As Tropical Storm Tammy skirts to the east of Bermuda, its strong winds continue to cause problems for cruise ships scheduled to visit the destination. Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Venezia was forced to skip her Bermuda call on October 25, 2023, and is now operating a cruise to nowhere.
Captain Nixes Bermuda Call, No Other Ports Nearby
What is there to do on a cruise to nowhere? Guests onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s 4,200-guest Carnival Venezia are finding out, since bad weather prevented the ship from calling at King’s Wharf, Bermuda, on her 5-day cruise that departed from New York on October 23, 2023.
The Bermuda call was to have been a two-day visit, but Tropical Storm Tammy, with winds up to 85 mph and huge swells, prevented the ship from entering the port and docking. The storm is expected to continue to affect Bermuda this weekend, and then move farther southeast by early next week, when it will no longer be a threat to cruise ports.
For cruise ships that depart from a US port, they must call at a foreign port, such as ports in Canada or even Bermuda. In the case of bad weather and special circumstances, cruise ships can ask to avoid this rule, such as the Carnival Venezia.
Guests on October 25, 2023 received letters in their staterooms from ship Captain Crescenzo Palomba, explaining why the vessel could not reach Bermuda.
“Although the storm is relatively far away, it is generating strong winds that are extending much further from the storm’s center. These conditions are making it unsafe for us to attempt to sail into port. So, regrettably, for everyone’s safety, we must cancel our visit,” Captain Crescenzo Palomba wrote.
The captain added that he knew guests would be disappointed, but as there were no nearby ports to replace Bermuda, the ship will remain at sea until her scheduled return to New York.
Cruise Line Offers Onboard Credit to Assuage Guests
Carnival Cruise Line took steps to minimize guests’ frustrations with their cruise to nowhere by providing each stateroom with a $200 onboard credit. It can be used for spa treatments, specialty dining, and other activities that come at an expense. The line is also giving guests a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) for use on another Carnival Cruise Line sailing.
The FCC must be used by October 31, 2024, and is worth half of the cruise fare each guest paid for the current sailing. Meanwhile, the cruise line is refunding all pre-purchased shore excursions in Bermuda, along with the taxes, fees, and port charges associated with the Bermuda call. Credits are being made to guests’ onboard accounts.
Carnival Venezia is the cruise line’s first ship to reflect Carnival’s new “Fun Italian Style” concept. She joined the Carnival Cruise Line fleet in June 2023, following a major makeover after she was transferred from Costa Cruises, a sister line based in Italy.
The ship’s refurbishment included the addition of Carnival Cruise Line’s signature venues while maintaining her Italian flair. The ship entered service in 2019.
Other Ships Are Coping With Storm’s Wrath
Carnival Cruise Line is not alone in dealing with the Atlantic Ocean storm, as a few other ships were affected by Tropical Storm Tammy’s presence off Bermuda. Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream, sailing a 4-night Bermuda cruise from New York, was forced to abandon the port call, too, and instead added Saint John, New Brunswick, to her itinerary.
The 4,000-guest ship departed on October 27, 2023 and will call at the Canadian port on October 29, 2023, before returning to the Big Apple.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape departed on her 7-night Bermuda cruise from New York on October 22, 2023, and called at Bermuda a day earlier than originally planned, on October 24, 2023, and departed the next day before the worst of the weather hit.
She was to have remained in Bermuda for two nights. The 4,266-guest ship will be at sea until her return to New York on October 29, 2023.