kitts' Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) will reopen today at 11am. American Airlines' non-stop daily flight #318 from Miami (MIA) to St. Kitts is operating today and is scheduled to depart Miami on time at 11:45am and arrive on island at 3:35pm. British Airways' flight #2157 from London Gatwick airport (LGW) to St. Kitts via Antigua (ANU) scheduled to operate today has been cancelled. However, the flight has been rerouted to operate tomorrow LGW-ANU-SKB-ANU-LGW as flight #2157/2256 and passengers who were scheduled to depart on today's flight will be re-accommodated on that flight.

We extend our thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters in Dominica, which took a direct hit from Maria, and to everyone who has been or will be impacted by the storm. Our sincere thanks to those who have kept St. Kitts & Nevis in their hearts and prayers.

ms Koningsdam’s $4.1 Million Art Collection Ranges from Classic to Contemporary & Traditional to Avant-Garde

Ship Sculpture Outside the Crow’s Nest
One of the most notable features of any Holland America Line ship is the remarkable collection of museum-quality art on board. The line’s newest vessel, ms Koningsdam, which launched in April 2016, is no exception. With a collection worth $4.1 million, the ship highlights the talents of leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, working with art curator ArtLink, and YSA Design to procure a thought-provoking collection of diverse works that complements the ship’s design while stimulating conversation.

The result is a floating art gallery with 1,920 pieces ranging in value from $500 to $600,000 that spans the decks, public rooms and staterooms. More than 21 nationalities are represented by Koningsdam’s artists, with the greatest number of contributors coming from the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Koningsdam features artworks in many media, including photography, painting, mixed media, illustration, prints, and sculpture. Much of the art curated aboard is from emerging artists and highlights Koningsdam’s focus on entertainment, showcasing themes of music, dance, and movement.

Ranging from classic to whimsical, a variety of two-dimensional, mixed-media pieces using materials including paint-injected bubble wrap, computer disks on wood, toy cars cast in resin, aluminum wire, cast paper, bamboo, and more are scattered throughout the ship. Many of the pieces change appearance depending on the viewer’s vantage point, inviting guests to take time to ponder and discuss the works of art.

The largest and most expensive work is the stunning Atrium sculpture titled “Harps” that is based on a concept by Adam D. Tihany, who was at the helm of the ship’s design and is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. The $600,000 piece is an impressive 7.5-ton stainless steel sculpture that spans three decks.

“Extensive collections of unique and thought-provoking art have always been a hallmark of our elegant on board ambiance, and Koningsdam showcases one of our most exciting and contemporary displays,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Surrounding our guests with a vast array of meaningful artwork is a natural extension of the cruise experience as art awakens your senses, enriches your perspectives, inspires conversation and crosses cultural boundaries, all the same transformative values of travel.”

Additional pieces that carry an impressive price tag include Jason Krugman’s multideck “Quad Helix” light sculpture located in the Queen’s Lounge that cost $174,750; the custom-designed Swarovski crystal globe made by Dutch design group Studio Job valued at $100,000 located on Deck 3, mid-ship stair lobby; and the $54,000 “Rabbit” by Berg and Meyers nestled in The Retreat, which has turned into one of the most talked about pieces on board.

The large-scale tulip images behind the Guest Services desk on Deck 3 are by a Netherlands-based artist who was commissioned to photograph Holland America Line’s Signature Tulip. This unique flower only blooms for a couple of weeks every year, so ArtLink’s team traveled to the Netherlands to collect the blooms directly from the only grower in the world of the Signature Tulip, and they arrived at the photographer’s studio in time to capture the moment.

Some of the most charming pieces can be found nestled inside special tables at the Grand Dutch Café on Deck 3. Royal Goedewaagen created handmade and hand-painted ceramic buildings that showcase a little bit of Dutch history with canal houses, mills, palaces, and Zaanse Schans houses (typical greenhouses from a specific region of Holland).

Dutch artist Peter Gentenaar recently exhibited his work at Paris’ famed Louvre, and now Holland America Line guests can enjoy his captivating, two-story sculpture in The Dining Room. Titled “Wings of the Pharao,” the piece is made from handmade cast paper, Belgian linen and bamboo, and Gentenaar came on board the ship during construction in the yard to complete the installation.

As he has done for the entire Holland America Line fleet, Stephen J. Card, a British artist regarded as one of the finest maritime painters working today, created two paintings that are on display in the Captain’s Corner of the Crow’s Nest, forward on Deck 11.

A highlight for many Holland America Line devotees are the historic art objects on display that came from ms Ryndam and ms Statendam, which were transferred to sister brand P&O Australia.

Whether it’s a collection of pieces featuring famous musicians or the wooden ship sculpture with a cello for its hull (pictured above), the art aboard Koningsdam makes up one of the finest collections in the world. Guests can explore the decks inside and out and discover inspired works around every turn.

For more information about Holland America Line, visit HollandAmerica.com.

Image © Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com

CH2M, Canaveral Port Authority Designing New Terminal For World's Second-Busiest Cruise Port

Advancing the Tomorrow's Port Canaveral vision to accommodate future growth for the world's second-busiest cruise port, Canaveral Port Authority engaged long-time partner CH2M to design a new terminal to support its cruise business, which currently accounts for 80 percent of the Port's revenue.

The new terminal will join the Port's Cruise Terminal One, also designed by CH2M, in its ability to serve ships like Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class, with capacities of more than 5,400 passengers. The berth will also strengthen Port Canaveral's position as an in-demand port-of-call and popular vacation destination.

In addition to leading design of the proposed 1,400-foot-long terminal berth, CH2M will provide permit support, dredging, bidding support and construction support as part of their waterside engineering design and permitting services contract.

"With experience on both waterside and landside design of cruise terminals at Port Canaveral, we dive deeper than most when it comes to understanding the relationship between a wharf and terminal," said Gary Ledford, CH2M project manager. "Our multi-faceted design knowledge will aid the Port Authority in ensuring that the wharf and the new terminal function seamlessly together so incoming ships can turn around efficiently and continue their journeys."

Guided by their previous success on every recent major waterfront permitting effort at Port Canaveral, and permitting for nearly all of Florida's deepwater ports, CH2M will assist the Port Authority in securing permits from various state and local agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission.

The new berth will support an estimated nearly 4,000 permanent jobs, in coordination with overall modernization and improvement plans, including the Port's channel widening and deepening and new cargo piers.

With a legacy spanning more than a century, including work at Port Canaveral since 1954, CH2M's maritime and coastal engineers lead the industry in developing and implementing modernization and capacity increasing solutions that advance business, stakeholder and community goals.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Royal Caribbean Itinerary Updates

September 19, 2017

We are closely monitoring Hurricane Maria’s forecast track, and have modified both Adventure of the Seas and Allure of the Seas current itineraries to keep our guests and crew well out of the path of the storm. Our goal remains to provide notice of any future itinerary changes within a minimum of 48 hours prior to departure.

Specifically, for the 9/23 departure of Adventure of the Seas we will provide further details no later than early Thursday afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors in San Juan as they prepare for Hurricane Maria.

For other itinerary changes, see the September 18 update.

Norwegian Cruise Line Tropical Weather Alert

September 19, 2017

At Norwegian Cruise Line, the safety and security of our guests and crew is of the utmost importance. The company is continually monitoring weather systems, including the tropics, and all Norwegian Cruise Line ships offer state-of-the-art radar and weather equipment. In the event of inclement weather, our ships will sail a route around the affected area, to have the least impact to our guests and crew.

The company is closely watching Hurricanes Maria and Jose in the Atlantic. At this time, all of our ships are sailing as scheduled. Norwegian Dawn is currently alongside in Bermuda and departed this evening, she will return to Boston on Friday, September 22 as scheduled. Norwegian Breakaway is currently enroute to Bermuda, she will arrive on Wednesday and remain alongside at the Royal Naval Dockyard until Friday evening as scheduled.

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Urges Public to ‘Keep the Faith’ as Hurricane Maria Approaches

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp is urging all residents, visitors, and emergency relief workers remaining in the U.S. Territory to be prepared for the imminent arrival of Hurricane Maria, now a Category 5 storm. Maria is estimated to reach the U.S. Virgin Islands between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Together with key emergency management leaders, Governor Mapp held two news conferences Monday, providing comprehensive information regarding the locations and accessibility of emergency shelters on all three islands, including locations designated for individuals with special needs. Underscoring the potential dangers to come in the hours ahead, he announced the reinstatement of a Territory-wide curfew, effective Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Previously, a curfew had been implemented in response to Hurricane Irma and subsequently adjusted to exclude St. Croix, given the relatively minimal damage the island sustained.

The Territory’s seaports will be closed at 8 a.m. Tuesday, and the USVI Water and Power Authority (WAPA) plans to keep St. Croix’s power supply system on until approximately 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Hurricane Maria is set to be the second major weather system to impact the area in less than two weeks. Given the National Weather Center’s forecast, including maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, the hurricane’s path could take it fewer than 10 miles south of St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, in what would essentially be a “direct hit” to the island.

In addition to the anticipated hurricane force winds, 12 to 18 inches of rainfall are expected for St. Croix, which was largely spared the brunt of Hurricane Irma’s destruction. Between eight and 12 inches of rain are expected in the St. Thomas/St. John district, which is still recovering from Hurricane Irma. Even after the passage of Hurricane Maria, heavy rainfall is forecast to continue in the Territory through the weekend and into next week. Hurricane force winds are not expected in the St. Thomas/St. John district.

The Governor asked the public to take seriously the warnings about the impending storm, including taking the necessary precautions should individuals choose to remain in their homes. Governor Mapp tempered his message of urgency and concern with a call to exercise common sense as well as faith to counter the inevitable feelings of anxiety that many in the Virgin Islands community are experiencing in the wake of unprecedented storms, devastation and disruption to the normalcy of life.

William L. Vogel, Federal Coordinating Officer of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region II, who has been stationed in the Territory to support Irma recovery efforts, echoed Governor Mapp’s warnings, adding that the tidal surge associated with hurricanes also poses a serious threat. While many relief workers have been evacuated from the Territory until after the passage of Maria, Vogel reiterated FEMA’s commitment to return in full force as soon as weather conditions permit and to continue rebuilding the islands.

The road to recovery and restoration is going to be a long one, Governor Mapp said. It will take weeks and, in some cases, months to restore power to everyone across the Territory. “That’s the reality,” he said.

Calling on all the “prayer warriors” to pray for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Governor reminded the public to “keep the faith.” “God bless each and every one of you and stay safe,” he said.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló: It is time to act & evacuate

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced the Government of Puerto Rico has prepared 500 shelters for people who cannot stay with relatives or friends during the passage of Hurricane Maria, which intensified to Category 5 Monday night.

"No generation has seen a hurricane like this since San Felipe II in 1928. This is an unprecedented atmospheric system. I want to remind you that the Emergency Management team will not be available to help you once the winds reach 50 miles per hour. We need to keep in mind that we must also protect the lives of these first responders. It's time to act and look for a safe place if you live in flood-prone areas or in wooden or vulnerable structures," stated Governor Rosselló.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that from midday Tuesday, Puerto Rico will begin to experience tropical storm-force winds, Ernesto Morales, a meteorologist at the NWS, reported that sustained hurricane winds extend 30 miles from the center. Even if there is a slight deviation from the storm's trajectory, the entire Island will experience hurricane-force winds. The meteorologist said that there will be between 12 to 18 inches of rainfall, and in isolated areas up to 24 inches. Precipitation is expected to last for two days.

The executive director of the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management (AEMEAD, per its Spanish acronym), Abner Gómez, notified that the shelter in the Convention Center in Miramar will be open for people who are bedridden or require special care.

"During the past few hours, people have gone to the Convention Center seeking shelter. For the moment, priority will be given to people with special medical needs," explained Gómez. A person with special needs is one who relies on an artificial respirator, medical equipment that requires electricity, or dialysis patients, for example.

The first option should be to take refuge in the home of relatives or friends. If this is not possible, they should go to the nearest shelter in the town where they reside.

Puerto Rico Housing Secretary Fernando Gil expressed concern that there are only 299 people in shelters around the Island. In Salinas there are 27 people in shelters, 104 in Ponce, 121 in the Convention Center, and 50 in Canóvanas. These shelters have the capacity for 66,826 people and emergency capacity for 133,352 people. Due to the magnitude of this hurricane, people who come to the state shelters should be prepared to stay there for several days. It is recommended they bring comforters and pillows to ensure a more comfortable stay because, in case of a major emergency, there could be a shortage of cots.

The secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA, per its Spanish acronym), Tania Vázquez, reported that work was done yesterday on the cleaning of canals, streams, and basins in 16 municipalities, including Vega Baja and Loíza. Other municipalities will see the work completed today: Arecibo, Camuy, Florida, Aguadilla, Villalba, Santa Isabel, Ponce, Arroyo, Moca, Mayagüez, Aguada, Aibonito, Hormigueros, Guayama, Luquillo, and Fajardo.

However, the governor warned that, because a large amount of rain is expected, the recommendation is to evacuate flood-prone areas. Municipalities are expected to complete the evacuation process Tuesday morning.

Governor Rosselló clarified that it is inaccurate that water and power services will be suspended today, as rumored in social networks yesterday. The president of the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority (PRASA), Elí Díaz, reported that at 3:00 p. m. today, PRASA generators will be protected. 1,800 customers will be affected in Lomas del Sol, Linda Gardens, Camarones Centro, Santa Clara, and Hollywood Hills in Guaynabo; Los Cottos in San Juan, Barrio Nuevo 3 in Bayamón, Terrenos in Trujillo Alto, Sonadora Palmazola in Aguas Buenas, Hormigas in Caguas, and Gino in Luquillo.

The airports in Ponce and Aguadilla will close today at 6:00 p.m., while the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport will close at 7:00 p.m. An exemption will be granted to allows citizens to take their own bags to the ice plants, in case these businesses run out of bags. The secretary of the Puerto Rico Treasury, Raúl Maldonado, announced an agreement was reached with transporters to expedite the lifting of merchandise at the docks, according to the Internal Revenue Bulletin No. 17-19. This ensures perishable food and basic necessities are available to the citizens.

St. Kitts is Ready to Welcome Visitors & Partners With Carnival Cruise Line to Aid Caribbean Neighbors

St. Kitts is pleased to report that the island's airport, cruise port, and all tourism providers are open and resuming normal operations, as it was fortunate to be virtually unscathed by Hurricane Irma.

"We are thrilled to get back to business as usual and ready to welcome visitors," said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. "For those who planning to travel to island, we look forward to providing a world-class experience and all the warm Kittitian hospitality for which we have become known."

Cruise lines have resumed scheduled port calls to St. Kitts, with passengers from The Carnival Fascination enjoying the island's various attractions and activities last Friday. Over the course of the next week, a total of four vessels are scheduled to dock at Port Zante, including Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas on September 21. With the arrival of the Carnival Magic on September 20, St. Kitts expects to welcome its one millionth passenger this year. A historic first for the island, the occasion also raises St. Kitts to marquee port status.

We are pleased to report that St. Kitts has agreed to partner with Carnival Cruise Line to assist in delivering humanitarian relief supplies to St. Maarten, which was severely impacted by Hurricane Irma. As such, Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line delivered supplies to St. Kitts during a call from the Carnival Fascination, which docked at Port Zante on Saturday. Among supplies then delivered by boat from St. Kitts to St. Maarten, which suffered extensive damage from the storm, were food, beverages, medical supplies and equipment including essential items such as blankets, batteries and ice. St. Kitts' own relief efforts for neighboring islands began the previous weekend, with water from the St. Kitts Bottling Company being shipped on a vessel to Saba, where it was in very low supply. Starting on Thursday, September 21, a donation box will be placed at Port Zante for arriving cruise passengers and local citizens alike to further aid in relief efforts.

At this time, we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone who has been affected by the storm, particularly to those in need of emergency relief.

Image Courtesy St. Kitts Tourism

Monday, September 18, 2017

Carnival Cruise Line Statement/Hurricane Maria

ITINERARY UPDATES 9/18/2017

We are currently monitoring the track of Hurricane Maria in the Atlantic and will inform our guests who are sailing within the next two weeks of any impact to their Caribbean itineraries once the storm has passed.

Royal Caribbean Itinerary Updates

September 18, 2017

We are closely monitoring Hurricane Maria’s forecast track, and have modified both Adventure of the Seas and Allure of the Seas current itineraries to keep our guests and crew well out of the path of the storm. Our goal remains to provide notice of any future itinerary changes within a minimum of 48 hours prior to departure.

The following sailings are being modified due to Hurricane Irma:

Majesty of the Seas: September 18 Bahamas cruise

Our humanitarian efforts in St. Maarten and St. Thomas last week went exceptionally well, and in order to finalize these efforts, we needed to push the departure date of our upcoming Majesty sailing to Tuesday, 9/19. We will still sail to both Nassau and Cococay, Bahamas, except on a 3-night itinerary. We are sorry for the impact that the storm has had on your vacation, and know you support us in helping those in urgent need. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 25% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as a 25% future cruise credit, for a cruise booked within the next year. If you are unable to travel and need to cancel your cruise, we will provide you with a 100% future cruise credit for a cruise booked within the next 30 days.

Empress of the Seas: September 23 & 27; October 2, 7 & 11 Cuba cruise

Due to the severe impact of Hurricane Irma on Key West, we will be swapping our visit to the port with a day at sea. Please note that all our calls to Havana, Cuba are confirmed and the port is open and ready to receive our guests. We are very sorry for the impact this has had on your vacation, but know you support us in providing help to those in urgent need. If you choose not to sail with us we will provide you with a 100% Future Cruise Credit to use on a cruise booked within the next year.

The government of Key West has shared that they expect to be open to tourism by October 20, which is a great sign. We will stay closely connected with the local authorities and provide you with updates as we receive them.

Future itineraries:

Given Hurricane Irma’s impact to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Key West, we will be working on alternative ports for future sailings until these islands have fully recovered. While we expect the islands to get up and running quickly, until they are ready, we have made the following changes to our itineraries.

As the recovery effort remains fluid and each island is working diligently to get back to normal operations, we will continue to communicate any port changes approximately four weeks prior to departure.

Adventure of the Seas:
9/16, 10/7 – St. Maarten to St. Croix
9/23 – St. Thomas to Bonaire
9/30 – St. Maarten to St. Kitts
10/14 – St. Thomas to St. Croix

Allure of the Seas:
10/1 – St. Thomas to Labadee
10/15 – St. Maarten to Labadee

Enchantment of the Seas:
9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9 – Key West to Freeport

Harmony of the Seas:
9/23 – St. Thomas to St. Kitts
10/7 – St. Maarten to St. Kitts

Oasis of the Seas:
9/24 – St. Maarten to St. Kitts
10/8 – St. Maarten to Nassau

Norwegian Cruise Line/Hurricane Irma Impact

September 18, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line is heartbroken at the terrible impact Hurricane Irma has had on several islands in the Eastern Caribbean, ports that we have called on since the start of our 50 years in business, some of which are included in the itinerary that you are currently booked on. In the wake of this devastating storm and as part of our recovery efforts, we are working closely with our partners on the ground to determine the best way to continue to provide relief to the areas impacted by and recovering from Hurricane Irma and to determine the extent of damage that Hurricane Irma inflicted. We are anticipating that your current itinerary will be adjusted to ensure your comfort, safety and an outstanding guest experience. We anticipate having this information to you within the next two weeks as new ports of call are secured.

We appreciate your patience during this very difficult time. At Norwegian Cruise Line safety of our guest, crew and ships is our number one priority and we hope you understand that these changes are necessary.

Disney Cruise Line Tropical Weather & Itinerary Update

September 18, 2017

Disney Dream Sailings - September 15 & beyond
The Disney Dream is expected to sail as scheduled beginning on Friday, September 15.

Disney Fantasy - September 23 & October 7 Sailings
The September 23 and October 7 Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean sailings are being modified to include ports of call in the Western Caribbean. These two revised sailings will now visit Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica.

Please know that further changes may be needed as the Caribbean islands continue to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Irma and that we will notify Guests should additional changes be necessary. Western Caribbean sailings will continue as scheduled.

Should you have any questions related to a future reservation, please call us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054.

Genting Hong Kong Appoints Tom Wolber as President & CEO of Crystal Cruises

Genting Hong Kong today announced the appointment of travel industry veteran Tom Wolber as the President & CEO of Crystal Cruises, which was effective September 15th. Mr. Wolber brings over three decades of experience in general management, operations, new-build construction and business development to Crystal during the company's most significant expansion since its founding in 1988.

"Tom's proven leadership skills will be invaluable to Crystal as the line takes delivery of four river ships in 2017 and 2018 as well as the first of the 'Endeavor Class' expedition yachts in 2019," said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman of Genting Hong Kong and Crystal Cruises. "His leadership will be key to the finalization of specifications and design for the new 'Exclusive Class' oceangoing vessels. Tom has our full confidence and we look forward to working closely with him to ensuring Crystal remains unmatched in the luxury travel segment."

"Crystal has developed a venerable reputation across the travel industry and my first responsibility will be continuing to deliver the world-class service and itineraries Crystal is renowned for," said Tom Wolber. "I thank Chairman Tan Sri Lim for placing his faith in me, and I look forward to spearheading some of the most innovative new-builds and experiences the cruise and hospitality industry has ever seen in the years ahead."

Mr. Wolber joins Crystal most recently from the Walt Disney Company where he served in various executive roles for 28 years, 10 of which were with Disney Cruise Line where he served as Senior Vice President of Operations. Mr. Wolber was involved in transforming Disney Cruise Line from a Port Canaveral based vacation provider to a global cruise line with itineraries covering North America, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic. During his time at Disney, Mr. Wolber assisted with the successful design and launch of new builds including Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Additionally, Mr. Wolber served as President and CEO of Euro Disney, Paris and has held senior executive positions in Disney theme parks and resort operations at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

"Since acquiring Crystal in 2015, Genting has worked tirelessly to expand the Crystal brand by launching two river vessels with a third imminent, an expedition yacht and a private Boeing 777—certainly no easy feat," added Tan Sri Lim. "Thanks to Edie Rodriquez's leadership, Crystal has successfully launched three new brands: Crystal Yachts, Crystal River Cruisesv and Crystal Air. We thank Edie for her service to the company, appreciate all of her hard work, and wish her the very best in future endeavors."

"It's been an extraordinary experience leading Crystal to global prominence, and I am very proud of my accomplishments," said Rodriguez. "I can't thank Chairman Tan Sri Lim enough for the confidence and investment to assure Crystal's future with a bold expansion strategy which I've firmly put in place. I'm happy to turn over the reins, knowing Crystal is well served by the incredibly talented and hard-working people throughout the organization—on sea, river, air, and land. I look forward to announcing my new endeavor shortly."

Rodriguez joined Crystal as President & COO in October 2013; she was promoted to President & CEO following the acquisition of the company by Genting Hong Kong in May 2015. Prior to Crystal, Rodriguez held senior marketing, sales and business development positions with other notable luxury lines and travel companies.

Image Courtesy Crystal Cruises

Friday, September 15, 2017

Carnival Corporation, Miami HEAT Charitable Fund & Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation Pledge up to $10 Million for Hurricane Irma Relief

Carnival Corporation, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation are pledging up to $10 million in funding and in-kind support for relief and rebuilding efforts in Florida and throughout the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma. The Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation will make an immediate donation of $2.5 million to Direct Relief, UNICEF, and the United Way of Miami-Dade County to support the most timely and urgent relief needs in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Carnival Foundation—the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation—and the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund are each pledging to raise a combined $5 million in funding for relief and recovery efforts. Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine will match that commitment up to a total of $5 million from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, including the organization’s initial donation aimed at supporting the most immediate needs in Florida and the Caribbean.

“We are committed to supporting relief efforts where Hurricane Irma left an impact in Florida and the Caribbean, starting with immediate humanitarian needs and recovery efforts that will have a meaningful impact,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “Hurricane Irma’s impact strikes close to home both in our home state of Florida and across the Caribbean, where we and our brands have made many friends and partners over many years. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all of those who have been impacted. It is inspiring to see so many individuals and organizations already pitching in to support the relief work, and we will continue to look for ways to provide support. Our friends and partners from across Florida and the Caribbean have always displayed remarkable resilience, strength and spirit when facing difficult circumstances. They have come back strong in the past, and we will be standing with them as they work to come back strong once again.” Donald added: “We also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Micky and Madeleine Arison for their generosity, and also express our gratitude to the Miami HEAT organization for partnering with us to support recovery efforts.”

“Hurricane Irma has devastated many families and cities that mean so much to us,” said Pat Riley, President of the Miami HEAT. “As a long-time resident of South Florida, I have witnessed the resiliency of our communities; watching neighbors come together to overcome adversity. The South Florida community has supported our organization throughout the years, so it is only fitting that we are there to support and help uplift this community in its time of need.”

As part of the company’s Hurricane Irma relief fundraising efforts, Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Cruise Line is embarking on humanitarian efforts to deliver critical supplies to the most deeply affected areas of Florida and the island nations in the Caribbean that were impacted. The brand is deploying 11 ships to provide affected ports in the region with crucial supplies and the most immediate necessities, including food, water, clothing, diapers, medical supplies, and generators, among others.

Scheduled as part of ongoing cruise itineraries, the humanitarian aid efforts will benefit impacted destinations across the region, including Grand Turk, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Antigua-Barbuda, and affected Bahamian islands. Carnival Corporation remains in touch with leaders throughout the Caribbean to be able to support each country’s quickly evolving recovery needs. The company also initiated a multi-faceted plan to begin providing relief to areas of the U.S. mainland, including Florida and the Florida Keys, which will begin as soon as all impacted areas are accessible.

Carnival Corporation’s cruise brands are contributing additional global fundraising efforts. Carnival Cruise Line set up a relief program enabling guests to donate directly to Hurricane Irma recovery efforts through its donation page available at Carnival Hurricane Relief. Princess Cruises’ Princess Foundation has also pledged to match donations made through its donation page, which will be available soon through the brand’s website. Additionally, P&O Cruises UK is setting up a campaign to support hurricane relief through donations directly to UNICEF.

Carnival Corporation and its full portfolio of global brands are also encouraging employees to support the recovery efforts in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, while also matching some individual donations.

The Hurricane Irma support and relief efforts follow the recent announcement that Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation provided a minimum of $2 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery across the Gulf Coast region, including some of the hardest hit areas of Texas. Support following Hurricane Harvey has been committed to Direct Relief, Houston Food Bank, Operation Homefront, Save the Children, and the United Way of Greater Houston.

The Bahamas: Back To Business After Hurricane Irma

The Bahamas is back to business as tourism resumes after mainly cosmetic clean-up in our major tourism centers, while efforts to rebuild in those islands of The Bahamas that were hardest hit continue. As of Tuesday, Sept. 12, all airports in The Bahamas are open and both international and domestic service has resumed. Major hotels in Nassau have already welcomed newly arrived guests, and cruise ships are expected to begin calling at ports in The Bahamas today. Recreational marinas have also reopened after reporting mostly no damage. While most of The Islands of The Bahamas escaped severe damage, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those affected by Hurricane Irma.

"The aftermath of Hurricane Irma in parts of the Caribbean is devastating," said Hon. Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. "The Bahamas considers itself very fortunate to have been spared the worst of this storm, but our hearts go out to all those impacted."

The Bahamas' main tourism product in areas such as Nassau and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and the Out Islands was unharmed. Damage from Irma was limited to portions of the southern islands, ranging from mostly cosmetic in places such as Crooked Island, Inaugua and Mayaguana, to major structural damage on Ragged Island. Assessment of Acklins Island continues.

"We are thankful that The Bahamas has generally weathered the storm well, but we continue to evaluate the conditions across all of our islands as we gather information from hotels, attractions and partners," said Joy Jbrilu, Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. "The Bahamas deeply appreciates the good wishes on our behalf this week, and we will seek to assist as we can."

SEAPORTS
The Port of Nassau and the Freeport Harbour are open for business. Cruise lines from the U.S. will resume sailing to The Islands of The Bahamas, but reservation holders should check directly with their cruise provider for updates on departures and itineraries Baleària Bahamas Express and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will resume service from The Bahamas on Friday, Sept. 15.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma Update: Expect Delays, Upsurge in Trip Cancellation Claims

Record claims are expected as Hurricane Irma forces thousands of travelers to cancel trips to Florida and the Caribbean. Due to an upsurge, travel insurance customers should anticipate delays.

When filing a storm-related travel insurance claim, travelers should also do the following:
• Call or email the travel insurance company to understand the claim requirements. A specific form may be required for each benefit within a policy. For example, if a hurricane forced the traveler to cancel a trip, that traveler would then fill out a trip cancellation form—not a trip delay or trip interruption form.
• Save all travel-related receipts and documents. While claims examiners are aware of the hurricane, documentation is still required and will be requested from travelers submitting claims.
Any traveler filing a claim during this time will likely experience a significant delay getting it processed. To prevent additional lag time, InsureMyTrip urges affected travelers that purchased a policy before the storm being named, to contact their travel insurance company as soon as possible to start the process. For the latest information, visit Insuremytrip website.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Carnival Cruise Line Plans Hurricane Irma Relief

Carnival is actively working on outreach and support for the islands impacted by Hurricane Irma. We have been in communication with officials in many of the Caribbean islands and have activated a plan to begin delivery of supplies on both an immediate and sustained, longer-term basis. Further deliveries will be worked into ships’ cruise itineraries as part of our ongoing operations. We stand ready to provide support as needed to affected ports and communities in Florida as well.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Royal Caribbean Statement, Hurricane Irma Relief, Cruise Cancellation

September 13, 2017 at noon EDT

We are mobilizing ships and supplies to help people in need. In coordination with the US and local governments we are dispatching ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and stand ready to assist Key West and other locations. Adventure of the Seas made a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten on Sunday and Majesty of the Seas made a humanitarian call in St. Thomas Tuesday and will stop in St. Maarten on Thursday to provide supplies and also assist in transporting evacuees in St. Maarten to safety. Additionally, we have Empress of the Seas ready to assist Key West once the impact of the storm is known.

Florida airports are slowly getting up and running. For the most up-to-date information please visit the FAA website at fly.faa.gov.

Majesty of the Seas' September 15 Bahamas cruise is cancelled. We are cancelling the cruise on Majesty of the Seas to utilize the ship for humanitarian efforts in areas of the Caribbean with urgent need. For this sailing, your cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and we are also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, for a cruise booked within the next 30 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-256-6649.

Given Hurricane Irma's impact to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Key West, we will be working on alternative ports for future sailings until these ports of call have fully recovered. All itinerary changes will be communicated with these guests directly.

Greater Fort Lauderdale's Tourism Industry Rebounds After Hurricane Irma

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to advise the destination is no longer under any weather watches, warnings, or advisories following Hurricane Irma. The Florida east coast destination fared well as the storm moved away from the area in a more southwesterly direction on Sunday, September 10, and winds began to lessen. Weather conditions are currently good and cleanup efforts are underway, with some businesses and residents still without power.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades resumed operations at 4:00 am yesterday. Four cruise ships that were delayed due to the storm are scheduled to return to Port Everglades yesterday and today. The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center is fully operational.

Many of Greater Fort Lauderdale's hotels remained open during the storm providing shelter and accommodations to visitors and residents. Hotels along the area's coast line have reported no damage and are in the process of reopening by the end of this weekend as power is restored, per Florida Power & Light.

"We are blessed for sure," said Stacy Ritter, President/CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The storm was bigger than ever imagined and very concerning for our visitors and 1.9 million residents. Broward County was well prepared with emergency services, and cleanup activities are taking place throughout the area. The high-code standards of our many new buildings showed that good construction pays off. We expect to be back to normal operations and welcoming vacationers and scheduled meetings and conference attendees shortly."

NOTE FROM CRUISE DIVA: Check with your hotel to ascertain whether or not they have power before heading there for check-in.

Norwegian Cruise Line Resumes Normal Cruise Operations Following Hurricane Irma

September 13, 2017 11:00 AM

Norwegian Cruise Line ships sailing from Miami will resume their normal operations this weekend. Norwegian Sky will depart as scheduled on Friday, September 15. Norwegian Escape will depart as scheduled for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise on Saturday, September 16.

We are working with our partners to assess impacts to the ports we visit in the Eastern Caribbean. Currently, we have changed all of our Eastern Caribbean itineraries to Western Caribbean cruises for the next two months. As it's still early, we will continue to keep in close contact with our partners on the ground and have the flexibility to alter future itineraries to ensure a great guest experience, if needed.

Queen Mary 2’s Transatlantic Fashion Week Debuted Glamour on the High Seas

Luxury cruise line Cunard’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 arrived in New York after the second annual Transatlantic Fashion Week brought together some of the most glamorous names in the fashion industry. The crossing, which left Southampton on August 31, 2017, included seven days of runway shows, inspiring talks, glamorous dinners, and exclusive unveilings from fashion icons and leaders.

One of the highlights of the voyage included two runway shows from British Fashion Designer Julien Macdonald, who is known for dressing some of the world’s best-known entertainers including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Celine Dion. And award-winning students from the revered Parsons School of Design debuted their featured collections to passengers on board the luxury liner.

Fashion historian and style commentator Colin McDowell held a series of Q&A’s and discussions on fashion among the royals, illustration workshops and style inspirational during the voyage. In addition, Karl Dunkley, the founder and CEO of Royal Warrant holder Grosvenor Shirts, Jermyn Street, gave a talk on the craftsmanship behind a classic tailored shirt.

The voyage also included pop up shops including luxury swimwear designer Melissa Odabash, luxury British brand Mulberry, Lucy Choi London designer shoes (niece of the legendary Jimmy Choo,) and exclusive jewelry from fashion icon Iris Apfel.

Guests also got an exclusive preview of Drawing on Style: Three Masters of Elegance. The preview, in association with Clarendon Fine Art features historic and current fashion illustrators such as Kenneth Paul Block (1924-2009) who worked in the late 20th century with Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and others, Bill Donovan, a contemporary American illustrator, has worked with Vogue, Dior and The New York Times and Jason Brooks who counts Elle and Chanel among his clients.

For more information about Cunard Line, visit Cunard.com.

Image Courtesy of Cunard Line

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MSC Cruises' MSC Divina Updated Itinerary: 9/16/17 Cruise

MSC Divina: updated itinerary for the cruise departing from Miami, Florida Saturday, September 16, 2017

In connection with the disruption caused by Hurricane Irma, specifically to the ports of Philipsburg, St Martin and San Juan, Puerto Rico, please note that for her cruise departing Miami, Florida on Saturday, September 16, MSC Divina will perform the following updated itinerary:

DATE                         ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE / PORT
16 September 2017 -- 7:00 PM* Miami (United States)
17 September 2017 -- At sea
18 September 2017 10:00 AM* -- 6:00PM* Montego Bay (Jamaica)
19 September 2017 08:00 AM* -- 4:00 PM* Georgetown (Cayman Is.)
20 September 2017 10:30 AM* -- 6:30:PM* Costa Maya (Mexico)
21 September 2017 -- At sea
22 September 2017 11:00 AM* 6:00:PM* Nassau (Bahamas)
23 September 2017 07:00 AM* -- Miami (United States)

*Estimated time of arrival/departure

Disney Cruise Line Tropical Weather & Cruise Departure Updates

9/12/17 – 12:00 p.m.

Future Bahamian & Eastern Caribbean Sailings

At this time, we are assessing our terminal building in Port Canaveral and anticipate the September 15 Disney Dream cruise and the September 16 Disney Fantasy cruise will sail as planned.

We continue to assess Hurricane Irma’s impact on the ports of call we visit in the Caribbean and Bahamas. Updates regarding any necessary itinerary changes will be posted on our website later this afternoon.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Hurricane Irma, Humanitarian Effort, Cruise Itinerary Updates

Updated 9/12/17 at 1:00 PM ET

Norwegian Escape is sailing at close to full capacity with displaced guests from both Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Escape that were unable to secure flights back home when the ships returned early to Miami on Thursday, September 7. Norwegian Escape spent three days alongside in Cozumel, Mexico and departed on Monday, September 11 at 5 pm. The ship is proceeding towards Miami and is scheduled to arrive at PortMiami on Wednesday morning, September 13. Due to the devastating impact in the Caribbean from Hurricane Irma, all of Norwegian Escape’s upcoming Eastern Caribbean sailings until November will be altered to a Western Caribbean itinerary. All guests scheduled to sail on any affected cruises will be notified of the change.

Acting as a responsible corporate citizen and supporting the destinations that our ships operate in is a core value of Norwegian Cruise Line. In the wake of this devastating storm, we have deployed Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas, USVI to bring much needed supplies and assist in a humanitarian effort that is currently being organized by the government. As per the State Department, affected US Citizens in St. Thomas should email name, gender, and their last known location to IrmaEmergencyUSC@state.gov.

Norwegian Sky will depart as scheduled on Friday, September 15. Norwegian Escape will depart as scheduled for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise on Saturday, September 16.

As the safety and security of our team members is our top priority, Norwegian Cruise Line's Miami headquarters will remain closed through Tuesday, September 12 and are scheduled to re-open on Wednesday, September 13. To ensure that we continue to operate with all the necessary shoreside support, key staff members have been relocated out of Miami and the storm zone. Our call centers will be operating remotely, so please be advised that hold times in our call center may be longer than normal. Our website will remain available 24/7. Additional updates will be posted at NCL.com.

Cruise Ports to Begin Opening

Cruise lines plan to be back in operation in South Florida beginning Tuesday as soon as ports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale open.

PortMiami is open and the Port Tunnel is also now open. The U.S. Coast Guard cleared truck and gate operations for Seaboard Marine container terminal. However, the port will remain closed for marine traffic at least through 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12. Upon conclusion of side sonar underwater inspections by NOAA we will update the public as to the opening of PORTMIAMI's navigational channels.

The U.S. Coast Guard is completing surveys of the Port Everglades navigation channels so ships can begin re-entering the port later this morning. At 8AM Tuesday, September 12, there are three cruise ships, three petroleum tank ships and two cargo ships offshore waiting to come in.

Unfortunately, travelers who need to fly to port cities will find it difficult to get to Florida to embark on their cruises. Major airports in the state were closed yesterday and are expected to begin opening today. However, airlines are unlikely to be offering a full schedule of flights.

In Port Canaveral, Canaveral Fire Rescue has been on scene at Port making preliminary assessments; no major damage noted at this point. All vessels that remained in port are secure. We will begin assessing general harbor conditions soon to facilitate return to normal operations as soon as possible. Port remains closed until further notice.

Port Tampa Bay experienced only minor damage and flooding from Hurricane Irma and the U.S. Coast Guard says it expects to reopen the port at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The U.S. Coast Guard is currently assessing the condition of the Jacksonville harbor and port facilities following Hurricane Irma. All JAXPORT offices and terminals remain closed today. The Port of Jacksonville remains in condition Zulu.

Royal Caribbean, Irma, Itinerary Changes, Cruise Cancellations, Humanitarian Effort

9/12/17 at NOON EDT (next update at 6 PM EDT)

We are mobilizing ships and supplies to help people in need. In coordination with the US and local governments we are dispatching ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and stand ready to assist Key West, and other locations. Adventure of the Seas made a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten on Sunday and Majesty of the Seas will make humanitarian calls in St. Thomas and St. Maarten to provide supplies and also assist in transporting evacuees in St. Maarten to safety. Additionally, we have Empress of the Seas ready to assist Key West once the impact of the storm is known.

Florida airports are slowly getting up and running. For the most up-to-date information please visit the FAA website at fly.faa.gov.

The following sailings are canceled:
Empress of the Seas: September 13 Cuba cruise
Majesty of the Seas: September 15 Bahamas cruise
We are cancelling these cruises to utilize the ship for humanitarian efforts in areas of the Caribbean with urgent need.

For both the Empress sailing on 9/13 and the Majesty sailing on 9/15, the cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and we are also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, for a cruise booked within the next 30 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-256-6649.

The following sailings are being modified:

Allure of the Seas: September 10 Western Caribbean cruise
The new departure date is Wednesday, 9/13 and will sail a 4-night itinerary, with an overnight in Nassau, Bahamas.

Harmony of the Seas: September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will be on Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. To give you additional time to travel to the port, we expect to begin boarding at 5 pm.

Oasis of the Seas: September 10 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The departure date will be on Wednesday, 9/13 and will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico.

We know these changes are disappointing, and we are truly sorry for the storm's impact on your vacation. Should you choose to sail with us on Allure, Harmony or Oasis, we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit, for a cruise booked within the next year.

Enchantment of the Seas: September 11 Bahamas cruise
Our departure date remains Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 3-night itinerary to the Bahamas. To give additional time to travel to the port, we are planning to begin boarding at 5 pm. Our new itinerary will include one port call in Nassau, Bahamas. Given the impact of Irma on Key West, the port will not be open to guests, but we will likely make a humanitarian stop to assist our neighbors with essential supplies to help them recover from Hurricane Irma. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 25% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as a 25% future cruise credit, for a cruise booked within the next year.

Given the changes to these sailings, if you are unable to travel and need to cancel your cruise, we will provide you with a 100% future cruise credit, for a cruise booked within the next year. Pre-booked shore excursions will be refunded to your original form of payment, and you will have the ability to book excursions in our new ports of call once onboard.

Given Hurricane Irma's impact to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Key West, we will be working on alternative ports for future sailings until these islands have fully recovered. All itinerary changes will be communicated with these guests directly.

News Conference About Hurricane Irma Recovery with U.S Virgin Islands Governor

The United States Virgin Islands is taking steps to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

President Trump to visit
• President Trump to visit V.I. in 6-7 days, to observe recovery efforts and use of federal resources.
• Governor to meet with FEMA Administrator Brock Long today.
• Governor to accompany National Media Tour of St. Thomas and St. John today. Governor states “We want wider world to know that the Virgin Islands is not off the list of places to vacation and do business.”
• Two cruise liners will evacuate 4,000 visitors from St. Thomas and St. John late today. Incoming cargo to include ice for St. Thomas and St. John.
Security
• Governor has spent time on social media to debunk rumors of widespread violence, when no reports of violence or injury.
• U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns that it is a felony for private boaters to transport persons from the British Virgin Islands into U.S. territory, no matter the reason.
• United States Marines to be deployed in St. Thomas and St. John today to assess debris removal.
• Police Commissioner Delroy Richards says police will be forced to take action against businesses operating during the hours of curfew.
Public Servants on Leave
• Governor announces 20 hour work week to begin next Monday for employees on paid administrative leave since Hurricane Irma struck. Many will relieve public employees who have performed during and after storm.
• U.S. Department of Interior has expedited release of $223 million of rum excise revenue to the V.I.
Debris Removal
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to lead debris removal operations. Landfill restrictions require that debris be stored temporarily in recreational fields.
• Storm debris to be removed from territory by barge.

Two Culinary Authorities, One Delicious Way to Travel: Celebrity Cruises Partners with Public Television Series Moveable Feast

Celebrity Cruises invites guests to dig into the brand's newest iconic culinary partnership with Fine Cooking magazine and its Emmy Award-nominated Public Television series Moveable Feast—introducing Moveable Feast with Celebrity Cruises.

In celebration of the partnership, Celebrity will launch two Moveable Feast Signature Sailings featuring some of the series' most talented chefs. Join renowned Miami chef and James Beard Award winner Michelle Bernstein on a 7-night island hopping journey through the Caribbean, departing December 16, 2017, on board Celebrity Equinox, or escape to Bermuda on a 7-night island getaway on board Celebrity Summit with James Beard Award-nominated chef Bryan Voltaggio, departing April 29, 2018. On each sailing, guests will have the opportunity to meet the chefs, attend chef-led cooking demonstrations, and join the chefs on intimate, hand-selected excursions.

"We're absolutely thrilled to announce our partnership with Fine Cooking magazine and Moveable Feast. After all, it's a show that blends two of the things we love most—and do best—traveling beyond borders to places that will inspire you and creating flavors that will thrill your palate like never before," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Now, we're combining gastronomic forces to bring you our Moveable Feast with Celebrity Cruises program, a mouthwatering experience you can savor across our fleet."

"We are excited to welcome Celebrity Cruises as the corporate underwriting sponsor of the upcoming Season 5 of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking," said John Boland, SVP and Publisher of Fine Cooking Magazine. "Being able to extend the consumer experience beyond the pages of our magazine and television show to on-board culinary adventures with Celebrity Cruises, brings it to life in a unique and fun way."

Moveable Feast with Celebrity Cruises infuses Moveable Feast-inspired activities and flavors into Celebrity's already heralded culinary experience, with a smorgasbord of unique offerings, including Moveable Feast Night in the main dining rooms onboard, hands-on cooking demonstrations, and award-winning Chef's Market DiscoveriesSM excursions that emulate the Moveable Feast experience, with more offerings to be revealed soon.

Carnival Corporation Begins Construction of World’s First Fully LNG-Powered Cruise Ship

Carnival Corporation, the world's largest leisure travel company, marked the official beginning of construction for the first of its seven next-generation cruise ships that will be fully-powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) with a keel-laying ceremony in Hamburg.

Pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels, these new ships will be the first in the cruise industry that can use LNG to generate 100 percent of their power both in port and on the open sea—an innovation that will reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support Carnival Corporation’s aggressive sustainability goals. These seven ships, with delivery dates between 2018 and 2022, will be built by leading German and Finnish shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku.

Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, together with Bernard Meyer, CEO of Meyer Yards, Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and representatives of three of the Carnival Corporation brands that will receive the LNG ships—David Dingle, chairman of Carnival UK; Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises; and Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises—gave the official “full steam ahead” signal for the keel laying of the first ship of the new LNG generation, AIDAnova, which will be delivered by Meyer Werft Papenburg in fall 2018.

“Today marked a significant milestone in the construction of this next-generation of Carnival Corporation ships featuring our ‘green cruising’ design, which will be the most environmentally friendly ships in our company’s history,” said Donald, the corporation’s CEO. “We are committed to continuing to reduce air emissions and improving air quality by evaluating both new and established solutions, including LNG. We are proud to be on the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry, and we appreciate our long-standing partnership with Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku. We look forward to the delivery of these beautiful and innovative ships that will help us meet our top goal – to provide extraordinary vacation experiences for our guests that exceed all of their expectations.”

“We thank Carnival Corporation and AIDA Cruises very much for their trust and their pioneering decision to implement LNG technology onboard their cruise ships,” said Meyer. “The corresponding infrastructure is now being developed at numerous ports—Carnival Corporation has made a decision that not only benefits the environment, but that also is highly important for the whole cruise industry.”

Following the introduction of AIDAnova in 2018, Carnival Corporation’s Costa Cruises brand will debut the industry's next cruise ship that can be powered completely by LNG on the open seas in 2019—the first steel-cutting ceremony for this ship is scheduled at the Meyer Turku shipyard in the coming week. LNG-powered ships for Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises (UK) will follow in 2020. Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises will each receive an additional LNG-powered ship in 2021, followed by an additional LNG-powered ship for Carnival Cruise Line in 2022.

Pioneering LNG Fuel for the Cruise Industry
In October 2016, Carnival Corporation signed a framework agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) to be its supplier of marine LNG to power the first two of its new LNG ships for AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises with itineraries visiting popular European ports. As part of the agreement, the ships will utilize Shell's infrastructure in cruise ports to refuel with LNG throughout their itineraries. The vessels, equipped with dual-fuel engines, are the first of a new generation of cruise ships fully powered by LNG both while in port and at sea—an industry first and an environmental breakthrough that will improve air quality with cleaner emissions.

In 2015, as a pilot project, AIDAsol from the company's AIDA Cruises brand was the first cruise ship in the world to be supplied with power by an LNG Hybrid barge and, last year, the newly delivered AIDAprima became the first cruise ship to routinely use LNG with a dual-fuel powered engine while in port. Its sister ship, AIDAperla, debuted this April with the same technology.

In additional to utilizing LNG, Carnival Corporation and its brands implement extensive measures to deliver on its commitment to continue to keep guests and crew members safe and comfortable, protect the environment, develop and provide opportunities for its workforce, strengthen its stakeholder relations and enhance the communities in which the company visits and operates.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Royal Caribbean, TS Irma, Itinerary Changes, Cruise Cancellations, Humanitarian Effort

9/11/17 at NOON EDT (next update at 6 PM EDT)

Irma is now a tropical storm with sustained winds of 70 mph. It is currently located just west of Gainesville on the Gulf Coast, moving north/northwest at 18 mph. The storm should exit the Florida area late Monday, pre-dawn Tuesday.

We are mobilizing ships and supplies to help people in need. In coordination with the US and local governments we are dispatching ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and stand ready to assist Key West, and other locations. Adventure of the Seas made a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten on Sunday and Majesty of the Seas will make humanitarian calls in St. Thomas and St. Maarten to provide supplies and also assist in transporting evacuees in St. Maarten to safety. Additionally, we have Empress of the Seas ready to assist Key West once the impact of the storm is known.

Florida airports are slowly getting up and running. For the most up-to-date information please visit the FAA website at fly.faa.gov.

The following sailings are canceled:
Empress of the Seas: September 13 Cuba cruise
Majesty of the Seas: September 15 Bahamas cruise
We are cancelling these cruises to utilize the ship for humanitarian efforts in areas of the Caribbean with urgent need.

For both the Empress sailing on 9/13 and the Majesty sailing on 9/15, the cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and we are also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, if a new cruise is booked in the next 30 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-256-6649.

The following sailings are being modified:

Allure of the Seas: September 10 Western Caribbean cruise
The new departure date is Wednesday, 9/13 and will sail a 4-night itinerary, with an overnight in Nassau, Bahamas.

Harmony of the Seas: September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will be on Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. To give you additional time to travel to the port, we expect to begin boarding at 5 pm.

Oasis of the Seas: September 10 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The departure date will be on Wednesday, 9/13 and will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. We know these changes are disappointing, and we are truly sorry for the storm's impact on your vacation. Should you choose to sail with us on Allure, Harmony or Oasis, we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit.

Enchantment of the Seas: September 11 Bahamas cruise
Our departure date remains Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 3-night itinerary to the Bahamas. To give additional time to travel to the port, we are planning to begin boarding at 5 pm. Our new itinerary will include one port call in Nassau, Bahamas. Given the impact of Irma on Key West, the port will not be open to guests, but we will likely make a humanitarian stop to assist our neighbors with essential supplies to help them recover from Hurricane Irma. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 25% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as a 25% future cruise credit.

Given the changes to these sailings, if you are unable to travel and need to cancel your cruise, we will provide you with a 100% future cruise credit. Pre-booked shore excursions will be refunded to your original form of payment, and you will have the ability to book excursions in our new ports of call once onboard.

Given Hurricane Irma's impact to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Key West, we will be working on alternative ports for future sailings until these islands have fully recovered. All itinerary changes will be communicated with these guests directly.

Puerto Rico Helps Evacuate Americans from Caribbean Islands

The Government of Puerto Rico, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States (HHS), successfully evacuated over 1,028 people, mainly US citizens, from St. Marteen and the island of Saint Thomas (USVI), following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and immediate arrival of Hurricane Jose.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló stated that “the Government of Puerto Rico responded to the call of our fellow Americans in need not only out of solidarity but because it is our responsibility as the closest United States territory."

Flights were carried out by six C130 aircraft from the Puerto Rico, Kentucky and New York National Guards. Evacuation efforts will continue once the weather conditions in the region improve.

In Puerto Rico, Governor Rosselló coordinated efforts to provide adequate lodging and medical assistance with the State Department, National Guard, Federal Affairs Administration, Tourism Company, Ports Authority, Department of Transportation, Department of Family Affairs, Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, among others, with the collaboration of the American Red Cross.

Aide provided to the evacuees included food and hotel accommodations, as well as assistance in arranging air travel to citizens' final destinations in the continental United States. Among those assisted, there were cases of families that had lost all of their belongings as a result of the natural disaster, as well as people without sufficient funds to sustain themselves, and individuals requiring urgent medical care.

Burger King, JetBlue, Iberia, and singer Ozuna y Dímelo Vi donated food to those arriving at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. Southwest Airlines donated snacks and ice to assist in the emergency.

Norwegian Cruise Line/Hurricane Irma Update & Humanitarian Effort

September 11, 2017 10:00 AM

Norwegian Cruise Line is continuing to closely watch now Tropical Storm Irma and respond as necessary to ensure the safety of our guests and crew.

Norwegian Escape is sailing at full capacity with approximately 4,000 displaced guests from both Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Escape that were unable to secure flights back home when the ships returned early to Miami on Thursday, September 7. Norwegian Escape departed Cozumel, Mexico yesterday at 5 pm. The ship will proceed towards Miami and will dock once PortMiami reopens. Due to the devastating impact in the Caribbean from Hurricane Irma, all of Norwegian Escape’s upcoming Eastern Caribbean sailings until November will be altered to a Western Caribbean itinerary. All guests scheduled to sail on any affected cruises will be notified of the change.

Acting as a responsible corporate citizen and supporting the destinations that our ships operate in is a core value of Norwegian Cruise Line. In the wake of this devastating storm, we have deployed Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas, USVI to bring much needed supplies and assist in a humanitarian effort that is currently being organized by the government. As per the State Department, affected US Citizens on St. Thomas should email name, gender, & last known location to IrmaEmergencyUSC@state.gov.

As the safety and security of our team members is our top priority, Norwegian Cruise Line's Miami headquarters will remain closed through Tuesday, September 12 and are scheduled to re-open on Wednesday, September 13. To ensure that we continue to operate with all the necessary shoreside support, key staff members have been relocated out of Miami and the storm zone. Our call centers will be operating remotely, so please be advised that hold times in our call center may be longer than normal. Our website at NCL.com will remain available 24/7. As soon as this major weather event is clear of the region and we can bring our staff back to Miami, we will re-open the offices.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cruise Diva Storm Preparations

Here in Georgia we are expected the impact of Hurricane Irma to reach us with tropical storm winds and rain. What that means is that we may be without power, or have sporadic power outages, in the next couple days. We're prepared with enough food and beverages and a generator to maintain some semblance of normalcy. However, we might not have access to the Internet.

Cruise Diva will continue to post updates from the cruise lines as possible, but if we go silent, it's because we've lost Internet connectivity.

Our prayers go out to everyone in Florida who are feeling the effects of this horrific hurricane.

Royal Caribbean/Hurricane Irma Itinerary Changes, Cruise Cancellations & Humanitarian Effort

9/10/17 at 6 PM EDT (next update at tomorrow at NOON EDT)

We are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma’s path and its potential impact to our current and upcoming sailings. Royal Caribbean’s Chief Meteorologist, James Van Fleet, is closely tracking the storm’s progress, and the current forecast is as follows:

Hurricane Irma is a category 2 storm with sustained winds of 110 mph. The eye of the storm is moving north at 14 mph through Naples and is expected to pass between Tampa and Orlando. The storm should exit the Florida area late Monday, pre-dawn Tuesday.

We are mobilizing ships and supplies to help people in need. In coordination with the US and local governments we are dispatching ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and stand ready to assist Key West, Tampa and other locations. Presently, Adventure of the Seas will make a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten on Sunday and Majesty of the Seas will make humanitarian calls in St. Thomas and St. Maarten to provide supplies and also assist in transporting evacuees in St. Maarten to safety. Additionally, we have Empress of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas ready to assist Key West and Tampa once the impact of the storm is known.

The following sailings are canceled:
Empress of the Seas: September 13 Cuba cruise
Majesty of the Seas: September 15 Bahamas cruise
We are cancelling these cruises to utilize the ship for humanitarian efforts in areas of the Caribbean with urgent need.

For both the Empress sailing on 9/13 and the Majesty sailing on 9/15, the cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and we are also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, if a new cruise is booked in the next 30 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-256-6649.

Majesty of the Seas (CHARTER): September 11 Bahamas cruise
Thirty One Gifts has made the decision to cancel this sailing. If you have any questions, please contact Events@thirtyonegifts.com.

The following sailings are being modified:

Allure of the Seas: September 10 Western Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will be on Wednesday, 9/13 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary, with an overnight in Nassau, Bahamas. We will continue to watch the path of the storm, and if Nassau as a port of call is no longer an option, we will instead call on our private island of Labadee, Haiti, which has weathered the storm well. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry for the storm’s impact on your vacation. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit.

Harmony of the Seas: September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will be on Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. To give you additional time to travel to the port, we expect to begin boarding at 5 pm. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit.

Oasis of the Seas: September 10 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will now be on Wednesday, 9/13 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us, your refund will be increased to 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as an additional 50% future cruise credit.

Enchantment of the Seas: September 11 Bahamas cruise
Our departure date remains Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 3-night itinerary to the Bahamas. To give additional time to travel to the port, we are planning to begin boarding at 5 pm. Our new itinerary will include one port call in Nassau, Bahamas. Given the impact of Irma on Key West, the port will not be open to guests, but we will likely make a humanitarian stop to assist our neighbors with essential supplies to help them recover from Hurricane Irma. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 25% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as a 25% future cruise credit.

Given the changes to these sailings, if you are unable to travel and need to cancel your cruise, we will provide you with a 100% future cruise credit. Pre-booked shore excursions will be refunded to your original form of payment, and you will have the ability to book excursions in our new ports of call once onboard.

Norwegian Cruise Line/Hurricane Irma Itinerary Changes, Cruise Cancellations & Humanitarian Effort

9/10/17 12:00 PM ET

Norwegian Cruise Line is continuing to closely watch major Hurricane Irma and respond as necessary to ensure the safety of our guests and crew. Norwegian Escape is sailing at full capacity with approximately 4,000 displaced guests from Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Sky that were unable to secure flights back home. The ship is remaining alongside in Cozumel, Mexico today until 5 pm and then will go to sea. Once the storm has safely passed and PortMiami reopens, the ship will proceed towards Miami. Due to the devastating impact in the Caribbean from Hurricane Irma, all of Norwegian Escape’s upcoming Eastern Caribbean sailings until November will be altered to a Western Caribbean itinerary. All guests scheduled to sail on any affected cruises will be notified of the change.

Acting as a responsible corporate citizen and supporting the destinations that our ships operate in is a core value of Norwegian Cruise Line. In the wake of this devastating storm, we have deployed Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas, USVI to bring much needed supplies and assist in a humanitarian effort that is currently being organized by the government.

As the safety and security of our team members is our top priority, Norwegian Cruise Line's Miami headquarters will remain closed through Tuesday, September 12 and are scheduled to re-open on Wednesday, September 13. To ensure that we continue to operate with all the necessary shoreside support, key staff members have been relocated out of Miami and the storm zone. Our call centers will be operating remotely, so please be advised that hold times in our call center may be longer than normal. Our website will remain available 24/7. As soon as this major weather event is clear of the region and we can bring our staff back to Miami, we will re-open the offices.

Royal Caribbean/Hurricane Irma Update: Itinerary Changes & Cruise Cancellations

9/10/17 at NOON EDT (next update at 6 PM EDT)

We are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma’s path and its potential impact to our current and upcoming sailings. Royal Caribbean’s Chief Meteorologist, James Van Fleet, is closely tracking the storm’s progress, and the current forecast is as follows:

Hurricane Irma is a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph. The eye of the storm is currently moving through the Keys and is moving northwest at 8 mph. The storm should exit the Florida area late Monday, pre-dawn Tuesday.

We are mobilizing ships and supplies to help people in need. In coordination with the US and local governments we are dispatching ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and stand ready to assist Key West, Tampa, and other locations. Presently, Adventure of the Seas will make a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten on Sunday and Majesty of the Seas will make humanitarian calls in St. Thomas and St. Maarten to provide supplies and also assist in transporting evacuees in St. Maarten to safety. Additionally, we have Empress of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas ready to assist Key West and Tampa once the impact of the storm is known.

The following sailings are canceled:
NEW: Empress of the Seas: September 13 Cuba cruise
Majesty of the Seas: September 15 Bahamas cruise
We are cancelling these cruises to utilize the ship for humanitarian efforts in areas of the Caribbean with urgent need.

For both the Empress sailing on 9/13 and the Majesty sailing on 9/15, the cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and we are also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, if a new cruise is booked in the next 30 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-256-6649.

Majesty of the Seas (CHARTER): September 11 Bahamas cruise
Thirty One Gifts has made the decision to cancel this sailing. If you have any questions, please contact Events@thirtyonegifts.com.

The following sailings are being modified:

Allure of the Seas: September 10 Western Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will be on Wednesday, 9/13 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary, with an overnight in Nassau, Bahamas. We will continue to watch the path of the storm, and if Nassau as a port of call is no longer an option, we will instead call on our private island of Labadee, Haiti, which has weathered the storm well. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry for the storm’s impact on your vacation. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit.

Harmony of the Seas: September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will now be on Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit.

Oasis of the Seas: September 10 Eastern Caribbean cruise
The new departure date will now be on Wednesday, 9/13 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us, your refund will be increased to 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as an additional 50% future cruise credit.

Enchantment of the Seas: September 11 Bahamas cruise
The new departure date will be Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 3-night itinerary to the Bahamas. Given the unpredictability of Irma, we will advise if there are any changes to the itinerary as soon as we know. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 25% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit.

Given the changes to these sailings, if you are unable to travel and need to cancel your cruise, we will provide you with a 100% future cruise credit. Pre-booked shore excursions will be refunded to your original form of payment, and you will have the ability to book excursions in our new ports of call once on board.

News Conference Highlights with U.S Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp

As of September 9, 2017

Governor Kenneth E. Mapp recounted the day’s developments as the territory responds in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma:
• Hurricane Jose is not expected to seriously impact weather in U.S. Virgin Islands.
• FEMA has provided initial relief commodities to isolated St. John by air, as well as meals, water, and roof tarps on St. Thomas, with the assistance of the V.I. National Guard.
• V.I. Water and Power Authority has restored water service to St. Thomas.
• Inmates in detention on St. Thomas will be relocated off island tomorrow, to locations undisclosed due to security concerns.
• Evacuation of visitors continues early next week, with anticipated arrival of two ships of the Norwegian Caribbean Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
• Government services resume on St. Croix on Monday, September 11, 2017. Schools on St. Croix will open on Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
• Clients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are eligible for replacement food benefits if without power following Hurricane Irma. Others previously ineligible for SNAP benefits may now qualify for food assistance.
• FEMA confirms online process to apply for Individual Assistance under the Federal Disaster Declaration. To apply by telephone, call 1-800-621-3362 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST 7 days per week. Applications may be made online at www.disaterassistance.gov. Governor Mapp announced effort to make possible individual assistance via smartphone to reduce congestion at local offices to be opened.
The Governor on Security:
• Curfew violators admonished for hampering work to restore electricity and other recovery efforts. Three curfew violators have been arrested. Governor warns that more arrests may be necessary to expedite the recovery process.
• Businesses conducting operations during curfew may face consequence of being shuttered.
• Businesses are also warned against insurance fraud, for example: offering of merchandise ‘give-aways’ only to later claim looting for insurance purposes.
• Virgin Islands National Guard troops now actively patrolling with V.I. Police Officers in St. Thomas and assisting with commodities distribution.
• Following delay due to concern over weather conditions, a ship has arrived with needed commodities being off-loaded this evening.
• St. Croix’s Henry E. Rohlsen airport is a major staging ground for personnel and relief commodities bound for the British Virgin Islands, which also suffered major hurricane damage. Governor Mapp described it as an “honor” to be able to assist the British Government’s relief efforts.
• U.S. Congress applauded for approving $15.8 billion to FEMA for combined recovery assistance.
Health
• FEMA Disaster Medical Assistance Team to establish a temporary hospital outside the Schneider Regional Medical Center.
• V.I. Department of Health nurses are being transported to relieve their counterparts on St. Thomas. Dialysis patients are being transferred to facilities in Puerto Rico.
• The Community Health Clinic is being relocated to the Knud Hansen Complex.
• The Department of Health is establishing a first aid clinic to relieve the still functioning Emergency Room at the Schneider Hospital.
• St. John patients are being transferred to St. Croix temporarily, pending long term relocation with assistance from FEMA.
Charitable Assistance Warning
• Governor advises donors to avoid potentially fraudulent “fund me” solicitations.
• Announces appointment of local attorney to establish special account to receive donations under management of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) on St. Thomas and the St. Croix Foundation.
• Offers of donations of skills and labor to be evaluated and coordinated by VITEMA and FEMA.
• Governor reiterates that recovery for St. Thomas and St. John will be a long and continuous process towards restoration.

Carnival Cruise Line/Hurricane Irma Update: Itinerary Changes & Cruise Cancellations

UPDATE 9/10/2017 – 11:00 AM (EDT)

Guests on one of the following sailings who are unable to travel will receive future cruise credits:
Carnival Paradise – September 7
Carnival Sensation – September 7
Carnival Fascination – September 10
Due to heavy call volume, you do not have to call Carnival to receive your future cruise credit as this will be automatically processed within 30 days.

We have been closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and given the projected path of the storm, the following cruises have been cancelled:
Carnival Splendor – September 9
Carnival Ecstasy – September 9
Carnival Liberty – September 10
Carnival Paradise – September 11
A full refund will be automatically processed, including Fly2Fun reservations, pre-purchased Carnival Adventures, Fun Shop purchases and beverage packages. The refund will be processed to your original form of payment within three weeks.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We remain in constant contact with port officials regarding port closures. In preparation for the storm, Port Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, and the Port of Tampa are now closed. Our intentions are to operate the following cruises from South and Central Florida once the port reopens. Guests who decide to cancel because their cruise duration has changed, will automatically receive a future cruise credit in the amount paid. This will be automatically processed and you do not need to call us if you decide to not travel.

PLEASE DO NOT PROCEED TO THE PIER UNTIL WE HAVE CONFIRMED OUR ARRIVAL AND CHECK IN TIMES ON OUR WEB SITE.

Carnival Conquest – September 9
Now scheduled to depart Port Everglades on September 12 on a 4 day cruise to Cozumel.

Carnival Glory – September 9
Now scheduled to depart Miami on September 12 on a 4 day cruise to Cozumel.

Carnival Magic – September 9
Now scheduled to depart Port Canaveral on September 13 on a 3 day cruise to Freeport and Nassau.

Carnival Vista – September 9
Now scheduled to depart Miami on September 12 on a 5 day two port Western Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Carnival Victory – September 11
Now scheduled to depart Miami on September 12 for a 3 day cruise to Nassau and Freeport.

Carnival Sensation – September 11
Now scheduled to depart Miami on September 13 for a 3 day cruise to Nassau.

THE FOLLOWING SAILINGS WILL DEPART AS SCHEDULED. GUESTS ARE ASKED TO ARRIVE AT THE CRUISE TERMINAL ACCORDING TO THEIR PRE-SELECTED ARRIVAL APPOINTMENTS. ALL GUESTS MUST BE ON BOARD ONE HOUR PRIOR TO THE SHIP’S SCHEDULED DEPARTURE TIME.

Carnival Dream – September 10
Will depart New Orleans on September 10 to operate a three port Western Caribbean cruise to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Carnival Pride – September 10
Will depart Baltimore on September 10 on a cruise to Canada and visit Halifax and St. John. Given the significant itinerary deviation, guests may elect to cancel and receive a future cruise credit. Guests wishing to sail will receive a 25% future cruise credit based on the fare paid for this cruise.

Carnival Fascination – September 10
Will depart San Juan on September 10 on a cruise to Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts.

Guests who sail on shortened cruises will receive a pro-rated refund of their cruise fare. Additionally, anyone who pre-purchased our beverage packages will also receive a pro-rated adjustment. These refunds will be to the original form of payment. Pre-purchased Carnival Adventures for cancelled ports, as well as any taxes, fees and port expenses will be refunded to your onboard Sail & Sign account. Gratuities will also be adjusted to reflect the shortened duration.

We will continue to closely monitor Hurricane Irma’s forecasted track and provide further updates as needed. Please sign up for text alerts by texting the codes below to CRUISE (278473).
Carnival Conquest – CCL2
Carnival Glory – CCL3
Carnival Magic – CCL4
Carnival Vista – CCL6
Carnival Victory 9/11 – CCL8
Carnival Sensation 9/11 – CCL10
Carnival Dream – CCL13
Carnival Pride – CCL14
Carnival Fascination – CCL15
Carnival Paradise 9/11 – CCL16
We sincerely apologize for the disruption Hurricane Irma has caused and we look forward to welcoming our guests on board. We also want to apologize if you are experiencing long hold times at our contact center as many of our employees are preparing for Irma’s arrival.

Please join us in keeping our Caribbean and Floridian friends, Carnival employees and those communities in Hurricane Irma’s path, in our thoughts and prayers.