Update: Bertha Affects Norwegian Majesty Itinerary

July 13, 2008
(8 p.m. EDT) – Tropical Storm Bertha has caused NCL's Norwegian Majesty to alter its itinerary. Due to adverse weather conditions, Norwegian Majesty, which was scheduled to stop in Bermuda tomorrow, will be postponing its arrival in Bermuda until Tuesday, July 15. Norwegian Majesty is currently sailing a seven-night Bermuda cruise, roundtrip from Baltimore, and will replace its first day in Bermuda with a day at sea.

This is the second cruise itinerary that has been affected by Tropical Storm Bertha. Bertha, which weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm this morning, also caused Caribbean Princess to skip its Bermuda stop (which was scheduled for Saturday, July 12) and head straight for San Juan.

The latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center show Tropical Storm Bertha on a slow path toward Bermuda. Bertha's maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 miles per hour, but the storm continues to impact Bermuda. A tropical storm warning for Bermuda is still in effect -- large swells are affecting the island's shores and stormy conditions will most likely persist for a few days, according to the NHC.

As of this afternoon, Royal Caribbean does not foresee any itinerary changes for Explorer of the Seas, which is scheduled to arrive in Bermuda on Monday, July 14. Likewise, NCL has not confirmed any itinerary changes for Norwegian Dream, which is headed to Bermuda on Tuesday, July 15. NCL's Norwegian Dawn departed Bermuda on Friday, July 11 as planned.

The National Hurricane Center reports that Bertha, which had slowed to a virtual stop yesterday morning, is expected to pick up its pace and start moving northwest at 2 m.p.h. tonight. According to the NHC, Tropical Storm Bertha will turn to the north in the next 24 to 36 hours and the center of the storm will pass to the southeast and east of Bermuda within a day or two.

Bertha's formation comes about a month after the arrival of Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the Atlantic season. Bertha is the first hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic season.

Cruise Critic will be following Bertha's progress. Stay tuned.

--by Caroline Costello, Editorial Assistant, with additional reporting by Cruise Critic's news team.