(5:12 p.m.) -- Cozumel, which suffered severe damage from Hurricane Wilma, will once again welcome cruise ship traffic on November 14 -- two weeks from today. Though ships may not be able to dock (at least one of the three piers on the island has been destroyed), they may opt to anchor and tender passengers to the island instead.
Until that time, Cozumel will remain closed to all cruise ship traffic. The Puerto Maya Pier was lost during Hurricane Wilma; Reuters describes Puerto Maya as having been "pulverized, massive chunks of concrete torn away and thrown onto the beach." The International Pier and Punta Langosta Pier have sustained damages and are being assessed, according to a representative for the port.
The fate of these piers affects nearly every major cruise line as Cozumel is a mainstay on Western Caribbean routes. However, Carnival Corp. (the parent company of Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Seabourn and Windstar, among others) is particularly affected as it has invested a good deal of time and money in creating shopping areas -- and the now-destroyed Puerto Maya pier -- in Cozumel.
Electricity is coming back on slwoly; a timeframe has not yet been established for ultimate repair and recovery. A representative for Costa Maya tells us the port is prepared to accommodate additional cruise ships due to the situation in Cozumel for up to six months. Ships that may visit Costa Maya in lieu of Cozumel include Carnival's Carnival Valor, Sensation and Inspiration; Princess' Star Princess; Disney's Disney Magic; NCL's Norwegian Sun; and Holland America's Volendam, Veedam and Zuiderdam.
Costa Maya's pier and surrounding complex sustained no damage and continue to operate at 100 percent capacity; all shore excursions are up and running.
Click here for a full list of itinerary changes.
Hurricane Wilma made landfall on the island of Cozumel on October 21; the eye of the storm hovered above Cozumel and nearby Cancun for two days before heading to Florida.
We will continue to post information here as soon as we receive it, so please check back often.
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Damage Report: Cozumel
October 31, 2005