Hawaii Braces for Hurricane Flossie; Ships Stay to Sea

August 14, 2007

Update, 11:15 p.m.: NCL America has announced two itinerary changes related to the impending storm. Pride of Hawaii will remain at sea today instead of calling in Hilo and Pride of America will spend the day at sea tomorrow instead of calling in Kona.

Pride of Aloha is scheduled to call at Hilo tomorrow. That itinerary is unchanged at this point.

The first effects of the storm -- now a Category Two -- are expected to hit the Big Island tonight.

(10 a.m.) -- Though forecasters are still saying Hawaii will avoid a
direct hit from Flossie, the state is preparing for the worst case scenario by closing schools and urging residents to stock up on food and water. Flossie weakened from a Category Four storm to a Category Three yesterday, but is expected to retain strength as it moves across the Pacific, the eye passing less than 100 miles from the islands.

Nerves were not helped by the fact that a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck about 25 miles south of the cruise port of Hilo last night; thankfully there were no reported injuries or damage (though the quake did cause a small landslide, according to the Associated Press).

The cruise port of Hilo on the island's east coast is approximately 75 miles north of the southernmost point of the island, called South Point, which will likely bear the brunt of the storm; Kona, on the west coast, is about 65 miles north of South Point. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park -- a major attraction for cruisers on the island -- has closed several trails, campgrounds and picnic areas due to the potential severe weather posted by Flossie.

Cruise Critic member DearOldDad posts on the Hawaii forum, "I am aboard the Pride of America now and we are on Maui. No problems right now but looking at rain, wind, and heavier seas [Tuesday] and Wednesday."

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor