(2 p.m.) -- A hurricane watch has been issued from South Santee River in South Carolina to Cape Lookout in North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. Maximum winds have increased to 70 miles per hour and the center of Ernesto is expected to hit North Carolina later today.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from the Savannah River to Currituck Beach Light in North Carolina.
At this time, Royal Caribbean and Carnival have announced itinerary changes for the following ships:
Enchantment of the Seas, which left out of Port Everglades Monday, skipped a call at Key West today; it instead spent a day at sea.
Majesty of the Seas, which set sail Monday, will visit Cozumel on Wednesday.
Rhapsody of the Seas, which left out of Port Galveston Sunday, will visit Belize City on Wednesday, Costa Maya on Thursday, and Cozumel on Friday.
Sovereign of the Seas, which also set sail Monday, will reverse their original itinerary by visiting Nassau on Wednesday and Coco Cay on Thursday, weather permitting.
Carnival Conquest, which also sailed Sunday, will be visiting Montego Bay on Wednesday, Grand Cayman on Thursday, Cozumel on Friday, and will not be visiting Progreso as originally planned.
Carnival Glory, which departed on Saturday, visited Cozumel on Monday and Belize on Tuesday, and will call at Costa Maya on Wednesday and Nassau on Friday.
Carnival Miracle, which sailed Sunday, visited Grand Cayman on Tuesday, and will visit Cozumel on Wednesday, Belize on Thursday, and Costa Maya on Friday.
Ecstacy, which departed Saturday, has swapped two ports: It will now visit Cozumel on Wednesday and Progreso on Thursday.
Elation, which departed Sunday, called at Half Moon Cay Monday, and will visit St. Thomas on Wednesday, San Juan on Thursday and Grand Turk on Friday.
Fascination, which sailed Monday, will visit Key West on Wednesday, Cozumel on Thursday and have an at-sea day on Friday.
Sensation, which sailed Sunday, will be docked overnight in Nassau from Wednesday to Thursday.
Isolated tornadoes are possible over eastern North Carolina later today, as well as flash floods in Florida. Tropical storm warning south of Savannah River has been called off.
Stay tuned for updates.
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Ernesto Strengthens Again; Cruises Impacted
August 31, 2006