(7:09 p.m. EDT) -- As Hurricane Jimena weakens into a Category One hurricane, the port of Cabo San Lucas is reopening for business. The port, located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, experienced no major damage from the hurricane, the Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau reports. The destination never lost power, and the cruise port, resorts, highways and all tourism services are operating as normal once again. Cruise ships will be able to call in Los Cabos as scheduled on Friday.
The hurricane made landfall today on the Baja California peninsula. According to the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the center of the storm is currently located just southeast of San Buenaventura and about 60 miles south of Santa Rosalia. Hurricane Jimena's maximum sustained winds have decreased again to 85 miles per hour, downgrading the storm to a Category One hurricane. The storm is expected to weaken to a tropical storm tonight.
While hurricane and tropical storm warnings are currently in effect for the central peninsula, the storm has passed by the cruise port of Cabo San Lucas and is unlikely to reach Ensenada in the north.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
Carnival has completely altered Carnival Splendor's Mexican Riviera itinerary. The ship is scheduled to call in Catalina Island on Monday, Ensenada Tuesday, two sea days Wednesday and Thursday, Cabo San Lucas on Friday, and Ensenada again on Saturday.
Carnival Elation departed from San Diego on Saturday. Its new schedule features a sea day Monday and visits to Catalina on Tuesday and Ensenada on Wednesday. This itinerary replaces the previous schedule of consecutive port calls in Cabo San Lucas on Monday and Tuesday.
Carnival Paradise is also sailing a revised itinerary, which is simply a rearrangement of ports. The ship departed Long Beach on Monday, spent Tuesday at sea, and will call in Catalina on Wednesday and Ensenada on Thursday before returning to Long Beach on Friday.
Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas is reversing the order of its ports of call to avoid the hurricane. The ship departed Los Angeles on Sunday and spent two days at sea, and will visit Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday, Mazatlan on Thursday, and Cabo San Lucas on Friday. Saturday will be a sea day with a return to Los Angeles on Sunday. However, this new itinerary may need to be readjusted if Hurricane Jimena does significant damage to any of the ports.
Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports
Hurricane Jimena is moving toward the north, and is expected to turn to the northwest, with a decrease in forward speed tonight. A turn to the west is forecast for Thursday. The center of the storm is forecast to head back out to sea tomorrow.
All four Carnival and Royal Caribbean ships sailing Mexico cruises in the Pacific have altered their itineraries to avoid the storm. Carnival Splendor and Mariner of the Seas will call in Cabo San Lucas as scheduled on Friday. The storm is not likely to impact cruise itineraries further.
Stay tuned for more updates.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
Hurricane Jimena Spares Los Cabos, Cruise Port Reopens
September 2, 2009