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Cruises Unaffected as Tropical Storm Maria Strengthens

September 9, 2011
(1 p.m. EDT) -- Tropical Storm Maria, the 13th named storm of the 2011 hurricane season, is expected to reach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by Saturday, according to the latest report from the National Hurricane Center, but cruise itineraries still remain intact.

The storm is located about 350 miles southeast of the leeward islands, and it's currently moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 45 m.p.h.

Currently, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, Antigua, Anguilla, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts and the Virgin Islands are under a tropical storm warning. A tropical storm watch is in effect for St. Maarten, St. Barthelemy and Martinique.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

There are no itinerary changes at this time, but Royal Caribbean and Carnival each have a handful of ships in the area. We'll keep you updated if any new information becomes available.

Other Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Nate has also materialized and is hovering in the Gulf of Mexico. At this time, no ships have been affected. According to the National Hurricane Center's latest report, the storm is about 140 miles west-northwest of Campeche, Mexico, and it's moving at a measly three miles per hour with maximum sustained winds at 65 m.p.h. Hurricane and tropical storm watches are in effect for parts of Mexico, as are tropical storm warnings.

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor

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