Update: Gustav Impacts Caribbean, Makes U.S. Landfall

September 2, 2008
Update, 9:45 a.m. EDT: Gustav made landfall southeast of New Orleans as a Category Two hurricane yesterday. The storm downed trees and power lines, but did not cause the feared levee failures we saw three years ago with Katrina.

The storm has since been downgraded to a tropical depression as it travels further inland. We don't expect this storm to impact additional cruise itineraries.

(August 30, 8:15 p.m. EDT) -- Gustav, which has rapidly upgraded from a tropical storm to a very scary Category Four hurricane, is affecting itineraries in the Western Caribbean to a minor extent. See our updated listing of port changes on existing cruises.

Gustav has recently passed through Jamaica and Grand Cayman when it was still a lighter storm and it's anticipated that after some clean up both popular cruise destinations will be once again welcoming passengers (Cuba, which does not see too many cruise ship calls, has not been as lucky).

What's not known at this point is exactly where Gustav will land and how widespread the storm's wingspan will be but the National Hurricane Center's three-day cone is currently predicting landfall on Monday in Louisiana. Ironically, New Orleans is the only major cruise port on the Gulf of Mexico that has no ships operating from there at this time (Alabama's Mobile, Texas' Galveston and Florida's Tampa all do, however, but shouldn't be terribly affected.

Stay tuned; we'll be updating information regularly throughout the Labor Day weekend.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief