Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas is enjoying a day in Florida today with a port visit to Fort Lauderdale, the day after the ship visited Port Canaveral.
This is instead of the scheduled visit to CocoCay in the Bahamas, which had to be cancelled at the last minute due to poor weather in the region.
Oasis of the Seas Itinerary Change
Oasis of the Seas is currently sailing what was to have been a 7-night “Perfect Day Bahamas” cruise roundtrip from New York, but the ship is unable to visit CocoCay as planned on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 due to rough weather.
Instead, guests onboard were notified on Tuesday evening that the ship would be calling on Fort Lauderdale in lieu of CocoCay, and a popular online webcam shows the ship docked at the South Florida port.
While not the same as a visit to the private island, Fort Lauderdale does offer great options for guests, including white sand beaches, eco-kayak tours, luxurious shopping, amazing dining with tropical influences, and much more.
The ship is still scheduled to visit Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, on Thursday, October 26, before enjoying two days at sea en route back to New York. The ship’s arrival back at her homeport on Sunday, October 29, is not expected to be impacted.
Pre-paid Royal Caribbean shore tours for CocoCay will be automatically refunded back to guests’ onboard accounts now that the port visit has been cancelled.
Why Was CocoCay Cancelled?
High winds expected at CocoCay prompted the itinerary change for Oasis of the Seas. The ship – one of the largest in the world at 226,838 gross tons and featuring 18 total decks (16 for passengers) – would be especially vulnerable to strong winds that could push the vessel into or away from the pier at the private island.
Oasis of the Seas was to have been at CocoCay from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. As of 10 a.m., winds at the CocoCay pier are steady from the northeast at 20 knots (23 miles per hour / 37 kilometers per hour), with occasional gusts as high as 23 knots (26 mph / 42 kph). Wind speeds may continue to increase throughout the day.
Not only can these high and gusty winds be hazardous for the ship to remain safely docked, but waves crashing against the pier can be dangerous for guests walking between the ship and the island.
Furthermore, gusty winds can make it necessary to close the gangway to the vessel, making a visit to the island even more challenging in these conditions.
It is safer and more comfortable to change a port visit, even if some guests will be understandably disappointed to miss out on visiting CocoCay. These types of port changes and cancellations are not uncommon, and all travelers should be flexible when weather impacts their cruise vacation plans and expectations.
Not the Only Ship With Itinerary Changes
Oasis of the Seas is not the only vessel to be missing out on CocoCay because of poor weather in the region.
Guests aboard Allure of the Seas – a sister Oasis-class vessel – have also been informed that the ship will be unable to visit CocoCay on Thursday, October 26, due to the expectation that the windy weather will continue. Fortunately, that ship is able to reschedule a visit to the private island destination later in its 5-night sailing.
Allure of the Seas was also to have visited a second private destination, Labadee in Haiti, but that port visit has been cancelled and the ship is sailing to Cozumel, Mexico instead.