Although the storm is almost stationary this morning and little motion is expected today, Richard is still forecast to intensify and become a hurricane over the weekend.
According to the National Hurricane Center's 5 a.m. EDT update, Richard is located about 235 miles south-southeast of the popular cruise port of Grand Cayman, and 205 miles north-northeast from Cabo Gracias a Dios, which is on the Nicaragua-Honduras border. Maximum sustained winds are at 40 miles per hour.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
At this point there are no cruise ship itinerary changes -- we'll keep you posted.
Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports
A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Honduras from the border with Nicaragua west to Limon. That means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours. Tropical Storm Richard is expected to produce heavy rainfall which may begin to affect Eastern Honduras late Friday into Saturday.
Tropical Storm Richard is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane by the weekend and could reach Honduras by Sunday morning, according to the NHC update. Projections show the storm is headed in the direction of Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula after the weekend.
Representatives from NCL, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Carnival -- the four lines have ships in the Western Caribbean (but not within the storm's cone) -- said there are no changes to report at this time.
In a related note, John Deiner, Cruise Critic's managing editor, is onboard Norwegian Epic this week and is reporting heavy rains in Cozumel. Check out his picture of a soggy ship and read his take on cruisin' in the rain in our blog.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor