December 7, 2023

Hurricane Dorian forces cruise lines to change itineraries

By Johnny Diaz From South Florida Sun Sentinel

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is one of the ships being impacted by Dorian. (Royal Caribbean / TNS)

Hurricane Dorian is disrupting the cruise industry, causing a wave of travel changes for many ships in the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian have all announced itinerary changes:

Royal Caribbean

Due to projections of the storm’s track, Royal Caribbean announced that it closed its private island CocoCay Aug. 28 and will reopen it Sept. 4.

“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,” said Melissa Charbonneau, a spokeswoman for the Miami-based cruise line. “We evaluated all options, and this is the best decision, as there is no room for error when it comes to the safety and security of our guests, crew, and employees. This is our top priority.”

The company also provided updates on several impacted sailings.

The Navigator of the Seas, which had a scheduled stop in CocoCay on Wednesday, and the Mariner of Seas, which was also supposed to stop in CocoCay on Thursday, stopped in Nassau instead on those days. The Empress of the Seas, which was set to cruise Friday, will now stop in Cozumel that day. The ship’s scheduled stop in CocoCay Saturday will be replaced by a day at sea.

The Symphony of the Seas, billed as the biggest cruise ship in the world, is expected to stop in Nassau Friday instead of CocoCay. The Navigator, Empress and Symphony are scheduled to return to PortMiami this weekend. But the Symphony’s next sailing on Aug. 31 will be extended. Instead of stopping in Nassau Saturday, the ship will be rerouted to sea and head to Costa Maya, Mexico Monday. The ship will return to Miami Sept. 4.

The Mariner of the Seas will return to Port Canaveral Aug. 30.

The Harmony of the Seas, which set sail Aug. 25 from Port Canaveral and was scheduled to dock there Sunday, will also extend its trip to Sept. 4. The ship is being redirected to Cozumel Saturday and Sunday and then cruising at sea Monday and Tuesday before returning to Orlando Sept. 4. Because of the extended trip, the ship will shorten its next trip departing Sept. 4 with a stop in Labadee Haiti Sept. 6 before returning to Orlando Sept. 8.

For updates on the Allure and Majesty ships, which depart from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and other ships, Royal Caribbean is providing changes at

Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival also announced it was rerouting some ships this week.

The Carnival Breeze was scheduled to stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 28 and remained at sea. The ship stopped as scheduled in Grand Turk on Thursday. The ship returns to its home base of Port Canaveral on Saturday.

The Carnival Sunrise, which was at sea Aug. 28, was heading to San Juan on Friday instead of Grand Turk as previously planned. The ship will continue to Amber Cove on Saturday instead of San Juan. It will dock in Grand Turk on Sunday instead of Amber Cove. The ship returns to its New York home port Sept. 4.

Carnival Magic remained at sea Thursday instead of stopping as planned in Amber Cove. On Friday, it will continue to Nassau instead of previous plans at sea. The ship returns to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

Carnival Sensation, which is based at PortMiami, will now visit Grand Turk on Sept. 2 Half Moon Cay on Sept. 3 and Nassau on Sept. 4

Carnival Victory’s Nassau trip is being replaced with a stop in Key West Saturday. Because of Dorian’s expected landfall along the Florida coast, the ship may not return Monday to Miami.

“Our Fleet Operations Center continues to monitor the storm and will make any adjustments as needed as the safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority,” said Vance Gulliksen, a spokesman for Carnival.


Norwegian Cruise Line changed itineraries for two ships. The Miami-based company cancelled visits to its private island Great Stirrup Cay for Norwegian Sky Aug. 30 and Norwegian Sun Aug. 31. The Norwegian Sky is based at PortMiami and its sister ship is based at Port Canaveral..

“The safety and security of our guests and crew is always our top priority,” a spokesman said. “We are closely monitoring the storm and will communicate any additional itinerary modifications as they become available.”

Disney Cruise Line

Disney’s Fantasy ship was also rerouted to a western Caribbean route because of the storm, according to a spokeswoman.

Trips to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands on Aug. 27 and St. Thomas on Aug. 28 were replaced with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

“We will continue to monitor the path of Tropical Storm Dorian and make additional itinerary changes as needed,” the spokeswoman said. The ship returns to Port Canaveral on Saturday.

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