Several cruise ships from various different lines had to face major itinerary changes in their itineraries due to severe weather conditions that impacted areas ranging from the Bahamas to South Florida. Ships impacted ranged from South Florida up to New York City.
Port Miami Closed for Hours
PortMiami closed to cruise traffic on Sunday, reopening early Sunday afternoon. The South Florida cruise port posted on X early Sunday: “There will be a delay on Sunday, December 17th embarkation due to recent weather conditions. Please contact your cruise line for instructions and more information.”
Sky Princess Alters Course
The Sky Princess, a cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, was originally set to sail a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas with a scheduled stop at Princess Cays on December 17.
However, due to rough sea conditions, the ship was forced to change its route. Captain Fotezze informed passengers that the ship would instead travel along the Old Bahama Channel towards San Juan, Puerto Rico. This decision was made in order to avoid the operation of water shuttles in unsafe conditions and to ensure a comfortable cruise for passengers. As a result, the planned visit to Princess Cays had to be skipped.
Carnival Freedom’s Cruise to Nowhere
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom had to cancel all ports of call during a 4-night Bahamas cruise due to unfavorable weather. The ship was originally scheduled to visit Nassau and Princess Cays, with Freeport as a replacement port.
Unfortunately, due to adverse weather conditions, the ship was unable to make its scheduled stop in Freeport. As a result, the ship had to go on an unplanned cruise with no particular destination. To make up for the inconvenience caused to the passengers, each stateroom was provided with a $200 onboard credit, and a 50% future cruise credit was also offered.
MSC Meraviglia and Royal Caribbean Adjust Plans
The MSC Meraviglia was supposed to sail from New York City to the south, but due to the stormy weather in Florida and the Bahamas, it changed its route to the north. The cruise ship made stops in Boston, Portland, and St. John in Canada.
Royal Caribbean International also made some changes to the itineraries of Allure of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas. Allure of the Seas took shelter between small islands to ensure guest comfort, while Mariner of the Seas modified its itinerary to Costa Maya, Mexico, instead of visiting the Bahamas as planned.
Holland America Line and Margaritaville Adjust
The post-dry dock service of Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam had to be shortened by two days due to severe weather, which led to significant changes in its itinerary.
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise canceled its December 15 sailing completely and advised guests to contact the cruise line for updates and rebooking options.
Weather continues to impact cruises
A powerful storm system, after causing record-breaking rainfall and disruption in Florida, is now moving northeast, bringing intense rain and thunderstorms to the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Meteorologist Brendan Schaper reported record-breaking daily rainfall in central Florida, with Orlando International Airport receiving over double its 1912 record.
The storm, expected to bring severe weather including potential tornadoes to North Carolina and eastern South Carolina, will advance northward to eastern Canada by Monday night.
The last time PortMiami was closed for a significant amount of time was in late June when a pleasure craft struck a ferry boat in the channel.