Carnival Magic will not be visiting Bermuda as planned this weekend, due to the track and expected impact of Tropical Storm Philippe. Instead, the Dream-class vessel will be sailing to the Bahamas, with a port of call visit to Freeport.
Guests are being compensated for the change in itinerary, and are sure to appreciate the smoother ride rather than encountering the roughest weather of the storm.
Carnival Magic Itinerary Change
Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard Carnival Magic for the October 5, 2023 departure that it is necessary to make an itinerary change. The original sailing was planned as a 4-night sailing from Norfolk, Virginia to Kings Wharf, Bermuda, but that will no longer be possible because of Tropical Storm Philippe.
The ship will now be sailing to the Bahamas with a stop in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island.
“Today we have guests boarding the Carnival Magic. They were supposed to be going to Bermuda which is where a chap called Phillipe is heading and as he is a Tropical Storm we decided it best to change the itinerary,” explained John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador. “So instead of going to Bermuda the ship is going to Freeport, Bahamas.”
Freeport is the northernmost of the ports of call in the Bahamas, and the visit will allow guests the most in-port visit time given the extra distance to travel to reach the port.
Freeport is approximately 850 miles (1,368 kilometers) from Norfolk, whereas Bermuda is just 725 miles (1,167 km) from the Virginia homeport.
Guests on board will also be receiving on board credit (OBC) to compensate for the last-minute itinerary change.
“So along with the OBC (we are not required to do this as per the cruise contract) and mostly the brilliant crew who will be there to give everyone the best of times, means that this 4-day cruise will still be absolutely fabulous,” said Heald.
The 130,000-gross-ton Carnival Magic can welcome 3,690 guests aboard at double occupancy, or up to 4,724 guests if the ship is fully booked with all berths filled. Also onboard are approximately 1,350 international team members.
In late August, Carnival Magic had to make similar changes to what was to have been a 6-night Bermuda sailing, which instead was changed to the Bahamas because of Hurricane Franklin. Because that sailing was longer, the ship was able to visit three ports in the Bahamas: Half Moon Cay, Nassau, and Freeport.
Rough Season for Bermuda
With several storms impacting Bermuda in the past few weeks, it has been a rough cruise season for the popular destination. Various ships have had to cancel calls to the island due to storm tracks from Franklin, Idalia, Lee, and now Philippe.
In total, more than two dozen planned visits to Bermuda have already been cancelled this year, more than double the cancellations in 2022. The vast majority of such cancellations have been due to weather.
When ships cancel Bermuda, they may reroute to the Bahamas, as Carnival Magic is doing, or to the Canadian Maritimes, depending on the reasoning for the change, the ship’s homeport, and whether or not a particular storm’s track is threatening alternative destinations.
Tropical Storm Philippe
Tropical Storm Philippe is currently located 740 miles (1,191 km) east of the Bahamas, and is moving north at 10 miles per her (16 kph). Bermuda is 520 miles (837 km) to the north and in the near direct path of the storm, which is expected to reach the island on Friday, October 6. This is just when Carnival Magic would have been approaching Bermuda for the now-cancelled visit on Saturday, October 7.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph), and while it is not expected to strengthen to a full hurricane, it is still causing significant rough weather. Tropical storm warnings are already in effect for all of Bermuda.
Philippe is expected to continue north and impact the Canadian Maritime provinces over the weekend, which may cause some itinerary changes for Canada fall foliage sailings. Guests booked on such cruises should stay in close communication with their cruise line for possible itinerary updates and changes.