September 27, 2004
Hurricane Jeanne: Final Report
Bahamas' Nassau Reopens But Ships Still Bypassing Freeport
Ivan's Day Is Over
After The Storm: Frances' Cruise-Related Damage
Javier No Longer Impacts Mexican Riviera
At Your Service: Hurricane Season Cruising
Hurricane Center: Damage Update
(September 30, noon) -- In what appears to be a most welcome spate of breathing room, no hurricanes, at present, pose any threat to the Caribbean or the U.S. That's the good news. The bad news: Some cruise destinations are still impacted by Hurricane Frances -- or Ivan, or Jeanne -- and so here's an update as to where things stand:
All embarkation ports in Florida -- Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Port Canaveral and Miami -- are back in business.
Cruise lines continue to bypass Freeport, on Grand Bahama Island, which is one of the Bahamas' two major cruise ports. The port city had only just reopened after fairly extensive damage from Hurricane Frances when Hurricane Jeanne struck. We'll offer updates as we receive them.
On the other hand, Nassau, the Bahamas other major port, is in good shape and is welcoming cruise passengers.
Another question mark at this point is cruise lines' private islands. Many had not even reopened following damage caused by Hurricane Frances (one exception was Disney). All are now closed, pending damage investigations and then repairs. These include Disney's Castaway Cay, Holland America's Half Moon Cay, Princess' Princess Cays, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity's CocoCay, and NCL's Great Stirrup Cay.
Grand Cayman, which suffered significant damage from Hurricane Ivan and hasn't seen a cruise ship since, is still in recovery mode. In a press conference yesterday, a Cayman Islands representative said that, timing wise, Grand Cayman would hopefully be ready to welcome tourists by Thanksgiving. Cruise lines aren't announcing itinerary changes in advance and are sending ships to places like Costa Maya and Progreso. This is another we'll-keep-you-posted issue.
In that same press conference, Grenada's U.S. Director said that recovery efforts are progressing -- and the port is open. However, tourist infrastructure is not yet ready though Grenada is hoping to be able to welcome passengers back sometime in October. At this point, at least one cruise line -- such as NCL, has announced a permanent winter itinerary change (Norwegian Dawn, for instance, will replace calls at Grenada with stops at St. Vincent). Most ships are adding Dominica as a replacement, at least at this point.