As Hurricane Earl continues to develop in the Atlantic, cruise lines are watching the storm carefully and adjusting itineraries as necessary to safeguard their ships, guests, and crew members.
The storm is forecast to be a strong Category 2 or potentially a Category 3 storm by early Friday morning, when it is closest to Bermuda. Tropical storm warnings are already in place for the entire island, and are likely to be upgraded to hurricane warnings as the storm draws closer.
Carnival Ship Itinerary Changed
Carnival Cruise Line has notified passengers aboard Carnival Magic that they will no longer have the planned overnight stay in Bermuda tonight, and will instead depart King’s Wharf on Wednesday evening.
Carnival Magic is currently sailing a 5-night roundtrip voyage from New York, visiting King’s Wharf, Bermuda. The port of call was originally scheduled as an overnight stay from 9 a.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, and not departing until 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 8.
Due to the approaching storm, Carnival Cruise Line has notified guests onboard that the ship will be departing Bermuda earlier, now leaving at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening rather than late Thursday afternoon.
“We know you were looking forward to spending Thursday in Bermuda and share your disappointment that we will have to leave earlier than scheduled,” the letter delivered to guests read. “We trust you understand the decision was made with everyone’s safety in mind.”
Captain Paolo, master of Carnival Magic, had been keeping guests apprised of the storm’s progress before the official announcement of the itinerary change.
The ship’s officers and the cruise line’s Fleet Operations Center in Miami carefully monitor each storm, including intensity, speed, and projected path, and itinerary changes are not made on a whim.
Always, the safety of the vessel and all souls onboard is the primary consideration for cruise ship operations.
Read More: How a Hurricane Could Affect Your Cruise
Applicable port fees will be refunded to passengers, as will all pre-purchased shore tours booked through Carnival Cruise Line that are now unable to take place. No further compensation is offered to guests, as is normal when an itinerary change is weather-related.
Hurricane Earl Strengthening
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NOAA) has upgraded Earl to a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (128 kilometers per hour).
Hurricane Earl is currently located approximately 470 miles (756 km) south and slightly west of Bermdua, moving north at 6 miles per hour (9.6 kph). The forecast track indicates the storm is likely to make a slight easterly turn as it heads north, and will pass east of Bermuda.
This puts the island on the weaker side of the storm with a slightly smaller wind field, but as Hurricane Earl is forecast to strengthen to a major Category 3 storm just as it draws closest to Bermuda, the impact on the island may still be significant.
Day at Sea Instead
Instead of enjoying Bermuda for the extended visit, passengers aboard Carnival Magic will now have an extra day at sea. The ship’s cruise director, Ryan Rose, as well as the Fun Squad and other entertainment staff will be putting together additional activities to make the day as enjoyable as possible.
It is likely there will be additional trivia challenges, live music, and other activities onboard. The ship’s casino is likely to be open, as well as the Fun Shops, and there may be additional performances, game shows, or other options added to the activity schedule.
Because Hurricane Earl is likely to cause rough seas well away from its projected path, however, guests are cautioned to take great care when moving about the vessel.
“Our highly trained and experienced officers will ensure that we remain a safe distance from the storm at all times and will do everything possible to minimize any discomfort,” Captain Paolo said. “For everyone’s safety, please take extra precautions while walking around and use handrails when possible.”
Carnival Magic is a Dream-class ship with many guest-favorite features, including Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, Alchemy Bar, Play it Again Piano Bar, Guy’s Burger Joint, Carnival Seaside Theater, Cloud 9 Spa, two SkyCourse ropes courses, and Carnival’s Waterworks, with the “Drainpipe” bowl slide, splash pad, Twister waterslide, 500-gallon dump bucket, and more.
The ship can host 3,690 guests at double occupancy, and as many as 4,724 passengers when fully booked. A crew of 1,367 international team members is onboard to provide excellent service.
There is no change to the ship’s planned arrival back in New York on Saturday, September 10. Carnival Magic is scheduled to visit Bermuda again on a 6-night voyage departing New York on Saturday, September 24, 2022.