Tropical Storm Ian Upgraded to Hurricane
In the overnight hours, Tropical Storm Ian turned to Hurricane Ian as she makes her way toward the gulf coast of Florida and shuffling cruise ship itineraries.
Currently Grand Cayman and the western part of Cuba are under hurricane warnings, and hurricane watches have now been extended to Florida’s Gulf coast.
Already, at the time of broadcast, ships from Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, MSC, and Virgin Voyages have announced changes.
Most of these calls are skipping Grand Cayman or Progreso, Mexico this week and opting for a sea day or a visit to Cozumel. Ahead of the storm, all cruise ports remain open with potential closures likely to be issued within the next 24-48 hours.
Hurricane Ian is forecast to brush Tampa as a category three storm early Thursday morning before making landfall north of Tampa.
If you have a cruise this upcoming week, stay in contact with your travel advisor and/or cruise line.
Sapphire Princess Returns to Service
After being out of service for the past 2.5 years, Sapphire Princess returned to cruising over the weekend. The vessel departed on a 10-night Mexico cruise from the World Cruise Center in Los Angeles.
This is the first time Sapphire has sailed from North America in eight years. Before the shutdown, the vessel was sailing the Pacific region.
With the return of Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess is now the only vessel in the Princess Cruises fleet not sailing. Diamond Princess is scheduled to return in November.
Costa Cruises Adjusts COVID-19 Protocols
Carnival Corporation’s Costa Cruises has made some adjustments to its COVID protocols for voyages in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and UAE.
Starting October 8, vaccinated guests will no longer need to take a test prior to sailing on most voyages.
For Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises, unvaccinated passengers will be allowed to sail as long as they provide proof of a negative test within 48 hours of embarkation.
Guests on itineraries that include destinations with stricter guidelines will still need to adhere to local regulations.