With some Caribbean ports knocked out, cruise lines make wholesale changes

The cruise port in Nassau, Bahamas, has escaped hurricane damage.
The cruise port in Nassau, Bahamas, has escaped hurricane damage. Photo Credit: Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock

Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have announced itinerary changes for cruises scheduled to depart into October that steer ships clear of storm-ravaged destinations in the eastern Caribbean.

The changes affect nearly half of Carnival's fleet of 25 ships. The cruises, with departure dates ranging from Sept. 20 to Oct. 1, will visit ports in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic and sail to ports in the western Caribbean, including those in Jamaica, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and the Cayman Islands.

One ship, the Carnival Vista, will visit the southern Caribbean on an 8-day roundtrip Miami itinerary that includes La Romana in the Dominican Republic, Aruba and Curacao.

The Carnival Paradise will offer a five-day roundtrip Tampa cruise departing Sept. 25 that overnights in Havana.

Other affected ships and their departure dates are: Carnival Ecstasy (Sept. 20), Carnival Sensation (Sept. 21 and 30), Carnival Splendor (Sept. 23 and Sept. 30), Carnival Conquest (Sept. 24), Carnival Magic (Sept. 24), Carnival Pride (Sept. 24 and Oct. 1), Carnival Victory (Sept. 25) and Carnival Glory (Sept. 30).

Carnival said the Sept. 24 cruise of the Carnival Fascination, which sails from San Juan is contingent on the damage caused by Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday. Carnival said it will continue to monitor the hurricane and will confirm the itinerary once a post-storm assessment has been completed.

Royal Caribbean said that it will skip Key West on departures of Empress of the Seas through Oct. 11, but that it plans to visit Havana as scheduled on Empress departures that have it as part of the itineraries.

Five Royal Caribbean ships have modified itineraries to substitute other ports for stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Key West.

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