Bad weather has plagued cruise ships throughout the Caribbean over the past few days, cancelling port visits, keeping ships in port due to unsafe departure conditions, and otherwise wreaking havoc with itineraries.
Carnival Radiance has not been spared from these difficulties, but the ship is nowhere near the Caribbean – she is sailing to Baja, Mexico, but has also cancelled a port of call due to poor weather.
Carnival Radiance Itinerary Change
Carnival Radiance departed Long Beach, California on Monday, February 5 for what was to have been a 4-night Baja Mexico cruise with visits to Santa Catalina Island in California on Tuesday, February 6 and Ensenada in Mexico on Wednesday, February 7.
Right away, however, poor weather forced the ship’s itinerary to change, delaying the visit to Catalina. Such changes are not uncommon, and the ship spent Tuesday at sea instead, with hopes that the weather would smooth out and the port call could be rescheduled.
Guests were informed on Tuesday evening, however, that the forecast was not favorable and the visit would be cancelled entirely.
“Unfavorable conditions persist, and we must further revise our itinerary,” the letter delivered to guests’ cabins read. “The weather in Catalina Island is forecasted to be unsafe to operate water shuttles [on Wednesday], as was the case today [Tuesday]. So, regrettably, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our visit.”
The letter was signed by the ship’s master, Captain Giuseppe Strano, and follows onboard announcements that conveyed the same information.
All shore tours for Catalina Island that were purchased through Carnival Cruise Line are being automatically refunded to guests’ onboard accounts. Taxes, fees, and port expenses associated with the island are likewise being refunded.
Ensenada Visit Preserved
Because of the shift, the visit to Ensenada, Mexico – which had already been moved to accommodate a changed day to visit Catalina Island – was returned to its original day, Wednesday, February 7. This leaves the last full day of the cruise, Thursday, February 8, as a day at sea as planned on the original itinerary.
Any tours guests had purchased through the cruise line for Ensenada are being moved to the correct day, and passengers do not need to take any action to preserve their excursion reservations.
The 101,509-gross-ton, Sunshine-class Carnival Radiance – formerly Carnival Victory – can welcome 2,984 guests at double occupancy, or up to 3,873 passengers when fully booked. The ship is homeported from Long Beach year-round, offering short Mexican Riviera and Baja Mexico itineraries, as well as longer Carnival Journeys sailings to Hawaii.
So Many Changes for So Many Ships
While weather-related itinerary changes are common – even expected – during hurricane season (June 1 through November 30), winter is often considered a calmer season for Caribbean weather and southern cruise itineraries. This can be deceptive, however, and squall lines, winter storms, and other weather disruptions can happen at any time of year.
Just in the past few days, poor weather has impacted multiple ships from multiple lines, including Carnival Magic in Jamaica, Carnival Paradise in Key West, Adventure of the Seas in the US Virgin Islands, Carnival Sunshine at Princess Cays, and both Freedom of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas at CocoCay.
Outside of the Caribbean, poor weather conditions have also impacted Quantum of the Seas in Australia and of course Carnival Radiance in California.
Cruise travelers should always be flexible with their travel expectations as poor weather could impact their sailing at any time of year, with difficulties ranging from strong winds and rain that might make port visits impossible or unpleasant, to fog that could cause delays, to severe storms that cause complete itinerary changes.
Cruise lines always work to preserve original itineraries but prioritize the safety and well-being of their guests, crew members, and ships above any scheduling concerns, and itinerary changes will be made if necessary to keep everyone safe and comfortable on every sailing.