Hurricane Dorian Update: Cruise Lines Modify Itineraries As Storm Threatens Florida

by Jessica Montevago
Hurricane Dorian Update: Cruise Lines Modify Itineraries As Storm Threatens Florida

Photo: NOAA


The path of Hurricane Dorian, which strengthened into a dangerous Category 4 storm, has shifted south, putting South Florida and Central Florida in its projected impact zone early next week.

At 8 a.m. Friday, Hurricane Dorian had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph and was located about 260 miles east-northeast of the Southern Bahamas.

The storm is expected to make landfall Tuesday between the Space Coast and West Palm Beach. Hurricane conditions will be felt all day across an area that extends 40 miles from the storm's center, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and with gusts up to 160 mph.

The storm is expected to then make its way towards Central Florida, reaching south of Kissimmee early Wednesday morning as a Category 1 storm with winds of 75 mph and gusts up to 90 mph.

The latest forecast puts the storm in the proximity to Orlando’s theme parks. Walt Disney World’s weather cancellation policy reads as follows: "If a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area – or for your place of residence – within 7 days of your scheduled arrival date, you may call in advance to reschedule or cancel your Walt Disney Travel Company Disney Resort Hotel Package and most room-only reservations (booked directly with Disney) without any cancellation or change fees imposed by Disney."

Universal Orlando has a similar policy:  "In the event that a hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center or a state of emergency is declared for the Orlando area or in your place of residence, within seven days of your arrival, you can contact our team in advance to reschedule or cancel your Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations Package, hotel room only accommodations and Universal Orlando theme park tickets booked directly with Universal Orlando, without any cancellation or change fees imposed."

(As of Friday morning, only a hurricane watch is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas. A state of emergency is in place for all 67 counties.)

For a roundup of the airline travel waivers, go here.

Cruise lines have modified their itineraries, as the storm moves closer to Florida. Here’s a summary of the updates that have been announced.

Carnival Cruise Line
For all sailings, guests can sign up for text alerts by texting CCL4 to CRUISE (278473).

Miami sailings:
- The Aug. 30 Carnival Victory sailing will visit Key West Saturday, replacing Nassau.

- Carnival Sensation, departing Aug. 31, will spend Sunday at sea instead of in Nassau. On Monday, it will head to Grand Turk instead of Half Moon Cay; and will head to Half Moon Cay on Tuesday and Nassau on Wednesday, instead of Grand Turk and at sea, respectively.

- Carnival said it will continue to monitor the path of the storm for the following sailings, which are scheduled to operate as normal at this time: Carnival Conquest on Aug. 31, Carnival Horizon on Aug. 31, and Carnival Victory on Sept 2.

- There is a possibility that Carnival Victory may not be able to return to PortMiami on Monday. If the port is closed, the ship will be in position to dock as soon as authorities have reopened the port, Carnival said.

Fort Lauderdale sailings:
- Carnival will continue to monitor the path of the storm for the Aug. 31 Carnival Magic sailing, which is scheduled to operate as normal.

Tampa sailings:
- Carnival will continue to monitor the path of the storm for the below sailings which are scheduled to operate as normal: Carnival Paradise on Aug. 31, and Carnival Miracle on Sept. 1

Port Canaveral sailings:
- Carnival said it will continue to monitor the path of the storm for the below sailings which are scheduled to operate as normal:

- Carnival Elation, departing Aug. 29, will visit Nassau on Friday as scheduled; guests will be informed whether they are able to visit Freeport on Sunday;

- Carnival Liberty, departing Aug. 30, Nassau call will be shortened;

- Carnival Breeze, Aug. 31;

- Carnival Elation, sailing Sept. 2.

- There is a possibility that Carnival Elation and Carnival Liberty may not be able to return to Port Canaveral on Monday, the cruise line said. If the port is closed, ships will be in position to dock as soon as authorities have reopened the port.

Jacksonville sailings:
- Carnival said it will continue to monitor the path of the storm for the Aug. 31 Carnival Ecstasy sailing out of Jacksonville, which is scheduled to operate as normal.

Charleston sailings:
- Leaving out of Charleston, the Carnival Sunshine Aug. 29 sailing will have a modified itinerary. On Saturday, it will replace a stop at Princess Cays with Key West. The Sept. 2 Carnival Sunshine sailing is scheduled to operate as normal.

- Carnival said there is a possibility that Carnival Sunshine may not be able to return to the Port of Charleston on Monday.  If the port is closed, the ship will be in position to dock as soon as authorities have reopened the port.

New York sailings:
- The Aug. 27 Carnival Sunrise sailing out of New York will stop in San Juan Friday, instead of Grand Turk. Saturday it will dock in Amber Cove, instead of San Juan; and Sunday it will visit Grand Turk, instead of Amber Cove.

Disney Cruise Line
- Disney Cruise Line is altering Disney Dream’s next two sailings. The Aug. 30 three-night Bahamian cruise is being turned into a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, which will impact the Dream’s previously schedule Monday departure.

- The Monday four-night itinerary is being changed to a two-night Bahamian cruise leaving Port Canaveral on Wednesday, with a stop at Castaway Cay Thursday. Guests that choose to continue with this sailing will receive a 50% refund of their voyage fare and a $250 onboard credit per stateroom. Guests that do not want to sail on Friday, must call 866-325-3905 or 407-566-7032 by noon on Sunday, Sept. 1. They will then have until Oct. 31, 2019 to choose a new sail date.

- On Friday, the Disney Dream will sail from Port Canaveral, visiting Cozumel on Sunday and Castaway Cay on Tuesday, though that is dependent on the storm’s path. Guests who no longer wish to sail on this voyage must call Disney Cruise Line at 866-325-3905 or 407-566-7032 by noon on Friday. They will have until Oct. 31, 2019 to choose a new sail date.

- Disney said it does not anticipate any changes to the Disney Fantasy sailing on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Royal Caribbean International
- Royal Caribbean has closed Perfect Day at CocoCay until Sept. 4.

- The Aug. 30 Navigator of the Seas sailing has replaced its visit to CocoCay with a day at sea and this sailing is being extended and will return to Miami on Sept. 4, instead of Sept. 2. It will also have an additional stop in Cozumel on Monday.

- The Sept. 2 Navigator sailing will now depart on Sept. 4. The revised itinerary stops in Miami on Wednesday and CocoCay on Thursday.

- The Aug. 30 Mariner of the Seas sailing is being extended and will return to Port Canaveral on Sept. 4, instead of Sept. 2. It will now call on Nassau on Saturday and Labadee on Monday. Its Sept. 2 itinerary will be shortened from four to two nights, now departing on Sept. 4, calling the next day at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

- Empress of the Seas’ current sailing, which departed Aug. 24, has been extended and will return Sept. 4. It added a visit to Roatan on Friday, followed by two sea days and a visit to Nassau on Tuesday, before returning to Miami on Wednesday. Empress’ Sept. 1 sailing has been shorted and will now depart on Sept. 4, calling on Nassau on Sept. 6 and returning as scheduled.

- Harmony of the Seas, which left Aug. 25, switched to an extended Western Caribbean itinerary. It will return to Port Canaveral on Sept. 4. The ship’s Sept. 1 sailing has been shorted, and will depart on Sept. 4. It will now cruise to Labadee and arrive on Sept. 6, and return as scheduled.

- Allure of the Seas’ current sailing, which departed Aug. 25, has been extended three nights. It added a visit to Roatan on Friday and Costa Maya on Sunday, followed by two sea days before returning to Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 4. The ship’s Sept. 1 sailing has been shorted and will now depart on Wednesday, Sept. 4; the itinerary will remain the same for the days left of the voyage.

- The Aug. 28 Majesty of the Seas sailing has been extended and will return on Sept. 4. It will spend a sea day on Monday and added a visit to Nassau on Tuesday. The ship’s Sept. 2 sailing has been shortened, and will now depart on Sept. 4; the itinerary will remain the same for the days left of the voyage.

- Royal Caribbean said it is working through confirming new ports for additional itineraries and will have an update later today for the Symphony of the Seas’ Aug. 31 and Sept. 3 sailings.

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