Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests embarking Carnival Panorama on Saturday, August 19, 2023, with itinerary and port visit updates due to Hurricane Hilary.
The planned itinerary is not possible, and so port days have been adjusted and one port of call cancelled in order to avoid the worst of the storm’s impact over the next couple of days.
Carnival Panorama Itinerary Changed
Guests setting sail today on the Vista-class Carnival Panorama will not be enjoying their originally planned itinerary. Due to the influence of Hurricane Hilary, it is necessary to adjust the ship’s sailing route, port days, and even to cancel one of the ports of call on the 7-night Mexican Riviera itinerary. Guests were notified of these changes with a letter upon embarkation.
“Our Fleet Operations Center continues to monitor Hurricane Hilary,” the letter said. “Due to the projected path of the storm, we have modified the itinerary for your cruise.”
The original itinerary following the Saturday embarkation was to have been two days at sea, followed by three port days on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday – Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas, respectively – then one more day at sea before returning to Los Angeles on Saturday, August 26.
Now, the revised itinerary is two days at sea, Tuesday in Cabo San Lucas and Wednesday in Puerto Vallarta, two more days at sea, and back to Long Beach as scheduled. “Unfortunately, it is necessary to cancel the call on Mazatlan,” the letter said.
No explanation is given as to why the ship will be unable to call on Mazatlan on a different day during the cruise, but overall port schedules and berth availability always play a factor in cruise scheduling.
On Thursday – which could have been a day for Carnival Panorama to visit Mazatlan – Emerald Princess is already scheduled for the Mexican port.
Port times in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta have also been slightly adjusted. Carnival Panorama will now visit Cabo San Lucas from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. rather than the previous times of 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the call in Puerto Vallarta, while still beginning at 9 a.m., has been extended 30 minutes, until 9:30 p.m.
These longer port times can help guests enjoy both ports of call even more fully and help compensate for missing Mazatlan altogether.
Shore Excursions Modified
Carnival Cruise Line is changing all pre-purchased Carnival shore tours to the new port days and times, and tours for Mazatlan will be refunded to passengers’ onboard accounts. All taxes, fees, and port expenses associated with Mazatlan will also be refunded to onboard accounts.
With an extra day at sea, Carnival Panorama‘s Fun Squad – the part of the ship’s entertainment staff responsible for trivia contests, deck parties, craft projects, games, and other activities – will undoubtedly put together additional options for guests to enjoy as the ship returns to Long Beach.
Multiple Ships Impacted by Storm
Cruise ships from three different lines have been impacted by Hurricane Hilary. Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas will be visiting Ensenada earlier than expected to ensure the ship is able to move well out of the storm’s projected path.
Similarly, Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess will be making a service call only to Ensenada before returning to Los Angeles earlier than anticipated, before the storm arrives in the region.
At this time of year, few ships are operating Mexican Riviera itineraries, as vessels are often deployed to Alaska or Europe during the summer months but will spend the winter months in more southerly regions.
It is also unusual for a storm of this strength to be moving north along the Pacific Coast, as eastern Pacific storms more frequently move west into open waters, with less impact on land.
Hurricane Hilary is roughly 250 miles west of Cabo San Lucas (as of 12 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Saturday, August 18) and is currently a Category 3 Major hurricane, with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. The storm is moving north-northwest at 16 miles per hour and is expected to impact the northern Baja and southern California region from midday Sunday.