Tropical Storms Maria and Nate Weaken; Cruises Still Impacted

September 10, 2011
(12:30 p.m. EDT) -- Tropical Storm Maria has weakened, prompting the cancellation of all associated watches and warnings, according to the latest report from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm currently is located about 25 miles northeast of Antigua and about 310 miles east-southeast of San Juan. Its movement is northwest at roughly 15 miles per hour, and it's accompanied by maximum sustained winds of 40 m.p.h.

Although the storm, the 13th to be named this season, is barely a tropical cyclone, some itinerary changes have resulted. Read on for specifics.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Carnival Cruise Lines has altered itineraries for a handful of ships:

Carnival Destiny, slated to leave Miami on Saturday for a five-night sailing, will switch the order of its calls on Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. The ship will call on the latter on Monday and the former on Tuesday, the opposite of what was originally scheduled.

Carnival Victory, which is sailing the last leg of a seven-night cruise from San Juan, will replace a visit to St. Maarten with a sea day on Saturday.

Carnival Dream, departing from Port Canaveral Saturday for a seven-night voyage, will have several changes to its itinerary. Instead of calling on Nassau on Sunday, the ship will remain at sea. A visit to St. Thomas on Tuesday will be replaced with a call on Roatan. On Wednesday, the ship will stop at Costa Maya in lieu of St. Maarten, and a scheduled sea day on Thursday will be swapped for a call on Cozumel.

Carnival Freedom, departing Saturday for an eight-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale, will trade a sea day on Monday for a stop in Cozumel, but the ship will stay at sea on Tuesday instead of calling on St. Thomas. Antigua will be replaced with Grand Cayman on Wednesday, and the ship will forego Tortola on Thursday for a visit to Montego Bay.

Royal Caribbean also has ships in the area, but a statement on the line's Web site says no changes have been made at this time.

Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships and Ports

The storm is expected to further weaken and may become a tropical depression or even a tropical wave by late Saturday, but it may still dump as much as six inches of rain over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The system is likely to continue northwest movement for the next day or two.

Other Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Nate is also brewing near the Gulf of Mexico. According to the latest report from the National Hurricane Center, the storm is currently located about 140 miles east-northeast of Veracruz and is accompanied by maximum sustained winds of up to 50 m.p.h. The system is moving west at 6 m.p.h. and has prompted a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning for parts of Mexico.

Carnival Conquest is slated to depart from Galveston on Sunday. There have been no itinerary changes so far.

We'll keep you updated.

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor

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