Update, 5:15 a.m. EDT: Hurricane Ike is still heading west-southwest and a hurricane watch is in place for the Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands. A tropical storm warning is also in effect in parts of The Dominican Republic and Haiti. Because hurricane conditions are expected within the next few days, several cruise lines have altered itineraries (click here for the full list).
We will continue to follow this storm closely over the weekend.
(September 4, 12:46 p.m. EDT) -- In a matter of less than 24 hours, Hurricane Ike has gone from a tropical storm (yesterday) to what the National Hurricane Center is now calling "an extremely dangerous" Category Four hurricane.
Forecasters expect Ike to weaken some, but Ike will likely remain a threat for days to come. Currently Ike is located over 500 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands and is moving in a northwest direction at 16 miles per hour. A turn to the southwest is probable in the next couple of days and Ike's winds are reaching speeds of nearly 140 m.p.h.
At this point, Hurricane Ike looks to be on track to drench the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands on Sunday and Monday. Between Friday and Monday, the following ships are scheduled to be in either Freeport or Nassau: Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Valor, Disney Wonder, Norwegian Sky, Majesty of the Seas and Sovereign of the Seas. Grand Turk is not expecting any ships until next Wednesday.
Spokespersons for Carnival, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have told us that at this point, no cruise itineraries have been altered -- but that could change as Ike closes in on the area.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Kim Kazell
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Update: Category Three Hurricane Ike Impacts Cruises
September 5, 2008