A couple of things to keep in mind:
Port Canaveral suffered more serious damages than other Florida ports and, as a result, is not accepting cruise ships through Thursday. If you're sailing out of Port Canaveral this weekend -- keep an eye on this space. We'll update you as announcements are made.
The good news is that Hurricane Frances, while still a worry to folks who live north of the Gulf of Mexico, is only minimally impacting cruise line departures for today and tomorrow. The bad news? Folks who are scheduled to depart on cruises to the Caribbean next weekend will want to keep a weather's eye on Hurricane Ivan. The category three storm is in the Atlantic and forecasters say Ivan could make landfall in the middle of this week -- it's aiming, at this point, at Grenada and Barbados; hurricane watches are in effect. (Visit our Hurricane Center for more information on Ivan.) We will, as always, keep you posted.
Most airlines are waiving flight change fees for hurricane related rescheduling.
Ships have begun returning today to the Port of Miami and Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale). On the other hand, Port Canaveral seems to have sustained damage and Port Canaveral-based cruise ships, including lines such as Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, are repositioning their vessels farther south.
Because September is one of the slowest months in the Caribbean season, ships affected are limited -- luxury cruise lines, for instance, simply aren’t even sailing Caribbean itineraries at this time.
Carolyn Spencer Brown
(Sept. 7, 5 p.m.) -- Disney announces today that Disney Wonder's three night September 9 cruise will now depart from Port Everglades instead of Port Canaveral. The ship will return, however, to its home port of Port Canaveral. Disney is making arrangements to transport passengers between the two.
Disney yesterday said that it cancelled Disney Wonder's four night voyage, scheduled to sail yesterday, from Port Canaveral. According to the company, impacted passengers can book, space permitting, on Disney Magic's four night cruise, which leaves tomorrow.
In addition: Disney ships are not being permitted into Port Canaveral tomorrow so both Disney Magic and Disney Wonder will instead disembark guests at Port Everglades. Disney will provide transportation for all passengers to the Walt Disney World Resort, the Orlando International Airport, Port Canaveral or airports in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami based on their needs.
Disney says plans for Disney Magic are in place to sail tomorrow, September 7, though the ship will depart from Port Everglades. It will provide passengers with transportation to the port.
(Sept. 7, 3 p.m.) The problems at Port Canaveral continue to plague Carnival Cruise Lines. The company announced today that Fantasy, scheduled to depart from that port on Thursday, September 9, will instead leave embark in Miami. Complimentary motorcoach transportation will be provided from Orlando/Port Canaveral. The ship will return to Port Canaveral on Sunday, September 12.
Carnival Glory, also homeported at Port Canaveral, will depart on a modified four night (from its regular seven night) cruise from Miami. It, too, will return to Port Canaveral; in Glory’s case it will arrive on Saturday, September 11.
Here’s an important caveat: For guests who booked air on their own and elect to sail on the modified itinerary for either of the above voyages, Carnival will provide up to $100 per person in reimbursement for costs incurred as a result of necessary flight changes. Guests will be required to provide proper documentation. Guests who elect to cancel their voyage and booked air on their own, will not be provided reimbursement of airfare-related costs.
Previously, Carnival released information on Tampa-based cruises.
Carnival Sensation, which had been switched to a three night voyage departing on Monday, September 6, has now been canceled. Passengers can opt for a full refund or credit toward future booking.
Inspiration, whose seven night Sunday, September 5 departure had already been "downgraded" to a six night cruise, has lost another day. The ship will now depart Tuesday, September 7 on a five night trip; port stops are Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Those folks who sail will get a 30 percent refund of their fare, a $100 per person shipboard credit, and a 50 percent discount on a future cruise. Those who don’t get their money back (or credit for a future trip).
Carnival Triumph, which sails out of Miami, has had its Saturday, September 4 seven-night Western Caribbean cruise shortened to a five-night voyage in the same region. The ship will now leave on Monday, September 6 and calls include Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Guests who sail will receive a 30 percent refund of their cruise fare, a $100 per person shipboard credit, and a 50 percent discount off a future cruise of up to seven days in length valid for departures through Dec ember 15, 2005. Thos e who wish to cancel may choose between a future cruise credit or a full refund.
Minimally affected is Carnival Paradise, which was set to embark from Miami on a 15-night Panama Canal Cruise on Sunday, September 5. The ship instead will leave -- still from Miami -- on Monday, September 6 for what is now a 14-night trip. The only itinerary adjustment? Paradise will skip its scheduled call to Aruba. Guests will receive a $200 per person shipboard credit. Those who wish to cancel may choose between a future cruise credit or a full refund.
For guests who booked air on their own and elect to sail on the modified itinerary for any of the above voyages, Carnival will provide up to $100 per person in reimbursement for costs incurred as a result of necessary flight changes. Guests will be required to provide proper documentation. Guests who elect to cancel their voyage and booked air on their own, will not be provided reimbursement of airfare-related costs.
Fascination's three-night Miami-based cruise, to depart on Friday, September 3, has been cancelled. Carnival is offering full refunds or future cruise credits. Passengers currently on Fascination will stay onboard -- and wait out the storm in the Florida Straits.
(Sept. 6, 8 p.m.) -- There's still no word from NCL about Norwegian Dawn's itinerary this week. NCL's Norwegian Dawn left New York yesterday on schedule for its regular, seven night Florida-Bahamas voyage, but the company had warned that the itinerary may be changed, particularly with regard to stops at Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, its private island, and Port Canaveral.
(Sept. 4, 6 p.m.) – Mariner of the Seas will use Port of Miami, instead of home port Port Canaveral, as a turnaround port when it disembarks on Tuesday. Royal Caribbean will take reponsibility for transporting passengers between Orlando and Miami. Mariner of the Seas, as we already announced, will sail a five night cruise instead of its usual seven -- and will return to Port Canaveral on Sunday, September 12. Passengers who sail on the abbreviated voyage will receive an onboard credit of $500 per stateroom and a certificate for a 50 percent discount on a future Royal Caribbean sailing of seven nights or less. Those folks who cancel will receive a letter of credit for the amount paid for the cruise portion of their sailing.
Miami-based Navigator of the Seas, which normally sails weekly seven night cruises that depart on Saturdays, has modified its this-weekend departure. Instead, Navigator of the Seas will sail a five night voyage on Monday, September 6 (5 p.m.), returning, as planned, on Saturday, September 11. Port changes were not announced. Passengers who sail on this cruise will receive an onboard credit of $500 per stateroom and a certificate for a 50 percent discount on a future Royal Caribbean sailing of seven nights or less, which departs on or before December 15, 2005, excluding holidays. Guests booked on this sailing who cancel their cruise will receive a letter of credit for the amount paid for the cruise portion of their sailing.
Enchantment of the Seas, normally scheduled to depart Port Everglades Saturday, on a five-night sailing, will delay its departure as well until Monday, September 6 (5 p.m.) The ship will sail a modified itinerary – details not provided by Royal Caribbean -- that will end on September 9. Guests who sail on this cruise will receive an onboard credit of $500 per stateroom and a certificate for a 50 percent discount on a future Royal Caribbean sailing of seven nights or less, which departs on or before December 15, 2005, excluding holidays. Guests booked on this sailing who cancel their cruise will receive a letter of credit for the amount paid for the cruise portion of their sailing.
It was announced earlier that Majesty of the Seas, slated for departure from Miami on Friday, September 3, and Sovereign of the Seas, which was scheduled to cruise from Port Canaveral on the same day, are cancelled. Passengers will receive full refunds.
Miami-based Majesty of the Seas was scheduled to embark on a three night Bahamas cruise on Friday, calling at Nassau and Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean's private island. Sovereign of the Seas was slated to depart Port Canaveral on Friday for a three-night Bahamas cruise, originally intended to call at the same ports.
Holland America Line
(Saturday, September 4, 9:30 p.m.) -- Holland America's Zuiderdam will -- as expected -- experience itinerary changes. The ship, which sails a seven-night Port Everglades-based Caribbean and Bahamas cruise, will not turn around on Saturday, September 4 as scheduled. Instead, passengers on this week's Zuiderdam cruise get a few days' extra bonus -- the ship now will arrive in port on Monday, September 6th.
Alas, passengers booked on today's departure will experience an abbreviated cruise -- the ship will call at Grand Cayman and Cozumel only and will return, as originally scheduled, to Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades on Saturday, September 11.
(Sept. 2, 6:20 p.m.) -- Celebrity has finally announced its plans for Century. That ship sails weekly Caribbean itineraries from Port Everglades on Saturdays. Except for this week: The September 4 cruise will now depart on Monday, September 6 and the ship will sail a modified -- and undisclosed by the cruise line -- itinerary.
Celebrity is offering folks who sail on this cruise an onboard credit of $500 per stateroom and a certificate for a 50 percent discount on a future Celebrity sailing of seven nights or less, which departs on or before December 15, 2005, excluding holidays. Guests booked on this sailing who cancel their cruise will receive a letter of credit for the amount paid for the cruise portion of their sailing.
(Sept. 2, 6 p.m.) -- Princess has altered itineraries for Caribbean Princess, which sails year-round Port Everglades'-based Caribbean cruises. Caribbean Princess typically returns (and departs again) on Saturdays.
The current cruise, featuring the Western Caribbean, will be ex tended one day -- with a lengthier-than-usual call at Cozumel on Friday, September 3 -- and return on Sunday, September 5. Princess is currently re-booking air flights for those passengers who made their air arrangements through Princess. These new flights will be communicated to passengers onboard once they are confirmed. The cruise line's statement reports that passengers currently onboard will be able to use the Internet and phone services, on a complimentary basis, to make alternate travel arrangements and to advise family members, as needed.
Caribbean Princess' next sailing will depart on Sunday, September 5 (10 p.m.). The itinerary has been switched from the Eastern Caribbean to the Western Caribbean (with a length of six nights instead of the normal seven)and will call at the ports of Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Passengers who have booked their air through Princess will automatically be rescheduled on new flights arriving in Fort Lauderdale Sunday, September 5. Because the cruise will be shortened by one day, passengers will receive a refund equivalent to one day's fare. Additionally, each passenger will receive an onboard cruise credit of $100. If passengers are unable to continue with their plans to sail on this voyage, Princess will offer a future cruise credit or a full refund.