Tomas Regains Strength; More Watches and Warnings Issued

November 3, 2010

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(6:45 p.m. EDT) -- Tomas has regained strength and is once again a tropical storm, prompting more countries to issue watches and warnings.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. EDT update, Tomas is currently located about 305 miles south-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and 250 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Maximum sustained winds are at 45 miles per hour, and the storm is moving toward the north-northwest at 6 miles per hour.

In addition to the tropical storm watch that was issued for Jamaica earlier this week, watches and warnings for a slew of other countries have now been issued, including those for Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

As previously reported, the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel alert for Haiti, home to Royal Caribbean's private island of Labadee.

The alert says, "Even storms that do not reach hurricane strength have caused widespread damage and loss of life in Haiti in recent years. U.S. citizens who nevertheless plan travel to Haiti should defer travel until Tropical Storm Tomas has passed."

Those who choose to travel to Haiti despite the alert are encouraged to register their itinerary on the State Department's Web site. A travel warning that was issued as a result of the devastating earthquake Haiti experienced last December is also still in effect.

Several Southern Caribbean islands were battered over the weekend by Tomas, the 12th named hurricane of the Atlantic season. There have been widespread media reports of injuries, fatalities, downed power lines and damage to homes on Barbados, St. Vincent and St. Lucia.

MSNBC is reporting that in St. Lucia, "at least 14 people were killed and seven others were missing after the storm caused an estimated $37 million in damage."

The island is now closed to cruise traffic and will remain so until November 7, at which point cruise lines are welcome to resume calls.

St. Lucia's tourism board posted a statement on Tuesday, which noted that cruise ships will resume calls to the island on November 7. The statement added that "the country and its vital tourism industry will be back to normalcy by Friday November 12, at which time the island will be in a position to welcome all visitors...."

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Princess Cruises' Caribbean Princess, which was scheduled to visit St. Lucia on Thursday, will no longer be able to call there. A Princess representative has confirmed that Grand Princess' scheduled calls to the Dominican Republic on Friday, November 5 and to Grand Turk on Saturday, November 6 have both been cancelled. A visit to San Juan on Friday has been added to the ships itinerary.

Silversea Cruises' Silver Spirit, which was scheduled to visit St. Lucia on Friday, will call in Roseau, Dominica.

Carnival Miracle, which was scheduled to dock in St. Lucia on Saturday and St. Kitts on Sunday, instead spent the weekend at sea. To compensate, it stopped in Grand Turk on Monday and Nassau on Tuesday. Carnival Victory, which was scheduled to stop in St. Lucia on Thursday, November 4, will now spend the day at sea. Carnival Freedom's scheduled call to Ocho Rios on Thursday, November 4, is being replaced with a visit to Cozumel.

Freedom of the Seas replaced yesterday's sea day with a visit to CocoCay, and instead of calling in Labadee today the ship will remain at sea.

Serenade of the Seas departed from San Juan for a Southern Caribbean cruise on Sunday, and rather than calling on Curacao, Aruba and Dominica, the ship will now visit Barbados, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

P&O's Ventura will skip its scheduled call in St. Lucia tomorrow, and will instead call in Dominica.

Celebrity Millenium will no longer call on St. Lucia on Friday, November 5, but will instead visit Martinique.

We'll keep you posted on any other changes.
Weather Outlook: Possible Affected Ships & Ports

The government of Jamaica has issued a tropical storm warning for the island.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Haiti, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba and Holguin, and for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.

--by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Web Content Producer