| Date Published: August 25, 2005 |
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|Hurricane Katrina Hits Florida, Affects Itineraries|
|(11:10 p.m.) -- Katrina has made landfall in southern Florida, after being upgrading from a tropical storm to a Category One hurricane. Maximum sustained winds are currently 75 miles per hour, and the storm is expected to move further inland tonight and early Friday morning.|
According the National Hurricane Center, a hurricane warning has been called for the southeast Florida coast. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Florida's west coast. A tropical storm warning is in effect for all of the Florida Keys.
At this point, Port Everglades and Miami's port are closed to incoming cruise ships; itinerary changes have been reported by the following cruise lines:
NCL's Norwegian Dawn will be skipping a call in Great Stirrup Cay, and overnighting in Nassau tonight before heading back to New York tomorrow.
Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas did not return to Port Everglades today as scheduled, but to Tampa (Port Everglades is closed to ship traffic); guests booked on today's sailing were transported by bus from Port Everglades to Tampa. The itinerary will be altered slightly; a call at Key West has been scrapped for a day at sea.
Majesty of the Seas will end its current cruise on Saturday, one day later than scheduled, in Miami (the ship will stay at sea tomorrow). An upcoming three-night cruise has been converted into a two-day sailing. Guests who opt to cancel will receive a 50 percent refund; guests who opt to sail will receive an onboard credit of $100 per stateroom.
At this point, no itinerary changes have been announced for Navigator of the Seas, but passengers expecting to sail out on Saturday should keep a close watch on Royal Caribbean's Web site for changes.
Carnival's Imagination, which was originally
scheduled to end a cruise in Miami today, will remain at sea and arrive instead on Saturday. The following voyage, a four-day cruise, will instead be converted to a two-day Bahamas cruise departing Miami on Saturday. Guests who opt to sail this modified itinerary will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare and a 50 percent discount off a cruise of three or four days. Guests who opt to cancel will receive a full refund.
Fascination, which was originally
scheduled to end a four-day voyage in Miami tomorrow, will also spend an extra day at sea, arriving instead on
Saturday. The following voyage will be converted from a three-day cruise into a two-day Bahamas voyage departing on Saturday. Guests who opt to sail on the modified cruise will
receive a 35 percent refund of their cruise fare and a 50 percent discount off a future three-day cruise. Guests who opt to cancel will receive a full refund.
We'll keep you posted on this storm -- number 11 of an unusually busy season.
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