Despite its downgrade from hurricane to tropical storm, Idalia continues to force changes to cruise itineraries throughout the Eastern Seaboard.
Tampa port closure
The biggest changes come to two ships scheduled to sail from the Port of Tampa Bay today (Sept. 31). With the port still closed to all marine traffic, both Carnival Paradise and Serenade of the Seas are unable to finish their current sailings. Both will return to port as soon as possible, but their next sailings have been delayed a day.
According to a Royal Caribbean spokesperson, Serenade of the Seas "is scheduled to arrive back to Port Tampa Bay on Fri., Sept. 1. The next cruise will depart the same day with a modified itinerary, sailing in the Gulf of Mexico, and return on Mon., Sept. 4." It's call to Cozumel has been canceled.
In a text sent to cruisers scheduled to embark on Carnival Paradise, Carnival wrote "It is now clear we will not be able to operate your cruise today. Our plan is to depart tomorrow on a 3 day cruise without a port of call."
Impacted Carnival passengers will receive an email with options related to keeping or canceling their booking.
Cruise lines changed several other sailings, as well, in response to both Tropical Storm Idalia and Hurricane Franklin, which continues to maintain major hurricane status in the Atlantic.
New to the list of impacted ships is Carnival Venezia. Its call to Amber Cove, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 3, has been canceled. The ship will instead spend the day at sea.
Also new is a change to Mariner of the Seas next cruise, which departs from Port Canaveral on Friday, Sept. 1, for a one-week Bermuda & Perfect Day at CocoCay cruise. Because Idalia is forecast to pass near to Bermuda in the near future, Royal Caribbean has swapped the order of ports for this sailing. The ship will now visit Perfect Day first, and then sail to Bermuda, arriving late on Tuesday (instead of Monday). It will overnight, then leave mid-afternoon on Wednesday.