Will Snow Impact East Coast Weekend Cruises?

February 6, 2010
(12:45 p.m. EST) -- The Mid-Atlantic region got pummeled by yet another winter snowstorm this weekend, but will it have an impact on weekend cruises?

The New York area lucked out this time around -- the worst was over by the time the blizzard reached the three area ports (Manhattan, Bayonne, Brooklyn), and there aren't any ships on the calendar anyway. However, Carnival Pride is scheduled to turn around tomorrow in harder-hit Baltimore, which has seen massive accumulations (at nearby Washington Dulles International Airport, the roof of a private jet hangar has collapsed, the New York Times reports).

Richard Scher, Director of Communications for the Maryland Port Administration, tells us via phone that at least two feet of snow have already fallen near the port -- and that it's still coming down. Equipment (dump trucks, plows, salt spreaders) is already on the scene to clear snow from the port's parking lot, but workers are still going up against Mother Nature. "We won't be able to be make as much headway as we want until the snow subsides," says Scher.

"This is our first year for winter cruising," Scher points out, though seasonal cruises have been offered from the port for 40 years. "It just so happens that this year, our biggest, we're having to coexist with one of the worst winters ever."

At this point, Scher tells us, Carnival Pride is still on track to arrive in Baltimore tomorrow at 7:30 a.m., and will disembark cruise passengers as scheduled starting from 8:30 a.m. However, still to be decided is whether the embarkation or departure of tomorrow's cruise will be delayed due to the storm.

A Carnival spokesperson tells us he will keep us posted. Stay tuned.

--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor