Cruise ships from three different lines have made last-minute itinerary changes involving Bermuda because of Post-Tropical Storm Tammy’s proximity to the island. The resulting rough seas have made docking operations impossible, and the ships have had to make dramatic adjustments to their current itineraries.
Hurricane Causes Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
Both Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Venezia and Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream have had to make itinerary changes due to the impact of Tammy near Bermuda, while Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape had to cut her visit short.
The nature of the changes is quite different for each ship’s individual cruise schedule, departure date, and when they’ve been expected to visit Bermuda.
Carnival Venezia Itinerary Change
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Venezia is sailing a 5-night cruise from New York to Bermuda, with no other ports scheduled. The 135,225-gross-ton, modified Vista-class ship departed New York on Monday, October 23 and was to have had a day at sea before an overnight stay in Bermuda from 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday to 4 p.m. on Thursday.
The ship did arrive in Bermuda but was denied docking due to strong winds and waves. With no alternative ports available, the sailing has become a cruise-to-nowhere and the ship will remain safely at sea before returning to New York on Saturday, October 28 as planned.
“Although the storm is relatively far away, it is generating strong winds that are extending much further from the storm’s center,” the notification to guests read. “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. I know this is very disappointing news and we are very sorry for this unexpected change of plans.”
When a ship has unexpected days at sea, the crew takes steps to provide additional entertainment, live music, trivia games, and other activities, so guests onboard always have something to enjoy.
As compensation for the complete cancellation of ports of call, guests are receiving $200 USD onboard credit per stateroom to enjoy drinks, spa treatments, souvenirs, specialty dining, or other treats. Each guest will also receive a 50% future cruise credit based on the cruise fare paid to enjoy another Carnival cruise, valid for use through October 31, 2024.
All pre-paid Carnival shore tours for Bermuda, as well as the associated taxes, fees, and port charges are also being refunded to guests’ onboard accounts.
Carnival Venezia can welcome 4,208 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 5,260 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled.
Disney Dream Itinerary Change
Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream is scheduled for a 4-night “Halloween on the High Seas” cruise to Bermuda from New York departing on Friday, October 27. The seas are proving a bit too high for the sailing, however, which will now be going to Saint John, New Brunswick rather than Bermuda, visiting the Canadian port on Sunday, October 29.
The 129,690-gross-ton, Dream-class ship will first have a day at sea before arriving at Saint John on Sunday, where it will visit from 2:45 a.m. until 10:40 p.m. – unusual times for a port visit, but giving guests plenty of time to enjoy the lovely autumn of the maritime destination.
Monday will be another day at sea before the ship returns to New York on Tuesday, October 31 for an on-time debarkation.
Undoubtedly, pre-booked Port Adventures for Bermuda will be automatically cancelled and refunded, and guests can choose new adventures for their visit to Canada.
Disney Dream can welcome 2,500 guests at double occupancy or up to 4,000 passengers when fully booked. It is common for Disney cruise ships to sail closer to maximum occupancy than double occupancy, due to the popularity of the line with families.
Norwegian Escape Itinerary Change
Norwegian Escape did arrive to King’s Wharf, Bermuda ahead of the worst weather. The ship is on a 7-night Bermuda sailing roundtrip from New York, having departed on Sunday, October 22. The visit to Bermuda was supposed to be from 8 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, until 3 p.m. on Friday, October 27.
Instead, guests onboard reported that Norwegian Escape arrived earlier than planned, enjoying time in Bermuda on Tuesday but leaving Wednesday at 5 p.m. ahead of the worst weather. The remainder of the ship’s itinerary will be at sea, giving guests plenty of time to enjoy all the 164,600-gross-ton, Breakaway-plus class ship has to offer.
Norwegian Escape can host 4,266 guests for each sailing.
Hurricane Tammy Downgraded
As of Thursday morning, Hurricane Tammy has been officially downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, but the storm still has maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (137 kilometers per hour). The center of the storm is currently located 395 miles (636 km) east-southeast of Bermuda, and moving north at 12 miles per hour (19 kph).
The storm system is expected to spin further west, coming closer to Bermuda over the weekend. While the center of the storm is not expected to make landfall, it will be close enough to the island to cause strong winds and waves – weather conditions that can be unpredictable and hazardous for ships attempting to dock.
Any ships scheduled for Bermuda for the next several days are likely to be impacted by the rough weather, and booked guests should be patient and flexible with their vacation plans.