Hurricane Matthew, currently a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, has forced at least four cruise lines (Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean) to make changes to cruise itineraries in the Caribbean and Bahamas.
Hurricane Matthew is projected to pass over the eastern part of Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas over the next 4-5 days. The storm is currently located to the south of Jamaica and Haiti and is moving north at 6 mph.
So far, four different cruise lines have made changes to itineraries. Cruise Fever will continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew and will have all itinerary changes as they are announced. So far, the changes have been as follows:
Carnival Cruise Line has made changes to itineraries for several of their ships. Carnival Sunshine’s calls in Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk have been canceled and replaced with stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. The cruise ship is scheduled to leave Miami, Florida on Saturday for a five night cruise.
Carnival Splendor will sail a reverse itinerary and will now stop in Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and then Cozumel. This six night cruise leaves from Miami, Florida on Sunday. Carnival Elation can canceled port calls in Half Moon Cay and Nassau and will replace them with stops in Key West, and Freeport.
In addition, Carnival Pride, Carnival Victory, and Carnival Ecstasy will all be swapping port stops away from the Bahamas. The biggest change is Carnival Pride which will now call on New York City and Saint John, New Brunswick.
Disney Cruise Line has made one change to the itinerary for Disney Dream. The four night cruise will now stop in Cozumel, Mexico.
Norwegian Cruise Line has made one change so far due to Hurricane Matthew. Norwegian Sky will skip the Bahamas and will now stop in Key West and Cozumel.
Royal Caribbean made a few changes to itineraries. Enchantment of the Seas will now stop in Key West, bypassing stops in the Bahamas. Freedom of the Seas will now stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, bypassing a stop at the cruise line’s private island CocoCay. Allure of the Seas will be sailing a reversed itinerary and will now stop in Cozumel first, and then Falmouth and Labadee.
It is extremely rare that cruise lines will cancel a cruise due to a hurricane or tropical storm. To keep the ships out of harms way for the passengers and crew members, itineraries are often swapped (Eastern Caribbean instead of Western Caribbean etc). For more information, read What happens if there is a hurricane during my cruise?
For the latest updates on Hurricane Matthew, visit the National Hurricane Center.
Cruise Fever will continue to monitor this storm and will have all cruise changes as they are announced.