MSC Cruises Changing Multiple Itineraries Due to Dock Damage

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MSC Cruises has reached out to guests booked on various sailings of MSC Seascape to alert them to an itinerary change in Jamaica. While the ship will still be visiting the delightful island nation, the port of call has been changed due to dock damage sustained during poor weather in February.

MSC Seascape Itinerary Changes

Guests booked on different sailings of the 170,400-gross-ton, Seaside EVO-class MSC Seascape have received notifications that their visit to Jamaica has been adjusted. The cruise ship will still visit Jamaica on each itinerary, but to a different destination than originally scheduled.

“Due to extensive pier damage caused by a recent incident involving another cruise ship at the port in Ocho Rios, Berth 2 will be closed for restoration work,” the email explains.

The damage the email is referring to is when Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Magic was docked on February 6, 2024. Rough weather that included strong swells and gusty winds caused pressure on the pier and it partially collapsed, forcing Carnival Magic to temporarily depart.

The damaged dock space has been closed since while repairs are underway. On days when Ocho Rios is fully booked, this can mean that not all scheduled ships may be able to be accommodated. Fortunately, MSC Cruises is making alternative arrangements for several MSC Seascape itineraries.

“Falmouth will replace this as a [port of call] on the same date as the originally scheduled stopover,” the email confirmed.

MSC Seascape Cruise Ship
MSC Seascape Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald)

This means the rest of the ship’s itinerary is not impacted by the change so changes to guests’ overall plans are minimal, though some shore excursions may be affected. The exact changes, such as time in port, may also vary on different itineraries, and guests will be provided with additional details as necessary.

MSC Seascape is homeported year-round from Miami, offering a range of Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries. The ship can welcome 4,540 passengers at double occupancy, or as many as 5,877 guests when fully booked with all berths filled.

Differences Between the Ports

Falmouth and Ocho Rios offer many of the same amenities, including stunning natural beauty, beach breaks, watersports, local shopping, historic tours, and more.

While the two ports of call are roughly 45 miles (73 kilometers) apart – Falmouth is further west on the island’s northern coast – similar shore tours can be operated from both destinations. This includes trips to the stunning Dunn’s River Falls, river rafting trips, cave excursions, and other exciting tours.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo Credit: Nazar Skladanyi)

Read Also: Jamaica Cruise Ports – Full List and Overview

This ensures that even though guests will not be visiting Ocho Rios, they will still have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Jamaica’s natural beauty, vibrant culture, and colorful history however they like.

Will Other Cruises Be Impacted?

Ocho Rios and Falmouth are both popular ports of call, visited by a number of cruise lines. In addition to MSC Cruises and Carnival Cruise line, ships from Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, TUI Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Line regularly visit Ocho Rios.

In the meantime, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, and Holland America Line regularly visit Falmouth. The switch from Ocho Rios to Falmouth may be a welcome change for experienced MSC Cruises travelers.

Carnival Cruise Ship in Jamaica
Carnival Cruise Ship in Jamaica (Photo Credit: STUDIO MELANGE / Shutterstock)

It is also possible that other cruise lines may adjust itineraries in similar ways while the dock repairs are underway in Ocho Rios, depending on individual ship sizes, sailing schedules, and available berth space. Different ports in Jamaica may be substituted as MSC Cruises is doing with MSC Seascape, or cruise lines might make other changes.

Completely different ports of call – such as an extra stop in the Bahamas or visits to the Cayman Islands or other destinations could be substituted for Ocho Rios, or ships may simply plan a day at sea instead of a port visit.

Cruise travelers with any sailings booked that include Ocho Rios in the next few weeks will want to stay in touch with their cruise line in case of itinerary adjustments or changes, especially as this will impact any tour arrangements passengers may have made. While cruise lines will automatically adapt shore tours booked through the cruise line, guests will need to adjust any independent tours on their own.

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