Hurricanes: Don't worry!


Hurricane season in the Atlantic began this week and every year cruise passengers worry about how a hurricane could impact their cruise.  While there's the possibility that your itinerary may change, Royal Caribbean head Captain Bill Wright urges passengers not to worry.

"Keep in mind that hurricanes or storms are travelling at about six to 12 knots and today's modern ship cruises over 20 knots," he says.

"In a worst-case scenario, we can outrun the storm, although we very rarely have to do that. As soon as we see a storm could affect our routing or home port, we move into the situation room with the president and all the teams, as do all the major cruise lines.

"Here we determine whether we may have to skip a port, continue as usual or exchange a Western Caribbean cruise for an Eastern Caribbean cruise. Once this happens, it gets to be a bit of competition among the lines to see who can set up the new schedule the fastest, ensuring the best berth in the new ports."

Those are for en-route ports, but what happens if a hurricane's heading to your home port? Wright explains: "This probably is the most difficult time, as we have to worry about all passengers on the ship, plus those waiting for the ship. For example, if Fort Lauderdale is our base, we may have to move to Port Canaveral or stay an extra day at sea, necessitating a massive re-deployment of our passengers."

What about rough seas on the edge of the storms?

"Today's ships are computerstabilized, making us able to cope much better than we could some years ago," he says.

"The technology really showed us what it could do when we were ferrying Oasis of the Seas across the Atlantic with just crew and workers on board finishing the interior. We hit some major weather but (everyone) kept working through the storm."

Grandeur of the Seas to skip CocoCay today


Majesty of the Seas will not go to CocoCay today. Instead, the ship will stay in Nassau overnight until 5 p.m., before finishing its cruise in Miami on Friday morning as originally scheduled.

Credit to CruiseCritic for information

Tropical Storm Nicole changes Grandeur of the Seas itinerary


Tropical Storm Nicole has affected the itinerary of Grandeur of the Seas. Instead of stopping at CoCo Cay, Grandeur of the Seas will stop in Nassau, Bahamas today. The rest of the ship's itinerary is unaffected

Credit to CruiseCritic for information

Port of Bermuda to close Friday through Tuesday


Royal Caribbean has announced that the Port of Bermuda will be closed Friday through Tuesday due to Hurricane Igor.  This means Enchantment of the Seas, which leaves Baltimore on Saturday will instead sail to Nassau, Bahamas where it will arrive on Monday and stay overnight until Tuesday.

Royal Caribbean is anticipating some cruisers not being happy with the change and giving an onboard credit to each stateroom. If a guest decides they do not want to sail at all on that itinerary, a letter of credit to be used on a future Royal Caribbean cruise. No other Royal Caribbean cruise is being affected by the hurricane at this time.

Hurricane Igor forces Oasis of the Seas to change itinerary


Hurricane Igor is forcing a change in Oasis of the Seas' itinerary.  On Tuesday, Oasis of the Seas will  visit Philipsburg, St. Maarten on Tuesday and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas on Wednesday.

Royal Caribbean stated that the change will allow the ship to visit both ports while avoiding the issues that a storm like Igor can bring.

Hurricane Earl Royal Caribbean Update


Quick update regarding Explorer of the Seas and how it's itinerary is being affected by Hurricane Earl from CruiseCritic.

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, which left Bayonne on Thursday, will arrive early in Portland today and will ride out the storm before leaving late on Saturday. It had been due to be at sea today. A spokesperson told Cruise Critic: "We made arrangements to stay overnight in Portland, and will depart on Saturday evening once the storm has passed and we receive the go-ahead from the U.S. Coast Guard."

Updated Hurricane Earl itinerary changes


Here is an updated list of itinerary changes for select Royal Caribbeah ships due to Hurricane Earl.  Thanks to Cruise Critic for the information

  • Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was unable to make its scheduled port calls in St. Thomas on Tuesday and St. Maarten today. Instead, the ship made an extended visit to Nassau on Sunday, spent Monday and Tuesday at sea, calls on Costa Maya today and Cozumel on Thursday. It will then spend Friday at sea as it returns to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, as scheduled.
  • Freedom of the Seas, which left Port Canaveral on August 29, will be unable to make its scheduled port calls to St. Thomas today and St. Maarten on Thursday. The ship called on CocoCay, Bahamas on Monday, as scheduled, spent Tuesday at sea, and will call in Grand Cayman today. On Thursday, Freedom will visit Cozumel. The ship will then spend Friday and Saturday at sea as it returns to Port Canaveral on Sunday as scheduled.
  • Monarch of the Seas, which departed from Port Canaveral on Monday, was unable to call on CocoCay, Bahamas on Tuesday. The ship will now sail directly to Nassau were it will stay until midnight tonight. The ship will spend Thursday at sea as it returns to Port Canaveral on Friday, as scheduled.
  • Majesty of the Seas, which departed from Miami on Monday, extended its port call in Key West, Florida on Tuesday until early this morning. It will spend the remainder of Wednesday at sea and call on Nassau on Thursday, September 2. The ship will return to Miami on Friday as scheduled
  • Enchantment of the Seas, which left Baltimore last Thursday, called on San Juan on Sunday. On Monday, it visited Samana, Dominican Republic instead of St. Thomas as originally scheduled. It stopped in Labadee on Tuesday and spends Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at sea as it returns to Baltimore on Saturday.

Hurricane Earl affecting Royal Caribbean ships


Hurricane Earl is starting to affect some Royal Caribbean ships due to weather in the regions that have scheduled port of call stops.

Enchantment of the Seas is skipping St. Thomas today and instead will stop in Samana, Dominican Republic.  Then on Tuesday, Enchanted of the Seas will stop at Labadee, Haiti. followed by sea days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before she returns to Baltimore on Saturday as scheduled.

Oasis of the Seas had a schedule that called for stops in St. Thomas and St Maarten in the Eastern Caribbean but will instead change to a Western Caribbean itinerary and stop in Costa Maya on Wednesday and Cozumel on Thursday.

Grandeur of the Seas possibly to skip Key West


UPDATE: Guests aboard Grandeur of the Seas reporting they will skip Key West.

Due to a tropical storm Tropical Storm Bonnie brewing near the Bahams right now, there is a possibility that Grandeur of the Seas, which departed today, may not be able to dock in Key West. It has left port in Fort Lauderdale but a statement by Royal Caribbean had this to say about what lays ahead:

"According to the most recent weather forecasts, the ship will be able to depart on time and head south to Key West, Florida. However, U.S Coast Guard has closed the Port of Key West until tropical storm force winds have subsided. If the Port of Key West has not reopened by early tomorrow morning, Grandeur of the Seas will be unable to make its scheduled port of call there tomorrow. Should the ship be unable to visit Key West, Grandeur of the Seas will spend the day at sea tomorrow, sailing directly to Cozumel, Mexico, where it will arrive earlier than scheduled on Saturday."

Oasis of the Seas skips Costa Maya due to Hurricane Alex


Just a quick note that Oasis of the Seas has skipped the port of Costa Maya due to high winds and waves from Hurricane Alex.  Cruisers aboard Oasis of the Seas mentioned the change in itinerary on Cruise Critic. The ship's captain informed guests that the ship will not be stopping at Costa Maya as previously planned and the ship will instead have a sea day.