Carnival Cruise Line has updated information regarding the impact of Hurricane Nicole with respect to the line’s fleet operations, itineraries, and now shortened cruises due to closed homeports.
NOTE: As of 6 p.m., shortly after Carnival’s update, Tropical Storm Nicole was officially noted by the National Hurricane Center as having strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane.
More cruises have now been impacted by the storm, two sailings have been shortened, and other embarkations are now delayed for cruises departing later this week.
Cruises Impacted by the Storm
Multiple sailings involving 6 ships from 5 homeports in 2 states are now impacted by the storm. While these changes can be confusing and inconvenient with last minute-adjustments, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald reminds guests that everything is done to ensure safety.
“I’m so sorry for all of those people impacted but of course we have to put the safety of everybody first and continue to work with the ports which are currently closed,” Heald said. “To everybody in the path of the storm, please, please stay safe.”
Carnival Sunshine, currently homeported from Charleston, South Carolina, is sailing a 5-night itinerary to The Bahamas, having departed on Monday, November 7. The ship canceled its visit to Nassau today and will instead visit Nassau on Thursday instead of Princess Cays, but is scheduled to return to Charleston as planned on Saturday, November 12.
There are no planned delays or alterations to the next cruise, but further changes are possible as the storm’s path or intensity may shift in the next couple of days.
Sailing a 5-night cruise out of Jacksonville, Carnival Elation already had its current itinerary altered to visit Freeport rather than Princess Cays, and no further itinerary changes have been made.
The ship is now at sea just south of Key West, well out of the storm’s path, and will follow the storm north as the weather eases, with the expectation to dock one day later than planned – now on Friday, November 11 rather than on Thursday, November 10.
Because of this delay, the next cruise, originally a 4-night trip to depart on November 10, will now set sail on November 11 and will be shortened to a 3-night cruise visiting Freeport, with the visit to Nassau canceled.
Booked guests will be refunded one pro-rated day of their cruise fare and associated onboard pre-paid drink or internet packages, as well as a full refund of any canceled Carnival shore excursions, taxes, and port fees related to Nassau.
Guests will also receive a $50 (USD) onboard credit per person (maximum $100 per stateroom) as compensation for the shortened cruise. If guests prefer not to sail on the shortened cruise, they can also cancel for a full refund.
In addition to the previously announced changes to its current 4-night cruise – visiting Cozumel rather than Nassau and Princess Cays – Carnival Liberty may now also be delayed in returning to Port Canaveral on Friday, November 11.
The next sailing is scheduled to proceed as expected, but with a one-hour delay in embarkation time for arriving passengers. All guests are asked to delay their arrival appointment times by one hour, but must be onboard by 2:30 p.m. so the ship can depart on schedule.
Sailing from Miami, Carnival Sunrise has no changes to its current itinerary and is expected to arrive back in Miami on Thursday, November 10.
There may be a slight delay with that arrival, however, and guests on the next cruise – a 4-night sailing to The Bahamas – are advised to move their arrival times back by one hour for a slightly delayed embarkation. All guests must be on board by 2:30 p.m.
Also sailing from Miami, both Carnival Conquest‘s current itinerary and next sailing, departing on Friday, November 11, remain unchanged at this time, but guests should stay alert for possible debarkation or embarkation delays.
Homeported from Tampa, Carnival Paradise‘s current sailing is a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise that has already called in Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico. Because the storm is now predicted to move further west before beginning to turn north, however, the ship is likely to be delayed in returning to Tampa on Thursday, November 10.
It is hoped the Fantasy-class vessel may be able to dock late Thursday evening, but it may be delayed until Friday morning. Because of this, the next sailing will no longer be the planned 4-night cruise to Cozumel, but will instead be shortened to a 3-night cruise to nowhere.
Guests may choose to cancel for a full refund if desired. If guests choose to continue with the now shortened cruise, they will receive a 50% refund of their cruise fare, full refunds of port taxes and canceled shore tours, and one day’s refund for pre-paid onboard packages.
Guests will also receive $100 (USD) per person of onboard credit, up to $200 per stateroom.
Tropical Storm is Now a Hurricane
Hurricane Nicole is now located approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Freeport in The Bahamas and 155 miles (249 km) east-northeast of Miami, moving west at 13 mph (21 kph).
The storm is still expected to strengthen slightly, and will make landfall on the Florida peninsula overnight at approximately 2 a.m., likely near Middle Cove Beach, 112 miles (180 km) north of Miami.