As Isaac strengthens and its path becomes clearer, many people are preparing for the storm. For some, that may mean looking into evacuating from their homes. For those preparing for a vacation in the path of the storm, this could mean canceling plans. For vacationers with upcoming cruises, their vacations may still go on, but not exactly as planned.
Photo courtesy of MigRodz
Cruise lines are well aware of hurricane and tropical storm threats. Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November, but most activity is seen from August to October. Companies that take cruise ships through hurricane-prone waters during these months monitor storm activity very closely. If tropical activity looks likely the threaten the path a ship is meant to take, the trip's itinerary will be altered. This could mean replacing one port-of-call with another, skipping one of the stops, or doing the trip in reverse starting at the planned last port. Sometimes, the course may be completely altered for safety reasons and all new routes will be taken, stopping in different cities than originally planned. In some cases, cruises may be all together cancelled, but it is more likely that you will just see changes made to your trip.
In preparation for Isaac, several cruise lines have announced alterations to upcoming itineraries. Carnival's ship Valor will be replacing its stop in Curacao with a trip to Nassau. The Liberty ship will also be going to Nassau, in place of the scheduled stop to Grand Turk. The ship Ecstasy will not be stopping in Half Moon Cay, but will instead go to Freeport, Bahamas.
The Royal Caribbean cruise line will be changing the courses of Majesty of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas, cancelling the stops to CocoCay, Bahamas. The Allure of the Seas ship will be late returning to Fort Lauderdale, which will impact the next sailing of the ship. This will result in a shorter trip, with Falmouth and Labadee being replaced with a trip to Nassau.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky is cancelling a stop at Great Stirrup Cay and will move its Nassau stop to Saturday. Norwegian Gem will still be making stops in Great Stirrup Cay, Nassau, and Port Canaveral, but will rearrange the order of days to avoid any areas that may be affected by Isaac. Norwegian Dawn is planning to reach the Bahamas a few hours early in case complications from Joyce require them to leave the port sooner.
All cruise lines will continue to monitor each storm careful and may make further changes as the storm's path becomes clearer. If you have a trip planned with a major cruise line be sure to check up regularly with their website to monitor the status of your cruise.