How Hurricane Beryl is Impacting Cruise Ship Itineraries: What You Need to Know

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Hurricane Beryl, a dangerous Category 5 storm, is wreaking havoc across the Caribbean and disrupting cruise itineraries.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Beryl has sustained winds of up to 150 miles per hour. The storm’s current trajectory will have it in the open waters between Aruba and the Dominican Republic on July 2.

Beryl is barreling toward Jamaica and expected to hit the island on July 3, traveling beneath the Cayman Islands on July 4, and directly hitting the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on July 5. Its path stretches between Belize and Cancun before arriving in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, July 6.

In response, major cruise lines are changing itineraries. Here are the affected ships and their adjustments. 

With three cruise ships in the path of Hurricane Beryl, the cruise line has rerouted the Icon of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, and Wonder of the Seas.

Set to explore the Eastern Caribbean after departing from PortMiami on June 29, Royal Caribbean’s 248,655-gross-ton Icon of the Seas has been diverted to the Western Caribbean.

It will miss its scheduled calls in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and instead visit Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. 

The ship will resume its schedule on July 5, spending a day at Perfect Day at Coco Cay in the Bahamas before returning to Miami on July 6.

Royal Caribbean said of the change, “As we’re monitoring the inclement weather around our intended path and are expecting high waves and strong winds, we’re modified our itinerary to provide you with the most enjoyable sailing… While it’s not the originally planned itinerary, we know you’ll have a memorable time.”

Meanwhile, the 236,857-gross-ton Wonder of the Seas, which left Port Canaveral, Florida, on June 30, will bypass its original calls in Roatan, Honduras, and Costa Maya. Instead, it is spending July 1 at Perfect Day at CocoCay and will travel to Cozumel, Mexico, on July 3. The ship will then return to the Bahamas to spend a day in Nassau before returning to Florida.

Another Royal Caribbean giant, the 226,963-gross-ton Harmony of the Seas, will also avoid Roatan on its roundtrip journey from Galveston, Texas. Having departed on June 30, the ship is moving up its calls in Costa Maya and Cozumel, arriving on July 2 and 3, respectively. As a 7-night cruise, the itinerary will now include a sea day on July 4.

In a statement to passengers, Royal Caribbean International said, “We’re terribly sorry for the last-minute change caused by the weather – your safety is our top priority. Please know, being onboard is one of the safest places because we are faster and can move out of the way of any inclement weather.”

The onboard experience will be enhanced with extra entertainment and activities to compensate for the sea day and missed port.

Rhapsody of the Seas, which weighs 78,878 gross tons, is also currently sailing a 7-night voyage in the Southern Caribbean near the U.S. Virgin Islands. Intended to sail to Philipsburg; Castries, St. Lucia; and Bridgetown, Barbados before returning to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 7, the ship is not altering its course at this time.

Unlike Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line is not proactively changing itineraries, and many of the ships are not in the path of the storm. The 130,000-gross-ton Carnival Dream, for example, which set sail from Galveston on June 29, is in Key West, Florida, and will continue its course to Freeport, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau, Bahamas, before heading home on July 7.

Similarly, Carnival Magic, which left Miami on June 29, is nearing the U.S. Virgin Islands and will travel to Phillipsburg, San Juan, and Puerto Plata/Amber Cove, Dominican Republic, after the storm passes.

Carnival Jubilee is currently in Cozumel on a 7-night Western Caribbean voyage. The 182,800-gross-ton ship will arrive in Costa Maya and Roatan on July 2 and 3, ahead of the storm, returning to Galveston on July 6. Carnival Paradise, sailing from Tampa, Florida, is currently in Roatan and will call on Cozumel on July 2 before returning home on July 4.

John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line’s brand ambassador, said,The Fleet Operations Center, the ship’s Captains and the Beards all work together on this. They will never make any itinerary changes days in advance. That’s because we want to try and give guests the cruise they booked so they track the path of the storm and wait as long as possible, safely, of course, before making any changes.”

However, Carnival Liberty is the only ship making adjustments. Having departed New Orleans on July 30, the 110,000-gross-ton ship is reversing the order of its port calls to avoid the storm. It is now visiting Cozumel on July 3, Belize City on July 4, and Roatan on July 5.

Initially set to tour the Southern Caribbean after departing Port Canaveral on June 30, Norwegian Jade is being rerouted to the Western Caribbean with new stops in San Juan; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, replacing those in Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.

“To circumvent the path of Hurricane Beryl and forecasted inclement weather, we have made the decision to take a safer, alternative route,” the cruise line said in a letter to passengers.

Norwegian Breakaway is also avoiding the Eastern Caribbean ports in favor of safer destinations like Key West and Nassau. The 145,655-gross-ton ship, which departed PortMiami on June 30, is currently enjoying the first of its two scheduled sea days but will no longer visit Roatan, Harvest Caye in Belize, Costa Maya, or Cozumel.

Instead, it has changed its itinerary to Puerto Plata on July 2; St. Thomas on July 3; and Tortola on July 4. It also added a day at Norwegian Cruise Line’s private destination, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas for July 6.

The 141,420-gross-ton Celebrity Beyond, which departed on an 8-night roundtrip cruise from Port Everglades on June 29, is also reversing the order of its original itinerary. Currently sailing the second of its sea days, the ship was to arrive in Bonaire on July 2, followed by Curacao and Aruba on subsequent days.

With Beryl closest to Bonaire on July 2, Celebrity Cruises opted to begin in Aruba, and will then travel behind the storm to Curacao and Bonaire before heading home.

Said the cruise line in a letter to passengers, “To ensure that we increase the distance and stay clear from the Hurricane Beryl offering comfortable sailing conditions, we’ll swap Kralendijk, Bonaire, with Oranjestad, Aruba.”

Also scheduled to call at Falmouth was the 130,000-gross-ton Disney Fantasy. Having set sail from Port Canaveral on June 29, the ship is spending the day in Cozumel and was scheduled to continue to George Town on July 2 and Falmouth on July 4 before heading to Disney Cruise Line’s private Castaway Cay in the Bahamas on July 5.

The ship is foregoing its call in Jamaica and will now spend a day at sea before arriving at Castaway Cay, the first of its two private Bahamian destinations.

Carnival Corporation’s Princess Cruises has not announced any itinerary changes, although the 145,281-gross-ton Enchanted Princess will be in Roatan on July 2, Belize City on July 3, and Cozumel on July 4. It should miss the impending storm.

Also traveling to the area ahead of the storm is MSC Cruises’ MSC Magnifica. It will visit Roatan on July 1 and Costa Maya on July 2 but head to the Bahamas on July 4.

Read Also: Rough Seas on a Cruise Ship – How They Handle it

Hurricanes in June are relatively rare but not unheard of. Hurricane Audrey became a Category 4 storm in 1957, making landfall in Texas and Louisiana. The official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with peak activity typically from August to October.

Any passengers booked on excursions through their respective cruise lines will find the shore programs automatically rebooked or refunded. Those who booked on their own will be responsible for changes and may use letters from the cruise lines as evidence of the change if needing to file an insurance claim for reimbursements.

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