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The mayor of Miami-Dade County announced that Port Miami will close early Saturday morning as Florida cruise ports brace for the rapidly-approaching Hurricane Irma.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez told The Weather Channel that Port Miami will close at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. Other cruise ports are following Miami’s lead.
Florida Cruise Ports
- Port Miami will be closing on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.
- Port Canaveral is scheduled to close on Friday at 3 p.m.
- Port Everglades is expected to close on Saturday morning.
- Tampa is open and operating at port condition Whiskey.
- Jacksonville has one ship currently sailing from its port, and that ship is currently in dry dock.
The United States Coast Guard Set Port Operations
So how is the decision to close a port made? The Coast Guard has a protocol in place when it comes to Florida’s ports, and it operates as follows:
- Port Condition WHISKEY indicates that gale force winds are predicted to hit within 72 hours.
- Port Condition XRAY means that gale force winds are predicted to hit within 48 hours.
- Port Condition YANKEE is declared when the winds are expected to hit within 24 hours.
- Finally, Port Condition ZULU means winds are expected within 12 hours and the port is closed.
What You Should Know
Travel agent Becky Smith told us, “Sign up for text alerts from the cruise line and keep an eye on the cruise line’s page for the updates. Carnival is currently working on an update and will be releasing info this afternoon. Other lines have already released some info with changes/cancellations and additional info is due to be out soon.
She went on to say, “For those who have trip insurance, be sure to refer to your policy on how to file a claim in the event of cancellations or delays.
Right now over a dozen cruise itineraries have impacted because of Hurricane Irma.