Hurricane Dorian could be Category 4, hit Florida on Labor Day weekend
As Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Florida, South Florida-based cruise companies are making changes to Caribbean itineraries.
Several ports along Florida’s coast are under port condition YANKEE, which means all ocean-going commercial vessels, such as cruises, and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons are making plans to depart the ports.
Ports currently under this condition are Miami River, Port of Miami, Port Everglades, Port of Palm Beach, Port of Ft. Pierce, Port Canaveral and Port of Key West.
Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean International , Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line are all rerouting ships to steer clear of Dorian’s path. Hurricane Dorian is projected to make landfall Monday or Tuesday in Florida as a Category 4 storm.
Carnival Cruise Line is modifying or canceling cruises to avoid the storm. The company is extending the Aug. 30 Carnival Liberty sailing from Port Canaveral near Orlando by three days. The Sept. 2 sailing on Carnival Liberty is canceled. The Aug. 31 Carnival Sensation sailing from Miami will change the order of its stops in the Caribbean. The Aug. 30 Carnival Victory sailing from Miami will be extended by two days, and the Sept. 2 Carnival Victory sailing will now depart on Sept. 4, shortening the cruise by two days. Passengers traveling on the Aug. 31 Carnival Paradise sailing from Tampa must board by 1:30 p.m. And the Sept. 1 Carnival Miracle sailing from Tampa will be extended by one day. Due to Port Miami being closed to inbound traffic the Carnival Horizon will be disembarking passengers but not allowing guests to board for its Sept. 1 sailing. When the port opens it will sail on a shortened schedule.
Check the Carnival website for updates.
Royal Caribbean announced Wednesday that it is closing its private island in the Bahamas, CocoCay, ahead of Dorian’s arrival. The company expects the island to reopen on Sept. 4. The company spent $250 million to renovate the island earlier this year.
“Our CocoCay Team is made up of over 400 Bahamian locals on the island and it’s important that they evacuate to care for their families and secure their homes, as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement. Passengers who purchased tickets to attractions at the island will be refunded.
Royal Caribbean is extending and delaying several South Florida itineraries to avoid the storm.
The Navigator of the Seas sailing from Miami on Aug. 30 will be extended two days, and the Sept. 2 sailing will now depart on Sept. 4. The Empress of the Seas sailing from Miami on Aug. 24 will be extended three days, and the Sept. 1 sailing will now depart on Sept. 4. The Aug. 31 Symphony of the Seas sailing from Miami will be extended one day, and the Sept. 3 sailing will depart on Sept. 4. The Mariner of the Seas sailing from Port Canaveral on Aug. 30 will be extended two days, and the Sept. 2 sailing will now depart on Sept. 4. The Harmony of the Seas sailing from Port Canaveral on Aug. 25 will be extended three days, and the Sept. 1 sailing will now depart on Sept. 4. The Allure of the Seas sailing from Port Everglades on Aug. 25 will be extended three days, and the Sept. 1 sailing will now depart on Sept. 4. The Majesty of the Seas sailing from Port Everglades on Aug. 28 will be extended two days, and the Sept. 2 sailing will now depart on Sept. 4.
Check the Royal Caribbean website for updates.
Norwegian Cruise Line canceled stops to its private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay, for Norwegian Sky from Miami on Aug. 30 and Norwegian Sun from Port Canaveral on Aug. 31. The Aug. 25 sailing on Norwegian Breakaway from Miami will be extended by one day to return Sept. 2. Passengers on board the Breakaway ship can choose to fly home and receive a 25 percent future cruise credit, the company said.
Check the Norwegian Cruise Line website for updates.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line canceled sailings on MV Grand Celebration from the Port of Palm Beach for Sept. 1 and Sept. 3.
Disney Cruise Line is extending the Aug. 30 Disney Dream sailing by two days to return to Port Canaveral on Sept. 4. Guests who do not want to sail need to call the company by noon Friday to re-book. The Sept. 2 Disney Dream sailing will now depart Port Canaveral on Sept. 4 and return Sept. 6. Guests who do not want to sail on the delayed cruise need to call the company by noon on Sept. 1 to re-book.
Check the Disney Cruise Line website for updates.
MSC Cruises does not have any itinerary changes announced yet. Check the MSC Cruises website for updates.
South Florida airports remain largely cancel-free. American Airlines canceled Friday’s 5:35 p.m. departure from Miami International Airport to Freeport, Bahamas and the corresponding 7:47 p.m. return arrival. Check the MIA website and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport website for flight information.
Several airlines have announced they are waiving change fees for flights to and from Florida airports, including MIA and FLL.
American Airlines will waive change fees for flights scheduled for Aug. 29 to Sept. 4.
Delta Airlines will waive change fees for flights booked for Sept. 1-4.
Frontier Airlines said customers can make one free itinerary change for flights between Sept. 3-4 that were booked before Aug. 28.
Spirit Airlines is offering waived change fees for flights between Aug. 31. and Sept. 3.
Southwest Airlines will waive fees for certain flights booked through Sept. 4.
JetBlue Airlines is waiving change fees for certain flights booked through Sept. 3.
Amtrak canceled its New York-Miami service from Aug. 31 through Sept. 3 and its Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida service from Sept. 1 through Sept. 2. Bus transportation will not be provided for canceled trains.