Hurricane Ivan causes ships to alter itineraries
MIAMI -- Cruise lines, which spent a better part of this week rerouting ships around Hurricane Frances, began concentrating on avoiding Hurricane Ivan.
Royal Caribbean International will alter its Sept. 11 calls on the Grandeur of the Seas, staying at sea instead calling at Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas, and the Enchantment of the Seas will head to Nassau, Bahamas, instead of Cozumel, Mexico. The Adventure of the Seas called in St. Lucia Thursday instead of spending the day at sea.
Also, the Majesty of the Seas will a call at CocoCay in Nassau, Bahamas on Sept. 10. The Explorer of the Seas will spend Sept. 9 at sea instead of calling in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Royal Caribbean said the Mariner of the Seas itinerary was "subject to change."
Carnival Cruise Lines altered the Carnival Destinys Sept. 5 cruise from San Juan, sailing a modified itinerary.
Princess Cruises switched the Caribbean Princess' seven-day cruise departing Sept. 11 from a western Caribbean itinerary to an eastern Caribbean itinerary. In addition, Princess revised its southern Caribbean itenerary of the Golden Princess.
Celebrity Cruises altered the Century's itinerary by extending its call in Cozumel on Sept. 9 and spending Sept. 10 at sea rather than calling in Key West.
Check the cruise lines' Web sites for updates as the storm progresses.
To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Rebecca Tobin at [email protected].
NEW YORK -- As damage
reports continued to roll in from several southeastern Caribbean
islands buffeted by Hurricane Ivan earlier this week, Jamaica, Cuba
and the Florida Keys were bracing to be next in line for the full
brunt of the deadly storm.
Ivan, with winds of up
to 160 miles per hour, tore a path through the small Windward
Islands Monday and Tuesday -- killing up to 16 people across the
region and leveling 90% of the homes in Grenada -- before skirting
Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, which
suffered little or no damage according to island officials, on
In Jamaica -- which
lies directly in Ivans projected path and could be struck by late
Friday afternoon -- residents and hoteliers were busy Thursday
battening down the hatches.
According to the
Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), efforts were under way in cooperation
with hotels, tour operators and airlines to facilitate the safe
evacuation and shelter of visitors currently on the
We have a clear set of
precautions laid down and hoteliers and other operators have been
advised to follow these procedures immediately, said Paul
Pennicook, director of tourism at the JTB, in an official
In Montego Bay, the
427-room Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort Rose Hall -- which had
evacuated most paying guests to the mainland by Thursday afternoon
-- was sheltering guests from older and more vulnerable area hotels
who hadnt yet left the island, according to spokeswoman Verona
Being relatively brand
new, our hotel is considered one of the safest on Jamaica, she
said, adding, hotel staff were securing the property and putting
all necessary safety measures in place.
Although most Montego
Bay residents were busy protecting their homes and stocking up on
water, gasoline, medicines and cooking fuels, a mood of calm
prevailed, noted Carter.
Jamaicans tend to be a
bit laidback, so were going with the flow, she said. Right now,
everybodys being their brothers keeper and looking out for one
were also looking out for guests longer-term well-being: According
to the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), all clients
with confirmed bookings at most member properties from Sept. 9
through Sept. 16 will be able to reschedule stays without penalty
for up to one year.
Sandals and Beaches
Resorts -- while also offering the 12-month rebooking deal -- said
it was working with airlines to relocate guests to its resorts in
Antigua and St. Lucia, already out of harms way. In addition, the
chain said it chartered several planes to transport guests from
Jamaica to Miami Thursday afternoon.
Montego Bays Daniel
Sangster International Airport was still open at press time and
likely will remain so until six hours before Ivan hits, said
No word was available
on storm preparations in Cuba, but in the low-lying Florida Keys
all residents and visitors were ordered evacuated on Thursday; the
hurricane could make landfall in southernmost Florida by
in Grenada began assessing the widespread, severe devastation from
Ivan, the worst storm to hit since Hurricane Luis in
According to reports,
nine Grenadians died and structures across the tiny island,
including its decrepit 17th century prison, were flattened;
islandwide looting was also reported and many prison detainees had
spokespeople for the Grenada Board of Tourism said downed phone
lines made communication with the island -- where the airport
remains closed -- nearly impossible, but unconfirmed reports of
severe damage to some area resorts had been received.
The Coyaba Beach
Resort, the Blue Orchid Hotel and the Spice Island Beach Resort
were rumored to have suffered extensive structural damage, while
the Mariposa Beach Resort, the Flamboyant Hotel and the Rex
Grenadian Resort reportedly lost some facility roofs.
But the LaSource
resort in St. George, with 128 guests still on site, sustained no
major structural damage and only minimal damage to the roof and was
operating with emergency generator power, according to a
from Barbados, Martinique and St. Lucia confirmed limited
structural damage and some beach erosion. The hotel plant appears intact on all islands with minimal
damage reported at three small hotels reported in Barbados. Most
services are operating and all airports are reopened. In Trinidad
and Tobago, many areas are without electricity or telephone service
but structural damage was minimal and the airport is
In St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, prime
minister, reported millions of dollars in damages even as the
assessments continued. Gonsalves did not report significant damage
to the hotel plant or tourism infrastructure, although boats were
damaged in the southern Grenadines. The airport on St. Vincent
reopened Sept. 8.
reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].