Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Delayed for Port Reopening

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Royal Caribbean International provided an update for the Independence of the Seas, announcing the vessel will be delayed arriving at Port Canaveral. It comes as Port Canaveral is working on reopening following Tropical Storm Nicole.

While land-based operations in Port Canaveral have been allowed to resume, any sea-related operations are suspended pending a survey of the channel. UPDATE: The port is now back open.

Independence of the Seas Delayed by One Day

Royal Caribbean International has been forced to make changes to two cruises onboard Independence of the Seas. The Freedom-class cruise ship was scheduled to arrive back in Port Canaveral today, November 11. However, Port Canaveral was under Condition ZULU and is only starting to reopen on November 11.

Independence of the Seas is currently at sea, making its way past Freeport in the Bahamas, and will set course to port Canaveral during the evening and night, hopefully being able to dock in Port Canaveral tomorrow morning, November 12. 

This also means that the three-night cruise scheduled to depart on Saturday will be shortened to two nights only. Independence of the Seas was scheduled to visit Nassau on Saturday, but this call has now been canceled. 

Royal Caribbean offers guests the value of one day of the cruise fare as a refundable onboard credit. Guests will also receive a prorated refundable onboard credit for pre-cruise purchases, such as internet or beverage packages. Any pre-purchased shore excursions for Nassau will also be returned as a refundable onboard credit.

Independence of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Ceri Breeze /

If guests decide to cancel the voyage, they will get a 100% Future Cruise Credit for the cruise fare paid. Guests can cancel the cruise until November 12. 

Royal Caribbean said that is no other impact on planned itineraries at this time. In the upcoming days, Mariner of the Seas will sail from Port Canaveral on Saturday. This coming Sunday, November 13, both Jewel of the Seas and Wonder of the Seas have calls scheduled at Port Canaveral. So far, these cruises will sail as scheduled. 

Port Canaveral Remains Update

Although tropical storm Nicole has passed Port Canaveral, the port remained closed until November 11 for all waterside and vessel shoreside operations. The port is open for any landside operations, which means businesses are allowed to return to the port to evaluate their premises and resume operations when safe. 

Tide gauges in Port Canaveral hit the major flood stage during Hurricane Nicole before falling back to normal levels after the storm surge subsided. No significant damage has been reported at the port.

Cruise Ships at Port Canaveral
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

Port Canaveral released a statement that said: “Port Canaveral has conducted initial safety assessments of the Port following the passage of Hurricane Nicole. An ‘All Clear’ has been issued for surrounding roadways. For landside operations, the Port is now OPEN.”

The port remained closed for all ship traffic because the port’s management and the US Coast Guard need to conduct surveys on the main channel and complete evaluations of vessel restrictions.

Read Also: Port Canaveral Hotels With Cruise Shuttle Service

In the surrounding area, Jetty Park, a popular spot for watching cruise ships entering the port, the boat ramps at Rodney Ketcham Park, Freddie Patrick Park, and Canaveral Lock all remain closed until further notice. 

The expectation yesterday was that the port would be able to reopen today, and that now seems to be the case after important surveys.

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