(11:02 a.m. EST) -- With two inaugural sailings and a new ship christening on tap for this week, staffers at Carnival Cruise Lines probably expected they'd be pretty busy. Now, thanks to Hurricane Ida, which is bearing down on the U.S. Gulf Coast, they're even busier.
Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Triumph were slated to depart on Tuesday for their first-ever cruises from their new homeports of Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans respectively. Due to Ida, Carnival Fantasy will now depart from Mobile on Wednesday, November 11; the scheduled six-night cruise will now be a five-nighter, calling on Costa Maya and Cozumel.
Carnival Triumph will also delay its inaugural cruise by one day. Originally a four-night voyage, the cruise will now sail for three nights, departing New Orleans on Wednesday, November 11. The ship will not make any port calls.
Passengers booked on Carnival Fantasy will receive a pro-rated refund of the cruise fare they paid for the six-night trip. Those on Carnival Triumph's now three-night trip will receive a 50 percent refund.
In both cases, passengers have the option to cancel and receive a full refund.
Further weather forecasts for the East Coast may also be unnerving Carnival execs. The line's Carnival Dream is slated to be christened in New York on Thursday, with full pomp and circumstance, and then depart on a short weekend preview voyage. However, the currently dissipating Hurricane Ida could resurface there later in the week as a nor'easter.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief