Jova Becomes Major Hurricane, Affects Mexico Cruises

October 10, 2011

(5 p.m. EDT) -- Jova, which became a hurricane in the Pacific on Saturday, has strengthened into a major hurricane and is heading toward the western coast of Mexico, prompting a slew of watches and warnings, as well as the alteration of one cruise ship's itinerary.

According to the National Hurricane Center's latest report, Jova is a category three storm located about 195 miles southwest of Manzanillo, and it's moving northeast at seven miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 125 m.p.h.

A hurricane warning is now in effect from Punta San Telmo to Cabo Corrientes, a tropical storm warning has been issued from Lazaro Cardenas to south of Punta San Telmo, and a tropical storm watch is in effect from north of Cabo Corrientes to San Blas.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

As a result, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that Carnival Spirit will sail a revised itinerary for its current nine-night Mexican Riviera sailing from Los Angeles.

The ship skipped a planned sea day Saturday for a call on Ensenada. Calls on Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, respectively, have been swapped with visits to Cabo San Lucas and La Paz. The ship will again stop at Cabo San Lucas on Wednesday, in accordance with the original itinerary, but instead of an overnight in Cabo, Spirit will depart Wednesday night and spend the day at Puerto Vallarta on Thursday. A call on Ensenada, which was originally slated for Saturday, will now be replaced with a sea day. The sailing will return to Los Angeles, as scheduled, on Sunday.

Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships and Ports

Carnival Splendor and Carnival Paradise are also due in the area over the next few days, but no changes have yet been announced. Additionally, Disney Wonder, Golden Princess and Holland America's Oosterdam are in the area, but so far, those itineraries remain the same.

The NHC's report says the storm is likely to strengthen, and it may become a category four hurricane by late Monday or early Tuesday. Storm surges may cause flooding; 6-12 inches of rain is expected, with isolated amounts reaching up to 20 inches in some areas. Swells may cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.

We'll update you when new information is available.

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor