Friday, October 7, 2016

After Matthew

Hurricane Matthew tonight is weakening and just beginning to move past Jacksonville, but is still menacing the Georgia and South Carolina coasts. Their ports won't be open until at least Sunday. Miami, Port Everglades and Palm Beach reopened today, and Port Canaveral may open tomorrow. That still leaves operations from all but South  Florida under a cloud of uncertainty.

Cruise lines did resume operations today at Miami, but causing a cloud of uncertainty there was that the condition of all Bahamian ports and their attractions is still unknown, or how soon they will be able to open back up for business.

Adding even more uncertainty is the growing probability that Matthew is going to loop back around and strike the Bahamas again as a tropical storm on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The complete story appeared in the October 7 edition of Cruise News Daily.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Next Concern

Hurricane Matthew is moving steadily and in the short term is following the predicted path, so most cruise line changes today are a result of the ports not reopening as quickly as originally expected.

Most of the media coverage is now focused on the storm itself as it moves toward the Florida coast, but there's more to the story that they'll soon be excited about.

Details appeared in the October 6 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

There She Is - Miss Carnival Vista

Carnival Cruise Line reported yesterday that Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, has consented to serve as godmother to Carnival Vista. She will officially name the 133,500-ton vessel in New York on November 4.

The naming will be part of an overnight gala event aboard Carnival Vista honoring Operation Homefront featuring a concert by seven-time Grammy award winner Carrie Underwood. The overnight event is by invitation only with most of the invitations going to hundreds of military families.

The complete story appeared in the October 6 edition of Cruise News Daily.

Port Closures Change Two More Royal Caribbean Ships

(October 6, 3pm) - The closure of Miami and Port Canaveral are causing two more changes for Royal Caribbean ships.

Due to the expected continue closure of Port Canaveral, Royal Caribbean has canceled the October 8 sailing of Majesty of the Seas (which was originally to depart on October 7). Passengers may elect to receive a full refund or a future cruise certificate for 150% of the fare they paid for this cruise. To receive the future cruise credit, passengers must contact Royal Caribbean before their refund is issued with a week.

Port Miami will open later in the morning on Friday, so Empress of the Seas' departure will be delayed Friday night. Embarkation is not expected to begin before 5pm, and passengers are requested not to arrive at Port Miami before 5pm.

Disney Fantasy Updated for Canaveral Closure

Disney Cruise Line's reservation office has closed until the storm moves past the Central Florida and plans to reopen on Saturday morning (October 8).

Disney has decided to keep Disney Fantasy at sea for an extra day anticipating that Port Canaveral will remain closed on Saturday. Disney Fantasy will now return on Sunday, October 9.

The late return of Disney Fantasy has caused Disney to shorten the October 8 sailing. It will now sail from Port Canaveral on Sunday, October 9 and be a six-night western Caribbean cruise. It will include calls at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Castaway Cay. Disney says passengers who sail on this will receive a prorated refund and an onboard credit. Passengers who do not wish to sail on the revised itinerary can call Disney on Saturday to reschedule on a future cruise at a discount or request receive a full refund.

Carnival Makes a Few More Changes

(October 6, 230pm) Hurricane Matthew's speed and path have become steady, and the storm is following the predictions. Carnival has only had to update a couple of sailings today.

Carnival Victory's October 6 sailing which was revised to an October 7 sailing from Port Canaveral has now been canceled. 

An extra port call was added today to Carnival Valor which originally sailed from Port Canaveral on September 30. The ship spent the day at Grand Turk and is expected to return to Port Canaveral on Saturday. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Matthew Closes US Ports

US ports along the Florida Atlantic coast and in South Carolina are closing as Hurricane Matthew passes them. That's causing problems for cruise ships that have turnarounds scheduled from today through Saturday. In most instances, lines are opting to keep their ships at sea for an extra day, which creates a problem that the next cruise has to be shortened by a day, which often means revised itineraries.

Turnarounds at Miami, Port Canaveral, Jacksonville and Charleston are all affected.

The complete story appeared in the October 5 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Not So Fast

When Crystal Cruises laid out their expansion plans for building various types of ships, and even a luxury airline, it seemed that the ships were going to almost materialize overnight.

Now Crystal is thinking that may have been moving a bit too fast.

Details appeared in the October 5 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Carnival Deals with Port Closures

(October 5, 530pm) - Hurricane Matthew will close ports in Florida and South Carolina on Thursday, Friday and Saturday affecting a number of turnarounds.

With the path of the storm, PortMiami will be closed on Thursday and is expected to reopen for normal operations on Friday.

As we reported earlier, Carnival Sensation's October 1 sailing was sent to Costa Maya and Cozumel rather than the Bahamas and Grand Turk. It was due to return to Miami on Thursday but Carnival has extended the cruise by one day and it will no return on Friday (October 7).

Carnival Sensation's October 6 sailing will now depart Miami on October 7 (Friday) and it will shortened to a 3-night cruise going to Nassau with an overnight stay and the following day at sea. Carnival says the itinerary is subject to a post-storm assessment of Nassau.

Port Canaveral plans to be closed at least on Thursday. Carnival is anticipating it reopening to traffic on Friday.

Carnival Victory returned to Port Canaveral a day early this morning and dropped off passengers. It left as quickly as possible and will be at sea safely away from the storm as Matthew passes through Port Canaveral. The ship will return to Port Canaveral on Friday to pick up passengers for as shortened two-night cruise that will call only at Freeport.

Carnival anticipates Jacksonville reopening sometime on Saturday.

Carnival Elation is still planning to return to Jacksonville on Saturday (October 8), but Carnival is warning that its arrival may be delayed. Of course that could delay embarkation for for the October 8 sailing.

Charleston is expected to be closed to traffic on Saturday,

Carnival Ecstasy's cruise that was to return on Saturday is being extended to Sunday October 9. Because the decision could be made so early, the call in Cozumel on October 5 could be extended overnight and all day on Thursday. There will be two sea days returning to Charleston.

Passengers planning to board Carnival Ecstasy on Saturday now won't be doing so until Sunday (October 9) and sailing a revised itinerary shortened by one day. The revised six-night itinerary will now call at Half Moon Cay (October 12) and Nassau (October 13), subject to the ports reopening and a post-storm assessment of the destinations.

Royal Caribbean Delays Two Returns Due to Matthew Port Closures

(October 5, 530pm) - Due to the closure of the ports of Miami and Port Canaveral, Royal Caribbean is delaying the turnarounds of two ships.

Empress of the Seas was scheduled to return from its October 1 sailing on Thursday (October 6) but Royal Caribbean is delaying it by a day. With the extra day, after the ship left Cozumel on Tuesday, Royal Caribbean sent it to Costa Maya on Wednesday.

That means passengers planning to embark on Empress of the Seas on October 6 at Miami won't now embark until Friday, October 7 and the cruise will be shortened to three nights. Passengers will receive an onboard credit in the amount of one day's cruise fare. They will also receive a future cruise credit in the amount of 25% of the fare they paid.

Majesty of the Seas was scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Friday, October 7. Since the port will be closed, it is spending one more day at sea, and will now return on Saturday (October 8).

Passengers planning to embark on Majesty of the Seas on Friday (October 7) will now embark on Saturday (October 8), but the cruise will shortened by a day to two-nights. Passengers will receive an onboard credit in the amount of one-day's cruise fare and a future cruise credit in the amount of 33% of the fare they paid.

Disney Updates Plans for Two Ships

(October 5, 5pm) - Port Canaveral will be closed on Friday when Disney Dream is scheduled to turn around, so Disney has decided to keep the ship at sea until Saturday when it's anticipated Hurricane Matthew will have passed by and the port will reopen. (This was the sailing that departed Port Canaveral on October 3.)

Since Disney Dream won't be available to embark passengers on October 7 (and it's not certain that it will be able to return on October 8), Disney has canceled the October 7 sailing, and all passengers will be given a full refund and the opportunity to book a future cruise as a discount.

Disney Magic is sailing on a eight-night cruise from New York on Friday (October 7) to the Bahamas and Florida. Instead, because of the path of the storm, Disney has changed the cruise to a Canadian program with calls at Sydney, Halifax and St. John. Passengers are being given and onboard credit. If passengers would rather not sail, they can rebook a future cruise at a discount or receive a full refund.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Matthew on the Move

Hurricane Matthew is still a category 4 hurricane and as of Wednesday evening is poised to plow northward through the Bahamas and arrive on the South Florida coast on Thursday evening.

Carnival made some additional changes today, and revised some itineraries they had already changed once.

The complete story appeared in the October 4 edition of Cruise News Daily,

Other Things You'll Want to Know - October 4, 2016

CND subscribers also read about:
  • Astronaut Scott Kelly making a return speaking engagement aboard Crystal Esprit in the Persian Gulf on December 13.
  • Cunard scheduling a special crossing aboard Queen Mary 2 to mark International World Space week in October 2017. 
Details appeared in the October 4 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Matthew Causes More Carnival Changes

(Tuesday, October 4, 5pm)  - Hurricane Matthew has caused Carnival to alter the itineraries of three more ships and make additional changes to two others that had already been revised.

Carnival Victory left Port Canaveral on Sunday for a four-night cruise to Nassau and Freeport with a sea day at the end. Carnival is removing the sea day and bringing the ship back one day early on Wednesday to avoid the storm which will probably close Port Canaveral on Thursday.

Carnival Pride left Baltimore on Sunday with most folks planning to go to the Caribbean. Instead they were told they visiting New York for a day and St. John. Even that got changed. They did arrive New York as (newly) planned on Tuesday, but instead of leaving, the ship will overnight in the port and give them a second day in the Big Apple before departing for Baltimore on Thursday at 5pm. There will be three sea days en route back to Baltimore where the ship will arrive on Sunday.

Carnival Breeze's seven-night out of Galveston on Sunday just got their ports and sea days reordered to stay out of Matthew's way. They were planning two sea days, then visiting Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel followed by a final sea day. The revised order is Cozumel (on Tuesday), Grand Cayman (on Wednesday) and Montego Bay (on Thursday).

Carnival Conquest is making a simple change. It's original itinerary took it from Ft. Lauderdale on Satuday to Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao and Aruba, returning to Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday. The call at La Romana (Dominican Republic) was replaced with a sea day.

Carnival Sunshine is also making a simple change. It left New York on Saturday on a seven-night cruise round trip to Bermuda (King's Wharf). It was to spend three full days there and leave Bermuda at 5pm on Wednesday. It will now be leaving Bermuda at noon on Wednesday, just to keep plenty of room between the ship and Matthew.

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Ships Steering Clear of Hurricane Matthew

Over the weekend, cruise lines decided on a slew of changes to keep their ships out of the way of Hurricane Matthew. The big wildcard, however, is where Matthew will move, and small changes in its course, could end up causing more changes later in the week.

Details appear in the October 3 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Details of the itinerary changes appear below on this blog. 

It's a Gas

Carnival Corp has signed an agreement with Shell to provide liquified natural gas (LNG) to their first two ships on order which will be 100% LNG-powered.

The two ships will be operated by AIDA and Costa in Europe and will launch in 2019.

Details appeared in the October 3 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Carnival Australia Ships to the Rescue

Australian marine search and rescue authorities asked Carnival Spirit and P&O's Pacific Pearl to sail to the rescue of a disabled yacht 280 nautical miles east of Sydney today. The yacht had six people aboard.

Not long after they arrived, Pacific Pearl was released to continue its itinerary, but Carnival Spirit continued to standby pending the arrival of further assistance.

The complete story appeared in the October 3 edition of Cruise News Daily. 

Royal Caribbean Modifies Two Additional Itineraries to Avoid Hurricane Matthew

(October 3, 9am) Royal Caribbean has rerouted two additional ships to avoid the effects of Hurricane Matthew this week.

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas 7-night cruise from Port Canaveral, which left on Sunday, will be bypassing its call in the Bahamas at Coco Cay, and substituting a call in San Juan (on Tuesday afternoon and evening). Then it will be back on schedule calling at St. Thomas (on Wednesday) and St. Maarten (on Thursday).

Majesty of the Seas left Port Canaveral Monday on a four-night cruise. It was supposed to go to Coco Cay and Nassau. It will be visiting Freeport on Tuesday, and from there it will head to Key West where it will arrive Wednesday morning. It will stay there Thursday morning, and then head back to Port Canaveral.

Norwegian Moves One Ship out of Matthew's Way

(October 3, 9am) We can add Norwegian Cruise Line to the list of cruise lines moving ships out of Hurricane Matthew's way.

Norwegian Sky left Miami today on its four-night cruise, and passengers had originally planned to go to the Bahamas. Instead, they are going west. The ship will call at Key West (on Tuesday) and Cozumel (on Wednesday).

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Carnival Reroutes Four More Ships Due to Matthew

(Sunday October 2, 7pm)  Carnival Cruise Line has rerouted four additional ships to avoid Hurricane Matthew.

Carnival Victory four-night cruise to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral on Sunday is having a relatively minor change with just a reversal of order of the port. Carnival Victory will now call at Nassau on Monday and Freeport on Tuesday. Wednesday will still be a sea day. (See update on Oct 4)

Carnival Ecstasy had a six-night cruise to the Bahamas planned from Charleston on Sunday (Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Freeport). Not anymore. The ship will now go to Cozumel. That will be the only port call on Wednesday. The other four days (two going and two coming back) will be sea days.

Carnival Pride was going to the Bahamas on Sunday on a seven-night cruise from Baltimore. This week it's going north instead. It will now visit New York on Tuesday and St. John (NB) on Thursday. (See update on October 4)

Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville was going to Half Moon Cay and Nassau on a five-night cruise on Monday. Instead, Carnival Elation will first be going to Key West (on Wednesday) and then to Freeport (on Friday).

It wouldn't be surprising if there were more changes to come.
See the earlier (Saturday) posting for updates to Carnival Splendor and Carnival Sensation.