After the quiet opening months of the 2010 hurricane season, things are beginning to heat up with Hurricane Earl, the fifth named Atlantic storm of the year, moving in on islands in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean. Proactively, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have altered some ships' itineraries to avoid the storm.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Alterations, Updated Noon 8/30
Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Dream, which departed Port Canaveral on Saturday, will sail to the Western Caribbean and call at Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya instead of following the planned Eastern Caribbean itinerary that included Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.
Carnival Victory, which left San Juan on Sunday, will bypass St. Thomas and remain at sea today. A scheduled call in St. Maarten has been canceled and the ship plans to visit St. Thomas later in the week.
Carnival Pride sailed from Baltimore on Sunday and has cancelled a Wednesday visit in Grand Turk. Instead, it will make a call at Port Canaveral, Florida. Instead of Half Moon Cay, the ship will call at Nassau, Bahamas.
Royal Caribbean: Enchantment of the Seas, which departed from Baltimore last Thursday, will call at Samana, Dominican Republic today instead of St. Thomas. It will visit Labadee on Tuesday and spend Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at sea in order to arrive in Baltimore on Saturday.
Oasis of the Seas will not make its port calls Tuesday in St. Thomas and Wednesday in St. Maarten. The ship made an extended Sunday call on Nassau, will spend today and tomorrow at sea, then visit Costa Maya on Wednesday and Cozumel on Thursday. Friday will be a sea day returning to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.
Freedom of the Seas, which sailed Sunday from Port Canaveral, has been diverted to the Western Caribbean and will call at Grand Cayman and Cozumel on Wednesday and Thursday instead of the Eastern Caribbean ports of St. Thomas and St. Maarten.
Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Epic, which sailed from Miami on Saturday will visit Cozumel and Roatan in place of St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Epic will lengthen a Friday call in Nassau.
Norwegian Dawn was scheduled to leave New York on time yesterday, but faces a possible itinerary alteration depending on the path the storm takes.
Hurricane watches are in effect for Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and British Virgin Islands. Tropical storm conditions are expected over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today, with the possibility of hurricane conditions tonight. Hurricane warnings have been issued for St. Maarten, St. Barth's, Antigua, St. Kitt's, and neighboring islands.