Nicole Dissipates, But System Still Sparking Cruise Itinerary Changes

September 29, 2010

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(6:45 p.m. EDT) -- Nicole, the 14th named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, has dissipated over the Straits of Florida -- but a strong non-tropical system with gale force winds is expected to develop near the southeast coast of the United States later tonight. Conditions have prompted Royal Caribbean and NCL to alter itineraries.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. update, tropical storm warnings have been discontinued in the Caymans, Jamaica and Cuba. Nicole's remnant, however, is still packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. The system is 165 miles west of Nassau, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 345 miles to the southeast of the center.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas is sailing a slightly altered itinerary. Instead of calling in Coco Cay today as scheduled, the ship is calling in Nassau. The rest of Grandeur's itinerary is unaffected.

Majesty of the Seas will not go to CocoCay tomorrow. Instead, the ship will stay in Nassau overnight until 5 p.m. tomorrow, before finishing its cruise in Miami on Friday morning as originally scheduled.

Norwegian Sky is skipping its call tomorrow in Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's private island. The ship will instead stay in Nassau overnight, and will leave on Thursday for Miami, where it will end the current cruise on Friday as originally planned.

Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports

The storm formerly named Nicole is expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rain in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and parts of southern Florida, including the Florida Keys. Tropical storm force winds are possible over eastern Cuba and the central and northwest Bahamas later tonight.

Princess Cruises' Emerald Princess is scheduled to depart from Fort Lauderdale today; a cruise line representative tells us no schedule changes have been made at this point. Celebrity Cruises has no changes to report, according to a spokesperson from the line.

A representative from Carnival Cruise Lines could not be reached for comment.

Stay tuned.

--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor