Tropical Storm Chris Threatens Bahamas

August 2, 2006
(11:10 p.m.) -- Tropical Storm Chris has weakened slightly, according to the National Hurricane Center, and is currently about 125 miles northeast of San Juan.

The tropical storm warning for cruise ports St. Martin and St. Maarten has been discontinued. However, a tropical storm warning remains in effect for Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. As well, a hurricane watch has been issued for the southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands; a hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours.

Cruise lines have begun altering itineraries as a result of the storm, including:

Elation, on a seven-day cruise that departed Miami Sunday, is the most affected. The ship called at Grand Turk Tuesday in lieu of a day at sea (the ship was originally scheduled to visit Grand Turk on Friday). Elation was at sea today instead of St. Thomas, and will visit Grand Cayman tomorrow instead of San Juan and Freeport on Friday.

Carnival Triumph, on a seven-day cruise that departed Miami Saturday, was at sea today instead of St. Maarten, and will visit Grand Turk tomorrow in lieu of a sea day.

Carnival Valor, on a seven-day cruise that departed Miami Sunday, called at Grand Turk today instead of St. Thomas, and will spend the day at sea tomorrow, skipping St. Maarten. On Friday, a call at Freeport has been subbed for a day at sea.

Just one tweak for Carnival Legend: Tomorrow's San Juan call has been replaced with a day at sea.

Crown Princess canceled a call to San Juan today and replaced it with La Romana (Casa de Campo).

Royal Caribbean
Freedom of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Labadee on Friday. Instead, the ship will spend the day at sea.

Navigator of the Seas, which sails from Miami, did not call at St. Maarten today; instead, the ship spent a day at sea, and make its call at Nassau in the Bahamas one day earlier than scheduled.

Explorer of the Seas, based in Cape Liberty, will skip calls in San Juan and Labadee this week; the ship spent the day at sea today, and will make a call at Nassau on Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have dipped to near 60 miles to per hour. According to media reports, Chris could slowly restrengthen and end up anywhere from Florida to the Gulf Coast this weekend -- which could create a messy situation for weekend cruise departures.

Stay tuned.