Update: More Cruise Ships Alter Itineraries to Avoid Hurricane Sandy

October 25, 2012
(6:20 a.m. EDT) -- With the end of hurricane season just over a month away, Hurricane Sandy, the 18th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic season is causing havoc in the Caribbean. After passing over Jamaica, the storm intensified and hit Cuba as a strong Category 2 hurricane. Its projected path will take it directly over the Bahamas just in time for a busy cruise weekend. Several cruise ship itineraries already have been changed and more could be affected.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 5 a.m. EDT advisory, Sandy's eye is over northeast Cuba, and moving relatively quickly back over water. Maximum sustained winds from the storm have slackened slightly to 105 m.p.h., and the storm is expected to gradually weaken while maintaining hurricane status as it works its way across the Bahamas between now and Friday.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Currently sailing an eight-night itinerary from New York that included three ports of call, Carnival Miracle called on San Juan as scheduled on October 24, but will skip all remaining ports, remaining at sea until it returns to New York on October 29.

Carnival Fantasy will remain at sea on October 25, rather than stop in Freeport, Bahamas as originally scheduled.

Carnival Sensation, which departs October 25 from Port Canaveral, will remain at sea on October 26 and stop in Key West on October 27, rather than stop for two days in Nassau, Bahamas as originally scheduled.

Carnival swapped out two Caribbean island stops (Grand Cayman and Montego Bay) from Valor's six-night sailing, replacing them with Costa Maya (October 24) and Cozumel (October 25) in Mexico.

Carnival Pride also will forgo two stops, both in the Bahamas (Half Moon Cay and Freeport) in favor of a day at sea (October 25) and Port Canaveral (October 26).

Carnival Glory called on Nassau (October 24) as scheduled but did not overnight or spend a second day in port, instead departing the Bahamas and spending a day at sea (October 25). Glory will then visit Port Canaveral (October 26) instead of Freeport.

Carnival Magic, on a week-long sailing out of Galveston, has swapped its itinerary, according to CruiseCal.com, from its scheduled Montego Bay, Jamaica, to Grand Cayman to Cozumel, Mexico route. According to the Web site, the ship called at Key West on October 23, spent the day at sea on October 24 and is headed to Costa Maya on October 25 before a final call at Cozumel.

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas replaced a call on Falmouth, Jamaica (October 24) with a day at sea.

Norwegian Cruise Line also has made changes to some of its itineraries, with Norwegian Pearl visiting Cozumel (October 24) and Costa Maya (October 25) rather than Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman.

Norwegian Jewel rescheduled stops at Freeport in the Bahamas (October 24) instead of Great Stirrup Cay, and Charleston, South Carolina (October 26) instead of Nassau in the Bahamas.

Norwegian Sky is skipping its stop at Great Stirrup Cay (October 25) and will instead spend an extra day at sea.

Disney Dream will depart Port Canaveral as scheduled on October 25 but will spend October 26 at sea, rather than stop at Castaway Cay. If weather permits the ship will call on Nassau on October 26 as scheduled.

Disney Fantasy, which is currently sailing a seven-night cruise will replace its Castaway Cay visit (October 25) with a day at sea.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor