Guests setting sail on Disney Fantasy today learned upon embarkation that their planned Western Caribbean cruise has now become an Eastern Caribbean cruise due to tropical development that is likely to become a tropical storm in the next couple of days.
One port of call will remain the same, however, as the ship will still be able to visit Castaway Cay as planned on the original itinerary.
Disney Fantasy Itinerary Changed for Developing Storm
Disney Fantasy left Port Canaveral on Saturday, August 26, 2023, but headed in a completely different direction than the original itinerary intended. The ship was to have been sailing a Western Caribbean itinerary visiting Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Falmouth, Jamaica, but that itinerary is no longer possible.
A tropical depression is currently being scrutinized off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and is forecast to become a tropical storm as early as Monday morning, August 28 – exactly when Disney Fantasy was to have been visiting Cozumel, Mexico.
Because of the likelihood of rough weather, Disney Cruise Line has opted to complete alter the ship’s itinerary from a Western Caribbean sailing to an Eastern Caribbean cruise. Guests were informed of this change as they embarked the ship in Port Canaveral.
“We have been closely monitoring the storm’s forecasted track and the possible impacts in the Western Caribbean and have made the decision to change your itinerary,” the letter reads. “You will now visit Tortola, British Virgin Islands, on Tuesday and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, on Wednesday.”
The ship’s planned visit to Disney Cruise Line’s private island destination in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay, remains as planned on Friday, September 1.
Pre-booked Port Adventures for the now-cancelled visits to Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica are all being refunded and removed from guests’ accounts, while the onboard team is available for booking new options for Tortola and St. Thomas. Guests can also book Port Adventures through the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app.
“We appreciate your understanding regarding this necessary itinerary change,” the letter reads. “We know this revised itinerary will provide you with the first-class experience Guests have come to know and expect from Disney Cruise Line.”
The 129,690-gross ton Dream-class Disney Fantasy is homeported year-round from Port Canaveral, offering a mix of Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, with occasional Bermuda and Bahamas cruises. Sailings range from 6-8 nights, though most are 7-night voyages.
The ship can welcome 2,500 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,000 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled. Because Disney Cruise Line is highly family-oriented, it is common for far more than 2,500 guests to be onboard. An international team of more than 1,400 crew members is also aboard to deliver the magical sailings Disney Cruise Line is known for.
Tropical Storm Development
The tropical depression impacting Disney Fantasy, the tenth to have formed during the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season, is expected to remain close offshore of the Yucatan Peninsula through Sunday and into early Monday, as it is currently moving at only 1 mile per hour (1.6 kilometers per hour).
While the depression only has maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (48 kph) at the moment, in the next 48-72 hours it is expected to strengthen past 39 mph (63 kph) to be recorded as an official tropical storm. By midday on Tuesday, it is likely to become an official hurricane.
Read Also: How a Hurricane Could Affect Your Cruise
While storm predictions can vary widely several days in advance, this particular depression may make landfall in the Big Bend area of Florida late Tuesday or Wednesday, though some forecast models show potential landfalls as far west as New Orleans and as far east as Tampa.
Any guests booked on Western Caribbean itineraries in the coming week should stay in close contact with their cruise line for updates on potential itinerary changes, delays, or other adjustments related to the developing storm.