Multiple Royal Caribbean cruise ships are likely to have itinerary shifts and port changes this weekend and early next week due to the impact of Tropical Storm Fiona.
Individual ships will be receiving confirmations of changes later today, and all guests sailing close to the storm should be prepared for schedule disruptions.
Multiple Ships Impacted in Eastern Caribbean
Multiple Royal Caribbean cruise ships currently sailing eastern and southern Caribbean itineraries are likely to have schedule changes due to Tropical Storm Fiona.
In a post through his popular Twitter feed, James Van Fleet – chief meteorologist for Royal Caribbean International – announced the several vessels may have adjustments to their schedules to avoid the worst impact of the storm in the coming days.
According to Van Fleet, the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas will likely flip its next itinerary, an 8-night Southern Caribbean sailing departing Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, September 17, 2022. The original itinerary planned to first visit the cruise line’s private destination Labadee in Haiti on Monday, September 19.
Because Tropical Storm Fiona is forecast to be directly over Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Monday, it is likely the ship will reverse its itinerary route, visiting Labadee last and instead moving up the visits to Aruba and Curacao that are also on the schedule.
This will permit the vessel to enjoy the same ports, albeit in a different order, while avoiding the roughest weather of the storm.
Van Fleet also noted that other Royal Caribbean ships are likely to have schedule changes, including Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas.
The exact nature of such itinerary changes has not been announced, but may include changing port orders, adjusting arrival times, or canceling ports as necessary. Always, cruise lines put the safety of their guests, crew, and vessels as the top priority when making such adjustments.
In addition to Royal Caribbean vessels, several other cruise lines currently have ships sailing in the impacted region, including Virgin Voyages, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Any cruise traveler booked on an eastern or southern Caribbean sailing – with any cruise line – in the next week should stay in close contact with their cruise line for potential schedule changes and itinerary updates.
Update on Tropical Storm Fiona
Tropical Storm Fiona is currently 200 miles (322 kilometers) west-southwest of Puerto Rico, impacting much of the eastern and southern Caribbean, including Barbados, St. Lucia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tropical storm warnings and watches are currently in place for affected areas.
As of 11 a.m. EDT on Friday, September 16, the storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (80 kph), and is moving west at 14 miles per hour (22 kph). This puts the storm well below hurricane strength (74 miles per hour / 120 kph) at this time.
Fiona is forecast to pass slightly to the south of Puerto Rico on Saturday night, September 17, before turning to the north and likely crossing northwest over the Dominican Republic.
While the storm is likely to strengthen to hurricane force, it is not expected to do so until early next week, as it approaches The Bahamas.
Because the storm’s overall strength, track, and wind field can vary widely in the coming days, no cruise itinerary or route changes related to The Bahamas have been made so far in advance.
At this time, the storm is not anticipated to strongly impact Florida or the multiple cruise homeports on the state’s Atlantic coast.