Hurricane Kay, now a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour, has caused one Carnival cruise ship to significantly alter its planned itinerary.
Carnival Panorama has now dropped one port of call altogether, rescheduled two other port visits, and added a substitute port to its current voyage, all because of the storm’s projected impact.
Carnival Panorama Changes Itinerary
The Vista-class Carnival Panorama is currently sailing what was to have been a 7-night roundtrip Mexican Riviera itinerary from Long Beach, California. Other than the ship’s departure on Saturday, September 3, 2022, very little now remains of the original itinerary plan.
The ship was to have enjoyed two days at sea, visited Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday, September 6, followed by a visit to Mazatlan on Wednesday, and the final port of call in Cabo San Lucas on Thursday before another day at sea and returning to Long Beach on Saturday, September 10.
Instead, the ship’s route was altered, and after just one day at sea, Carnival Panorama called on Cabo San Lucas on Monday, September 5. When guests returned to the ship after their port visit, they were informed about further itinerary changes.
The ship’s captain, Luca Lazzarino, notified guests via letter that it is now necessary to change the planned port visits even further due to the development of then-Tropical Storm Kay, which has since strengthened into Hurricane Kay.
The visit to Mazatlan was moved to Tuesday, September 6, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of the original 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. call on Wednesday.
Wednesday and Thursday are now days at sea, with the visit to Puerto Vallarta canceled entirely. Instead, the ship will visit Ensenada on Friday, September 9, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
These dramatic itinerary changes will undoubtedly be disappointing to many passengers, but the safety of the ship, its passengers, and its crew always remains the top concern.
“The safety of our guests and crew remains our main priority,” the letter read. “So, we will continue to monitor the weather and provide you with further updates as necessary.”
Because of the changes, all pre-purchased Carnival shore tours for Mazatlan were moved to the new visit date, and tours for Puerto Vallarta were refunded to guests’ onboard accounts. The ship’s Shore Excursions team was working to finalize tour options for Ensenada, which were made available to guests as soon as possible.
Hurricane Kay Impacting All Baja Peninsula
The significant alterations to Carnival Panorama‘s itinerary are due to Hurricane Kay, which is currently at the same latitude as Cabo San Lucas but approximately 200 miles west off the coast.
While the storm’s hurricane wind field is small, all of the southern Baja Peninsula – including Cabo San Lucas – is under a tropical storm warning at this time.
Further tropical storm warnings, hurricane watches, and hurricane warnings are posted further up the coast of the peninsula, as the storm is moving north-northwest at 13 miles per hour.
While the storm is not expected to strengthen further and is in fact slowly losing strength, it is simultaneously drawing closer to the Mexican coast and can have a significant impact on port communities.
The system is expected to weaken from a hurricane to a tropical storm the further north it goes, and is likely to make a westerly turn before reaching as far north as Ensenada. At its current rate of movement, the storm will reach the northern part of the Baja peninsula early Saturday morning, long after Carnival Panorama will be out of the region.
Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for updates throughout all of hurricane season for impacts from both Pacific and Atlantic storms.