Editor's note: After this story launched, a decision was made to charter Carnival Fascination for hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. All Fascination cruises have been canceled until February 18, 2018, following an 18-day dry dock.
(4:00 p.m.) -- After weeks of uncertainty due to back-to-back hurricanes, the port of San Juan is slowly reopening to cruise passengers as Puerto Rico continues to rebuild.
Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas was the first to sail from San Juan since the port shut down ahead of Hurricane Maria's landfall on the island; it departed October 7 with paying passengers for a cruise to Martinique, St. Kitts and Antigua. The ship previously had sailed a series of humanitarian cruises that evacuated displaced residents from affected ports, while it dropped off supplies.
On October 9, Carnival Cruise Line revealed it would resume homeporting from San Juan, following an assessment of its dock, the cruise terminal facilities and local conditions.
Carnival Fascination will depart from San Juan October 15, sailing a Southern Caribbean itinerary and marking the line's return to the port -- a little more than three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit September 20.
In a statement, Carnival also noted its ships will return to San Juan as a port of call in December.
"Our team has confirmed the Old San Juan area is ready to receive tourists," the line said in its statement. "Many shops and businesses have returned to their normal business operations with more opening up every day.
"We were saddened to see the impact the recent storm had on Puerto Rico. Tourism is very important to the local economy and we are pleased to play an important role in aiding their recovery efforts in a meaningful way."
Meanwhile, Celebrity Cruises also said its winter sailings on Celebrity Summit would begin departing from San Juan October 28, as planned.
--By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor