Rick Dissipates as it Moves Over Inland Mexico

October 21, 2009

(6 p.m. EDT) -- Rick, once an extremely dangerous Category Five hurricane with winds of 180 miles per hour, has dissipated. The storm made landfall earlier today near the popular cruise port of Mazatlan, bringing heavy rain to the Pacific coast port, and prompting Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas to skip a scheduled call there.

The Associated Press is reporting that the storm's winds toppled trees and signs, but that no serious damage is believed to have occurred.

According to the National Hurricane Center's final update (2 p.m. PDT), Rick fell apart as it moved over the moutains of Western Mexico. All tropical storm warnings have been discontinued.

With previously recorded wind speeds of 180 miles per hour, Rick is the second strongest Eastern Pacific storm on record after 1997's Hurricane Linda, whose winds reached 185 mph.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Mariner of the Seas was scheduled to go to Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday and Mazatlan on Wednesday, but instead proceeded directly to Puerto Vallarta, where it is docking overnight.

Norwegian Star's call to Cabo San Lucas was canceled on Monday; the ship instead remained at sea. The ship called in Mazatlan yesterday as originally scheduled.

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas departed San Diego on Monday. The ship sailed its originally planned itinerary, visiting Ensenada yesterday; it will be in Cabo San Lucas tomorrow.

Carnival Splendor, which set sail Sunday from Los Angeles' Long Beach port for the Mexican Riviera, is sailing a revised itinerary to avoid Rick. The ship visited Ensenada on Monday, and will visit Puerto Vallarta on Thursday and Cabo San Lucas on Friday. The original schedule was Puerto Vallarta (Wednesday), Mazatlan (Thursday) and Cabo San Lucas (Friday).

Carnival first announced that Carnival Spirit, which left Sunday from San Diego for Mexico, would be sailing an altered itinerary. But as Rick weakened quickly, the ship reverted to its original itinerary. Spirit is visiting Acapulco today, then Zijuatanejo/Ixtapa on Thursday and Manzanillo on Friday before heading back to San Diego.

Sapphire Princess is sailing an altered itinerary as follows: Monday at sea; Tuesday, San Francisco; Wednesday, Catalina Island; Thursday, San Diego; Friday, Ensenada, Mexico; and Saturday, Los Angeles.

<a href="/reviews/cruiseline.cfm?CruiseLineID=21"
class="plain">Holland America's Veendam and Statendam are scheduled to be in the region this coming week -- Veendam earlier in the week, Statendam after transiting the Panama Canal. According to the line, Veendam is swapping scheduled calls in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta for extra time at sea and a call Friday in Ensenada.

Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports

No further Rick-related cruise impact is expected at this time.

--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor