August 22, 2001
Ironically, passengers on Celebrity’s Century, which switched its western Caribbean itinerary to an eastern one this week in order to avoid the now-dissipating Tropical Storm Chantal, has run smack into another. Tropical Storm Dean, which sprung up today in the eastern Caribbean -- catching even weather forecasters off-guard -- is currently recording maximum sustained winds at about the 60 m.p.h. mark.
Dean, whose primary impact has been rain squalls, somewhat high seas and, obviously, wind gusts, gave St. Maarten “some rough weather” earlier today, according to Celebrity spokesman Michael Sheehan, and Century had to bypass that scheduled port. Century, which returns to Port Everglades Saturday, is headed north, en route to Nassau, the Bahamas. Alas, so too is the sprightly Dean which, at 25 m.p.h., is moving speedily to the northwest; the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos have issued tropical storm warnings. However, weather forecasters do anticipate the storm will slow down -- and intensify -- though are offering no concrete predictions at this point.