As Hurricane Ian nears the Florida west coast as a Category 3 storm, cruise lines are scrambling to keep cruise ships out of its path. As a result, Norwegian Cruise Line has been forced to cancel Norwegian Getaway‘s next sailing, the first out of the ship’s winter home at Port Canaveral, Florida.
This comes as the storm continues to strengthen and is expected to cause widespread disruption across most of the state, including at three of Florida’s five cruise ports. Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, MSC Cruises, and other lines have already adjusted and canceled cruises due to Hurricane Ian.
Norwegian Getaway Cruise Canceled
Norwegian Cruise Line has informed guests and travel partners that Norwegian Getaway’s September 29, 2022 sailing is now canceled, as Port Canaveral is currently under Condition Yankee, with arriving vessels needing to make alternative arrangements.
As the storm approaches, Port Canaveral is expected to move to Condition Zulu and be closed to all marine traffic until after the storm passes and inspections have ensured the port is safe to reopen.
“The safety and comfort of our guests and crew is always our number one priority. Due to the projected path of Hurricane Ian, Norwegian Getaway’s September 29, 2022 sailing has been canceled,” the cruise line’s email read. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.”
The now-canceled cruise aboard the Breakaway-class vessel was to have been a 9-night roundtrip Caribbean cruise, visiting Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island destination in the Bahamas, as well as St. Thomas, St. Johns, St. Maarten, San Juan, and the Dominican Republic, returning to Port Canaveral on Saturday, October 8.
This was to have been the ship’s first sailing of its winter Caribbean season, after homeporting in New York for the summer.
This impact comes immediately after Norwegian Getaway was impacted by Hurricane Fiona on its current sailing, which debarked in New York today.
That voyage was to have been a 5-night Bermuda cruise, but instead was changed to a New England and Canadian itinerary as Hurricane Fiona strengthened and moved past Bermuda last week.
At the moment, the ship remains docked in New York without taking on new guests. Because its return to Florida will now be delayed, the ship may remain in New York longer, waiting to ensure the end of Hurricane Ian passes or dissipates before sailing.
Refunds and Further Compensation Offered
All guests for the September 29 sailing will receive not only full refunds of their now-canceled cruise, but also a 25% future cruise credit (FCC) based on the value of the cruise fare.
“We sincerely appreciate your loyalty, and we cannot wait to provide you with the cruise vacation you’ve been dreaming about, and likely need now more than ever!” the email said.
The new FCCs will be available by October 10 and are valid for any sailing through December 31, 2023.
Refunds will be returned automatically to the original form of payment, and should be processed within 30 business days. The exact timing of refunds is dependent on individual guests’ financial institutions.
If guests used an existing FCC as payment for this cruise, that credit will automatically be returned to their Latitudes account within seven days.
More Cruises Impacted
Norwegian Cruise Line is not the only line seeing dramatic impacts from Hurricane Ian. Disney Cruise Line has warned guests about the possibility of delays for Disney Wish, and Carnival Cruise Line has canceled the next sailings for both Carnival Paradise (from Tampa) and Carnival Elation (from Jacksonville).
MSC Cruises’ MSC Seashore altered its itinerary ahead of the storm, as did three Royal Caribbean International ships: Mariner of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas.
Norwegian Sky also changed itineraries earlier this week to avoid the storm’s track, as did Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Infinity.
Stay tuned to Cruise Hive for further updates as Hurricane Ian continues, including any additional itinerary changes, cruise cancelations, and port reopenings after the storm clears.