Update, 10:35 a.m. EDT: Hurricane Bill has now increased to a Category Four hurricane, with wind speeds of 135 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center expects the hurricane to strengthen in the next 24 hours.
(August 18, 5:30 p.m. EDT) -- Hurricane Bill, the first tropical cyclone of the Atlantic hurricane season, has gained a bit of momentum in the past 24 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained wind speeds have increased from 90 miles per hour to nearly 110 miles per hour.
Currently located about 635 miles east of the Eastern Caribbean, Bill has been designated as a Category Two hurricane, but it could become a major hurricane as early as Wednesday.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival all have ships in the region, but Royal Caribbean and NCL have not made any itinerary changes due to Bill at this time.
Carnival representatives have just informed Cruise Critic of itinerary changes for Carnival Glory. The ship departed Port Canaveral on Saturday and has already visited Nassau and St. Thomas as scheduled; but instead of docking at St. Maarten today, the ship will spend the day at sea, and tomorrow's scheduled sea day will be replaced with a call at Grand Turk.
Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports
Bill is expected to continue heading in a northwesterly direction as it picks up speed, but it should pass well to the northeast of the northernmost leeward islands late Wednesday or early Thursday.
We'll keep you updated.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor
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Update: Hurricane Bill Reroutes Carnival Cruise
August 19, 2009