Carnival Cruise Line has made the decision to cancel the September 30, 2022 sailing of Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral, due to the continuing impact of Hurricane Ian and the port’s closure. Guests had already been alerted to the possibility of delays with the cruise, but the cancelation is now confirmed.
Next Carnival Liberty Cruise Canceled
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald announced at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday morning that the September 30 sailing of Carnival Liberty is now canceled.
“Port Canaveral is closed and not expected to open by Friday. Unfortunately, we will be unable to operate this 3 day sailing,” Heald said.
The canceled cruise was to have been a 3-night Bahamas sailing, calling on Bimini and giving guests a relaxing day at sea before returning to Port Canaveral on October 3.
Port Canaveral is currently at Condition Zulu, closed to all marine traffic, and there is no firm timeline for when the port may reopen after the storm passes. The port area will be inspected to ensure all facilities are operational and the marine channels are clear before the port can safely reopen.
Guests on the now-canceled cruise will receive a full refund processed back to their original form of payment, as well as a 25% future cruise credit (FCC) based on the fare paid. Emails have been sent to booked guests with further details.
Current Itinerary Adjusted
Carnival Liberty is currently on a 4-night Bahamas sailing, having departed from Port Canaveral on Monday, September 26.
The ship was originally scheduled to call on Nassau on Tuesday and Princess Cays, Carnival Cruise Line’s private destination in The Bahamas, on Wednesday.
Due to the poor weather, however, the ship’s itinerary has been adjusted. The call on Nassau proceeded as planned, but the call on Princess Cays was unfortunately canceled.
Carnival Liberty will tentatively call on Freeport, The Bahamas on Thursday, September 29, but that will depend on local weather at the time.
At the end of the week, the Conquest-class vessel will seek to return to Port Canaveral, though the exact timing and route of the ship’s return will depend on the progress and track of Hurricane Ian.
“After departure [from Freeport], it will resume its course to Port Canaveral and remain safely behind the storm,” Heald said. “This allows us the best opportunity to dock once the port reopens which we hope will be Saturday.”
Should the storm slow or shift further east than predicted, it is possible the ship may not be able to safely return to Port Canaveral until even later. Canceling the next cruise, however, gives the ship plenty of scheduling flexibility for returning to her homeport.
Will Future Cruises Be Impacted?
Carnival has already had to cancel two other upcoming sailings due to Hurricane Ian. Carnival Paradise (from Tampa) and Carnival Elation (from Jacksonville) have had their September 29 sailings canceled.
The cancelation of Carnival Liberty‘s September 30 departure is the third cruise canceled by the line for this storm, but it may not be the last.
While the next cruises for Carnival’s flagship Mardi Gras and the Conquest-class Carnival Freedom, both scheduled to depart Port Canaveral on Saturday, October 1, are currently expected to sail on time, it is possible they may be delayed or canceled if the storm impacts Port Canaveral worse than expected.
Guests booked on those upcoming sailings should stay in close contact with Carnival Cruise Line or their travel agent for alerts and updates on their cruise vacations.
Hurricane Ian Update
As of the latest National Hurricane Center update at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Hurricane Ian is reported as a very strong Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour), just 2 miles per hour below the threshold for a Category 5 storm.
The storm is located 45 miles (72 kilometers) west-northwest of Naples, Florida, moving north-northeast at 9 miles per hour (15 kph), and is expected to make landfall later this afternoon as it begins to move across the Florida peninsula.
Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for continuing updates on the storm’s impact on the cruise industry, including cancelations, itinerary changes, port conditions, and more.