August 6, 2012
(Updated, August 5, 10:45 p.m. EDT) -- Though not expected to reach hurricane strength until later in the week, Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to make its presence known in the Caribbean, with Carnival Freedom, Carnival Legend and Carnival Magic the latest ships to be impacted.
According to Carnival's website, Carnival Freedom, which leaves today from Port Everglades will proceed to Key West and then sail a day at sea as scheduled, but then swap the Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios ports of call, visiting the Jamaican port first.
Carnival Legend will not be visiting its scheduled ports of call to Belize and Mahogany Bay, Honduras. Instead the ship will visit Montego Bay, Jamaica. The ship departs today from Tampa and was originally scheduled to sail a day at sea, then visit Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay, Grand Cayman and another day at sea, before returning to Tampa. The new itinerary is as follows: two days at sea, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and a day at sea.
Carnival Magic also will not be able to keep to its original itinerary, though the line has not yet determined the new itinerary. On Monday the line will announce which of two possible itineraries the ship will sail.
(August 4, 11:17 a.m. EDT) -- Tropical Storm Ernesto is already causing trouble in the Western Caribbean with both Carnival and Disney altering itineraries to avoid the storm.
Carnival is switching up the port days on Carnival Triumph, which departs Galveston today. Originally scheduled to visit Progreso on Monday and Cozumel on Tuesday, the ports have been swapped. Carnival Triumph will visit Cozumel on Monday and Progreso on Tuesday. Sunday and Wednesday remain scheduled as days at sea.
Cruise Critic member Jk590 posted that Disney has announced it will move Disney Fantasy, sailing today out of Port Canaveral, from a Western Caribbean itinerary to an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Disney had not returned a request for confirmation at press time.
Ernesto is expected to reach hurricane strength by midday on Sunday, pass directly beneath Jamaica and head straight for Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize and Progreso in Yucatan Mexico.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor