Update, 6 p.m. EST: Norwegian Gem has departed, but efforts to reach NCL for an update on passenger numbers were not immediately successful. Those who may have missed the sailing, due to weather conditions, can fly to Port Canaveral (at their own expense) and meet the ship when it calls there on Monday.
(2:45 p.m. EST) -- Just when it seemed like winter wasn't coming, this weekend's northeast forecast includes plenty of snow and could mean delays for Norwegian Gem, scheduled to depart at today from New York.
According to AccuWeather.com, the National Weather Service in New York has issued a winter storm warning, which is in effect through 11 a.m. Sunday morning, meaning heavy snowfall and high winds are expected.
Norwegian Gem is slated to sail a seven-night Bahamas cruise from New York, but AnneMarie Mathews, an NCL representative, said she hasn't yet heard anything about passenger delays. However, if a significant number of passengers have not checked in by the scheduled departure time -- 4 p.m. -- Mathews said sailaway may be pushed back by an hour or two. Passengers who miss the departure may also fly to the next port (Port Canaveral, where the ship will call on Monday) to meet up with the ship.
Other ships departing from northeast ports over the next few days include Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, which will sail from Cape Liberty on Sunday; Carnival Pride, which will depart from Baltimore on Sunday; and Celebrity Mercury, which will sail from Baltimore on Monday.
Check back later today for an update on Norwegian Gem's departure status.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor