How Hurricane Matthew is affecting Caribbean Cruises
FLORIDA – Hurricane Matthew is forcing a growing number of cruise ships to alter course as it barrels northward toward Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.
Cruise giant Carnival has rerouted half a dozen ships scheduled to visit ports in the region over the next few days, including the Carnival Sensation, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Ecstasy.
Among the most notable changes, the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride, which departed Baltimore on Sunday, has sailed northward to New York and Canada instead of southward to the Caribbean. Passengers were offered the chance to cancel the trip for a full refund. Several other Carnival ships that have departed from Florida and South Carolina since Saturday will head to Key West, Fla., and Cozumel, Mexico this week instead of the Bahamas.
Also altering several itineraries is Royal Caribbean. The line’s 2,252-passengerEnchantment of the Seas, 3,634-passenger Freedom of the Seas and 2,350-passenger Majesty of the Seas will skip calls this week in the Bahamas and instead stop at Cozumel; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Key West, respectively.
Royal Caribbean’s 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas, one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, has changed the order of its calls at Cozumel; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Labadee, the line’s private island in Haiti.
Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Disney Cruise Line also have modified several voyages taking place this week. The 2,002-passenger Norwegian Sky, which departs Miami on Monday, will sail to Key West and Cozumel instead of Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas. The 1,970-passenger Island Princess will visit Grand Cayman this week instead of Aruba. The 2,500-passenger Disney Dream is heading to Cozumel instead of two ports in the Bahamas.
As of 2 p.m. Monday, Matthew was about 65 miles east southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba, and moving to the north at 10 miles per hour. The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour.
Calling Matthew a “dangerous” storm, the National Hurricane Centre projected the hurricane would pass move over the extreme portion of eastern Cuba later this afternoon.