After the Storm: Frances' Cruise-Related Damage

September 9, 2004

(Sept. 10, 9:30.m.) -- Port Canaveral, which suffered the most cruise industry-impacted damage as a result of Hurricane Frances, is still closed to cruise lines. As a result, cruise lines with departures from that port through today have moved ships to Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) or Miami. In most, if not all, cases, cruise lines are providing transportation between Port Canaveral and the new port -- and delaying departures by a few hours to give passengers more time to get there. Here’s a listing:

Carnival’s three-night Bahamas cruise on Fantasy, slated to depart Port Canaveral today, will sail out of Miami. Passengers will receive a $50 onboard credit.

Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas, slated to depart on a three-night trip on Friday, will now sail from Port Everglades. Port Canaveral-based Mariner of the Seas, which departed from Miami on its Frances-modified cruise this week, will now return to Miami on Sunday instead of its homeport.

Another aspect of Frances has been damage to the Bahamas -- whose main port city of Nassau fortunately escaped relatively unscathed. Already, ships such as Regal Empress, Carnival Glory and Carnival Miracle have called there as per their weekly schedules.

And a third area of interest, still evolving, is damage to cruise lines' private islands, which are part of the Bahamas chain. At this point, the following have reported in:

Disney reports that its Castaway Cay suffered only cosmetic damage (vegetation and such) and is hopeful -- though is not committing -- that the island will be open for cruises next week.

Holland America's Half Moon Cay, which is in the midst of a major transformation, received only minor damages. Zuiderdam, slated to visit there this week, will cancel its visit (and go to San Juan instead) but itineraries from next week onwards that are scheduled to visit the private island will visit Half Moon Cay.

A Princess Cruises' spokeswoman says that its Princess Cays is damaged -- and will likely require more than six weeks worth of effort to restore it.

Royal Caribbean spokesman Michael Sheehan says that "we've gotten only preliminary reports of minor damage" regarding CocoCay. "We know the damage is not major." Sheehan says Royal Caribbean will be sending headquarters' staffers to the island to gather more detail.

There's no word yet from NCL about its Great Stirrup Cay.