Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Fantasy will not be sailing to Bermuda as planned for her September 9, 2023 departure. With Hurricane Lee developing in the Atlantic Ocean and predicted to make a turn toward the island as a major storm, the ship will instead be sailing an alternate itinerary for a smoother, safer experience for all guests.
Disney Fantasy Itinerary Change
With Hurricane Lee now active in the Atlantic Ocean and forecast to impact Bermuda as early as September 15 or 16, Disney Cruise Line has opted to adjust Disney Fantasy‘s September 9, 2023 departure to stay away from the storm’s potential track.
“Based on the storm’s current forecast track, Bermuda and the seas around Bermuda will be potentially impacted over the next week and a half, making it unsuitable for cruise travel. As a result, we have made modifications to the itinerary that bypass Bermuda,” the notification to booked guests reads.
Instead, Disney Fantasy will now be sailing a Western Caribbean cruise, with an extra call to the cruise line’s private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay. The itinerary also includes Cozumel, Mexico as well as George Town, Grand Cayman.
The ship will also still be visiting Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, as previously planned. The sailing remains as an 8-night cruise from Port Canaveral, with no changes to the ship’s embarkation or debarkation times.
“The safety and well-being of our Guests and Crew Members is our top priority and we appreciate your understanding,” the email continued.
The 129,700-gross ton, Dream class Disney Fantasy can welcome 4,000 guests for each sailing. Homeported from Port Canaveral, the ship offers primarily Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean sailings, with occasional Southern Caribbean, Bahamas, or Bermuda itineraries.
Disney Fantasy was also impacted by what became Hurricane Idalia, when the ship’s August 26 departure became an Eastern Caribbean cruise rather than a Western Caribbean itinerary.
Many guests will be understandably disappointed to no longer be sailing to Bermuda as planned. To compensate for that disappointment, Disney Cruise Line is offering up to $200 (USD) of onboard credit per stateroom for guests to use for spa treatments, specialty dining, drinks, souvenirs, photos, or other onboard purchases.
As expected, all Port Adventures already booked for Bermuda will be cancelled and refunded, while guests may begin booking tours for Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Castaway Cay.
Each reservation will also receive a one-time 20% discount on a future Disney Cruise Line sailing, subject to terms and conditions. The new cruise must set sail within two years, is subject to blackout dates, and may not be used for special holiday cruises or maiden voyages.
First of Many Expected Itinerary Changes
While Hurricane Lee is still more than a week away from direct impact on popular ports of call, the storm’s anticipated intensity and track has cruise lines already carefully watching its development.
At the moment, Hurricane Lee is a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (129 kilometers per hour). The center of the storm is located 1,050 miles (1,690 kilometers) east of the Virgin Islands, but is moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour (21 kph).
While there is still great uncertainty about precisely how the storm will develop in the coming days as well as its exact track, Hurricane Lee is expected to strengthen significantly, perhaps to a major Category 3 or Category 4 storm that could have devastating impacts on any land it encounters.
At the moment, the storm’s predicted track looks to be skimming north of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic before making a hard turn to the north, perhaps heading directly toward Bermuda before coming close to Nova Scotia.
Read Also: How a Hurricane Could Affect Your Cruise
This may well cause a number of itinerary changes in the coming days, including sailings planning to visit the Eastern Caribbean, Bermuda, or Canada and New England, depending on sailing dates and exact routes.
Hurricane Lee is active during the historic peak period for the Atlantic hurricane season, which is generally around September 10. Any cruisers with travel plans in the next few weeks – no matter which cruise line – should stay alert to potential storms and their impact on cruise itineraries, homeports, and ports of call.