Hurricane Jova Still Affecting Mexico Cruises; Landfall Expected Late Tuesday

October 11, 2011

(11:30 a.m. EDT) -- Jova, which became a major hurricane in the Pacific on Monday, has maintained strength as a Category Three storm and is heading toward the western coast of Mexico, prompting a slew of watches and warnings, as well as the alteration of several cruise ship itineraries.

According to the National Hurricane Center's latest report, Jova is located about 120 miles southwest of Manzanillo and 180 miles south of Cabo Corrientes, moving north-northeast at five miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour.

A hurricane warning is now in effect from Punta San Telmo to Cabo Corrientes, and tropical storm warnings have been issued from Lazaro Cardenas to south of Punta San Telmo and from north of Cabo Corrientes to El Roblito.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Carnival Spirit will sail a revised itinerary for its current nine-night Mexican Riviera sailing from Los Angeles. A call on Puerto Vallarta, scheduled for Tuesday, has been swapped with a visit to La Paz. The ship will 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.

Carnival Splendor, which is sailing a seven-night Mexican Riviera voyage from Los Angeles, will substitute a call on La Paz on Thursday for the originally scheduled stop at Puerto Vallarta.

Holland America has also announced changes. Oosterdam will skip calls on Puerto Vallarta Tuesday and Wednesday in favor of a sea day and a stop at La Paz. The ship is currently in the middle of an 11-night Mexican Riviera sailing from Vancouver to San Diego.

Disney Wonder is also sailing a revised itinerary for its October 9 sailing, which means the ship will call on Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday and stay there through Wednesday, foregoing its originally scheduled call on Ensenada. Passengers will, instead, visit Ensenada on Saturday.

Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships and Ports

Carnival Paradise and Golden Princess are also in the area, but so far, those itineraries remain the same.

The NHC's report says the storm is likely to make landfall in Mexico as a major hurricane by late 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