New York City Cruises Not Impacted By Power Failure

August 15, 2003
The 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory was quite probably the coolest place in Manhattan yesterday afternoon. The ship, which as part of its regular summer schedule sails four and five day cruises from the Big Apple, sailed down the Hudson only a little later than the usual yesterday evening; Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz says the only hitch was that the gangways were electric and had to be “manually pulled back so the ship could sail.” She reports that Carnival Victory had about 30 no-shows – only slightly higher than normal.

Cruise lines whose ships were sailing New England/Canada routes and who were in other parts of the region yesterday report no significant issues resulting from the widespread outages.

That Thursday was a quiet day at Manhattan’s cruise terminal was probably a blessing but what about this weekend, when between Saturday and Sunday traffic picks up (and airlines have perhaps not quite caught up)? Celebrity’s Horizon and Zenith, which both sail Bermuda itineraries and depart late Saturday afternoon, are expected to encounter no serious issues though a company spokesman says they are monitoring the situation. Same goes with Royal Caribbean, whose Nordic Empress heads to Bermuda on Sunday. “Everything is fundamentally normal,” says Royal Caribbean/Celebrity’s Michael Sheehan. “If we do learn of a group of passengers that gets held up [by extenuating circumstances as a result of the crisis] we’ll make every effort to get them to the ships on time. But we do that normally.” Sheehan says the effort applies to those who travel via the cruise lines’ air/sea programs as well as those who book their own air.

One positive aspect for many passengers who sail out of New York, according to sources at several cruise lines, is that it’s a huge drive-to market and many don’t fly in the first place. Cruise lines we contacted, which also included NCL, whose Dawn is sailing a Bahamas-Florida voyage that leaves Saturday, say they will monitor the flight situation throughout the weekend but are confident that transportation will be under control.

The cruise lines have not forgotten about folks from the New York area who are trying to catch cruises in southern Florida this weekend, either; Carnival’s De La Cruz says that “we’ll deal with any problem scenarios case-by-case because we don’t expect any significant volume of issues.”