Hurricane Rafael, the 18th named storm of the 2012 hurricane season, formed to the west of the Lesser Antilles and now has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. The storm is moving NNE at 16 mph as it passed over Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix) this past weekend.
Hurricane Rafael is currently on track to pass to the east of Bermuda late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. However, it is worth noting that storms tend to move erratically and can be extremely hard to predict.
The only cruise itinerary that has been affected by this storm is the Carnival Victory. The ship had a day at sea on Saturday and skipped calling on the port of St Maarten. Hurricane Rafael is the 7th named Atlantic hurricane of 2012. Tropical storms become hurricanes when sustained winds exceed 74 mph.
It is worth noting that cruises are rarely canceled due to hurricanes and tropical storms. Captains will keep the ships at a safe distance for the safety of the passengers and crew members. This often means sailing to different ports or having additional sea days.
There are a few cruise ships that are scheduled to be docked in Bermuda this coming week. Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas & Explorer of the Seas, and the Norwegian Star each have 3 days scheduled in the Port of Kings Warf.
The Carnival Victory was scheduled to be in port in San Juan on Sunday, October 14, and then Monday in St Thomas. Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Norwegian do not have cruises scheduled to port in that area until later in the week.
Cruise Fever will update this page if and when any cruise lines make additional changes to cruise itineraries. After a quiet month, Rafael is the second tropical storm to form this week. TS Patty has now been downgraded to a tropical depression and is expected to pass over the southern islands of the Bahamas this weekend.