First Ike Damage Report: Grand Turk

September 7, 2008
(12:10 p.m. EDT) -- As Hurricane Ike continues to drench the Caribbean and the Bahamas, all eyes are on Grand Turk to see what damage has been left in the storm's wake.

The Associated Press has reported that 80 percent of the homes on the island, part of the Turks and Caicos chain 30 miles south of the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean, have been damaged by Ike's 135-mile-per-hour winds.

The port is a popular stop on Eastern Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries for many cruise lines -- in particular Carnival, which owns and operates the recently built cruise pier and entertainment complex.

At this time, the extent of damage to tourist areas on Grand Turk is still unknown. A Carnival spokesperson has told Cruise Critic that "We are currently waiting to see if our ships will be able to call there later this week, but we should have a better idea tomorrow."

What we do know so far is that Carnival Liberty, which was due to call at Grand Turk on Thursday, September 11, will be diverted to Roatan to avoid the path of the Category Four Hurricane Ike.

We will keep you posted on the status of Grand Turk's cruise port and future calls there.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor