Cruise lines steer clear of Hurricane Fiona

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Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady in Costa Maya, Mexico, earlier this year. The cruise line has adjusted its Dominican Daze itinerary because of Hurricane Fiona, and it will now include Costa Maya.
Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady in Costa Maya, Mexico, earlier this year. The cruise line has adjusted its Dominican Daze itinerary because of Hurricane Fiona, and it will now include Costa Maya. Photo Credit: Nicole Edenedo

Hurricane Fiona's lashing of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean is forcing cruise lines to change their itineraries in the short term, but several said it is too soon to project whether the damage will lead to major itinerary changes later this year. 

The Category 3 hurricane has left most of Puerto Rico's residents without power and water service, causing damage reminiscent of 2017's Hurricane Maria, which made landfall on the island as a Category 4. More than 1 million people lack running water in the Dominican Republic, and winds of 115 mph whipping the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday, according to media reports.

The storm is projected to plow out of the Caribbean before heading north outside the East Coast.

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line has rerouted two of its ships to avoid the hurricane. The Carnival Freedom is sailing a five-day voyage from Port Canaveral that was supposed to visit Grand Turk on Tuesday but is instead spending the day at sea with plans to stop at Freeport, Bahamas, on Wednesday. The ship is due back at Port Canaveral on Thursday.

The Carnival Legend is sailing an eight-day cruise from Baltimore that departed on Saturday. That ship was also scheduled to visit Grand Turk but will instead visit Nassau on Wednesday. Instead of calling in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, on Thursday, the ship will reroute to Bimini, Bahamas. The ship is scheduled to return to Baltimore on Sunday. 

Carnival Cruise Line's next visit to Puerto Rico is scheduled for Sept. 27 with the Mardi Gras, but it's too early to say whether changes will be made to that itinerary, according to the cruise line. Carnival is communicating with port officials there to monitor the situation, a company spokesman said. 

Royal Caribbean International

The Harmony of the Seas was scheduled to visit Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, but will now shift west. The ship will now call in Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico. 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian has modified its Caribbean itineraries to now sail the Western Caribbean. Voyages out of Miami that called in Puerto Plata, St. Thomas; Road Town, Tortola; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, will now have a new itinerary that will include Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Norwegian's private island in Belize; and Cozumel.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages has adjusted its Dominican Daze itinerary, which stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Instead, the itinerary now includes Costa Maya. The line plans to call in San Juan this fall. 

Several lines are not in the Caribbean at this time of year, although Regent Seven Seas plans to call in Puerto Rico beginning with the Seven Seas Navigator on Nov. 9, and Silversea Cruises calls in San Juan on Nov. 28. A spokeswoman for Regent said it is too soon to comment on whether the line will be able to call there.

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