Hurricane Nicole caused significant issues for several cruise lines, as ports on the East Coast remain closed. However, PortMiami has now decided to lift all restrictions and return to normal operations.
The busiest cruise port in the world sustained no significant damage that would warrant a further closure, ensuring that cruise ships from Carnival Cruise Line and Celebrity cruises can make their regular calls today and without additional issues during the rest of the week.
PortMiami Reopens for Cruise Ships
With Hurricane Nicole ripping through the Bahamas yesterday and with the potential for significant damage in Florida, PortMiami temporarily closed to any incoming traffic on Tuesday evening at 8 PM. Other ports in the area, such as Port Canaveral and Tampa, did the same, all operating under Port Condition ZULU. This affected several cruise ships in the past 24 hours.
As the situation in Miami improved in the last hours, Hurricane Nicole passed to the north of the city; PortMiami officials have decided to reopen the port for all incoming and departing traffic. This spells good news for cruise ships sailing from the port today, Celebrity Summit and Carnival Sunrise.
“The Captain of the Port has lifted all restrictions on PortMiami and returned us to Port Condition: NORMAL, effective today, at 8:36 AM,” Port Miami reported earlier today.
Carnival Sunrise arrived back in PortMiami earlier today, around 9 AM, and there should be no danger to its scheduled itinerary. The vessel will depart on a four-night cruise to the Bahamas, calling to Nassau and Half Moon Cay. Although several cruise ships canceled calls to the Bahamas yesterday and today, there seems to be no issue with calls in the upcoming days.
Celebrity Summit, in the meantime, will sail from Port Miami on a four-night cruise to the Western Caribbean, with a call to Cozumel. No problems are expected for any ships sailing in the Western Caribbean, with Celebrity Summit’s cruise scheduled to depart on time.
Cruises scheduled for the rest of the week from PortMiami, including voyages onboard Carnival Conquest, Freedom Of The Seas, Norwegian Prima, Scarlet Lady, and Seabourn Quest, can take place as scheduled.
Hurricane Nicole Passes, Cruises Still Affected
While ports in Southern Florida can return to normal operations, the same cannot be said about several other cruise ports further north. At the time of writing, Port Canaveral, Tampa, and Jacksonville are all closed as the eye of the storm moves over Northern Florida.
Several cruise ships are impacted by the port closures. Carnival Elation, due to sail today on a 4-day cruise from Jacksonville, will now depart on November 11 instead as a 3-day cruise with a one port call to Freeport, The Bahamas.
For Port Canaveral, the port will be able to open later today, or latest, tomorrow. This would mean that the Carnival Liberty cruise scheduled to sail tomorrow will be able to depart as scheduled.
As the Port of Tampa is also still closed, Carnival Paradise, scheduled to sail today, November 10, will likely sail tomorrow. However, as the cruise will be delayed by one day, this voyage will be a 3-day cruise to nowhere.
As Hurricane Nicole was scaled down to a Tropical Storm earlier, the disruptions to cruise schedules will be over by tomorrow. The storm is expected to move inland today, weakening further.