Cold Front Forces MSC Cruise Ship Itinerary Change

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MSC Meraviglia is unable to visit Bermuda as planned on her current sailing due to a cold front and the forecasted poor weather associated with it. Instead, the ship will be visiting a top Florida port as well as the Bahamas before returning to New York.

MSC Meraviglia Itinerary Change

Guests who set sail aboard MSC Meraviglia from New York on Monday, November 13, 2023 will not be visiting Bermuda as originally scheduled for their 6-night cruise. Notices in the terminal advised guests of the change as well as the reasoning behind it.

“Please be informed that we have had to change our itinerary for safety reasons, due to a cold front in the North Atlantic that is forecasted to produce dangerous wind gusts and rough seas for several days enroute to and around Bermuda,” the notification read.

“Please note that this situation is due to factors that are beyond our control. Your health, safety and comfort are and will always remain our top priority.”

The ship was originally scheduled for a day at sea, followed by an extended stay in Bermuda from 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15 through 3 p.m. on Friday, November 17. After an additional day at sea, the ship would have returned to New York on Sunday, November 19.

Instead, MSC Meraviglia will be departing New York as planned and enjoying a day at sea, before spending a late day in Port Canaveral on Wednesday from 1-9 p.m., followed by Thursday in Nassau, Bahamas from 1-8 p.m. Two days at sea will follow for the ship to return to New York on schedule.

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship
MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: penofoto / Shutterstock)

This will undoubtedly be disappointing news to some passengers hoping to visit the distinctive and charming island of Bermuda, particularly for such a long stay that would have permitted deeper exploration and time to really enjoy the destination. Both replacement ports, however, offer unique experiences for guests and time to have fun ashore.

Read Also: 10 Amazing Things to Do in Port Canaveral

Furthermore, the 171,598-gross-ton MSC Meraviglia offers a wide range of venues, amenities, and activities for guests to enjoy during their extra time aboard. From the exciting waterpark to the Himalayan Bridge 195 feet above sea level to the 4D Cinema, bowling alley, tennis court, casino, beer festival, deck parties, and so much more, there is something for everyone.

MSC Meraviglia can welcome 4,428 guests at double occupancy, and as many as 5,642 passengers when fully booked. Also onboard are approximately 1,500 international team members to ensure excellent service to every guest, no matter where the ship is sailing.

Weather in Bermuda

During the days MSC Meraviglia was scheduled to have been in Bermuda this week, conditions are predicted to be cloudy with some chance of rain, particularly on Friday.

It is the wind forecast that is the most concerning, however. Depending on the day, winds are predicted to be 15-25 miles per hour (24-40 kilometers per hour), with gusts likely even higher at times.

Docking in Bermuda can be challenging even under the best conditions, while strong winds can push cruise ships around in the narrow channel and make safe docking impossible. Furthermore, windy and rainy conditions can make it difficult to keep gangways stable while docked, forcing temporary closures that prohibit guests from debarking or reboarding the ship until conditions improve.

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship
MSC Meraviglia Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Karolis Kavolelis / Shutterstock)

It is safer for cruise lines to err on the side of caution, and it is possible that the next ship scheduled for Bermuda – Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway on Tuesday, November 21 – may likewise be impacted, as overall conditions are not forecast to improve significantly until Wednesday or Thursday, November 22-23.

It has been a difficult year for Bermuda in terms of cruise calls, with a number of ships cancelling visits and redirecting to different destinations due to rough weather, including hurricanes.

This is now the slower sailing season for the island, though Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises still have a number of calls planned through the last part of November. Only Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Getaway, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new Seven Seas Grandeur have calls planned in December, and fewer calls are still scheduled in January and February.

Visits to Bermuda will start to pick up slightly in March 2024 as winter weather begins to subside. The new sailing season will be in full swing by April, with ships from Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, and more all planning trips to Bermuda.

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