Due to severe weather impacting The Bahamas on Tuesday, February 6, guests aboard Carnival Venezia will be unable to visit Half Moon Cay as planned. Unfortunately, no alternative port is available as strong winds are widespread in the region, and therefore Carnival Venezia will be enjoying a day at sea instead.
Carnival Venezia Cancels Half Moon Cay
Guests sailing on Carnival Venezia‘s current 9-night cruise to The Bahamas will not be visiting Half Moon Cay due to extreme weather that is creating rough winds and waves in the region. Notification letters were delivered to guests’ staterooms on Monday evening to alert them to the change.
“Our Fleet Operations Center has been actively monitoring the weather system that is moving in an easterly direction across the region. Unfavorable conditions that would make water shuttle operations unsafe are expected for Half Moon Cay tomorrow,” the letter explained. “Regrettably, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our planned visit.”
Water shuttles are smaller boats – often called tenders – that ferry passengers from the larger cruise ship to the dock on Half Moon Cay. Rough waves make the smaller boats pitch and roll too much to safely board or debark passengers, and could impact how the boats must approach the dock.
Safety is always the foremost consideration for cruise ships, and the strength and direction of winds and waves all factor in to whether or not a ship can visit a particular port on any given day. The size and type of docking facilities, whether or not water shuttles are required, and local reef conditions or other navigability issues are all part of the decision as well.
“We were looking forward to delivering the full itinerary you had expected and share your disappointment, but trust you understand this decision was made with everyone’s safety in mind,” the letter said.
All shore tours for Half Moon Cay purchased through Carnival Cruise Line will be automatically cancelled and refunded to travelers’ onboard accounts.
Carnival Venezia‘s 9-night cruise departed from New York City on Friday, February 2 and successfully visited Miami, Florida on Monday, February 5. While the call to Half Moon Cay is cancelled, the ship should still be able to visit Nassau on Wednesday and Freeport on Thursday before heading north to return to New York as planned on Sunday, February 11.
Where Else Could Carnival Venezia Go?
When a port of call must be cancelled, cruise lines often look for a potential alternative port to visit. In The Bahamas, this often means Nassau or Freeport, but for Carnival Venezia, this is not possible.
“Since there are no viable alternatives to add a port visit, we will spend Tuesday at sea,” the letter said.
Five ships are already scheduled for Nassau on Tuesday, one ship is in Freeport, and one is in Bimini. While these destinations might be able to accommodate another ship, it is possible that other vessels that cannot visit their own private islands have already secured alternative berths, or else the wind and waves are making it impossible to add another ship to the day’s schedule.
Furthermore, since Carnival Venezia will already be visiting both Nassau and Freeport later in the planned itinerary, it is not necessarily desirable to duplicate port visits. Rearranging the order of port visits is also not an option, since other Carnival cruise ships are already scheduled for Half Moon Cay this week – Carnival Glory on Wednesday and Carnival Legend on Thursday.
Guests Warned of Rough Conditions
In addition to alerting guests of the port cancellation, the letter also offered advice should any rough seas be encountered during the day at sea.
“Winds or saves may cause added movement of the ship,” the letter explained. “For everyone’s safety, please take extra precaution while walking around the ship and use handrails when possible.”
The ship’s highly trained officers will take additional steps to keep Carnival Venezia on an even keel throughout the day, including reducing speed and reorienting the ship to minimize winds or excessive motion.
Furthermore, the entertainment and Fun Squad staff will put together a range of extra games, activities, and contests for passengers to enjoy during the unexpected day at sea, ensuring there is something new and fun for everyone to enjoy.
While missing a port of call can be disappointing, guests will still be able to enjoy a fun day aboard Carnival Venezia with all the amazing features and activities the ship has to offer.