Carnival Freedom and Carnival Legend, both operating Eastern Caribbean sailings this week, have announced itinerary changes due to Hurricane Fiona.
Both ships have now canceled planned ports of call, but are substituting visits in The Bahamas instead, well away from the storm’s predicted impact.
Carnival Freedom and Carnival Legend Itinerary Changes
Carnival Freedom and Carnival Legend both departed on their current sailings on Saturday, September 17, 2022, while Hurricane Fiona was still classified as a tropical storm.
As the storm strengthened over the weekend, however, the decision was made to alter both ships’ schedules to avoid the roughest seas and to provide smoother, safer experiences for all passengers onboard.
The Conquest-class Carnival Freedom set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida on Saturday on a 5-night Exotic Eastern Caribbean voyage meant to visit Nassau, Princess Cays, and Grand Turk.
The ship’s visits to Nassau and Princess Cays – Carnival Cruise Line’s private island destination in The Bahamas – went ahead as planned, but the ship will no longer be visiting Grand Turk as expected on Tuesday, September 20.
Instead, the ship will spend Tuesday at sea, while adding a day at Freeport on Wednesday. On the original itinerary, Wednesday was planned as a day at sea before the ship returns to Port Canaveral on Thursday, September 22.
Similarly, Carnival Legend‘s itinerary has also been altered to avoid Hurricane Fiona. The Spirit-class vessel departed Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday for a 8-night Exotic Eastern Caribbean voyage, with planned port visits to Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s private island in The Bahamas on Tuesday; Grand Turk on Wednesday; and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic on Thursday.
Because Hurricane Fiona is currently in the Eastern Caribbean and having a dramatic impact on both the Turks & Caicos as well as the Dominican Republic, both Grand Turk and Amber Cove have been removed from Carnival Legend‘s current sailing.
Instead, the ship will visit Nassau instead of Grand Turk on Wednesday and Bimini in lieu of Amber Cove on Thursday. Tuesday’s call on Half Moon Cay is unchanged, as are the two days at sea on Friday and Saturday as the ship returns to Baltimore on Sunday, September 25.
Aboard both ships, guests received letters advising them of the changes and reminders to tune in to their stateroom televisions for further updates.
“Together with our Fleet Operation Center in Miami, we have been actively monitoring Tropical Storm Fiona, which is located in the Caribbean. Since the safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority, we will remain a safe distance from the storm at all times,” the letters read.
“We will continue to monitor the weather and provide you with timely updates should our itinerary be impacted. To stay up to date on information about the storm, you may tune in to the Good To Know Channel on your stateroom television.”
In addition to the television announcements, each ship’s captain will make appropriate announcements as itinerary changes are confirmed, and the Carnival Hub app will be updated with new destinations, times, and activities.
Hurricane Fiona Update
As of 8 p.m. (EDT) Monday evening, Hurricane Fiona was located just north offshore of the Dominican Republic, moving north and slightly west at 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour). This is slightly faster than the storm’s motion earlier in the day, as expected.
Maximum sustained winds have been recorded at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), classifying Fiona as a solid Category 2 hurricane. The storm is expected to continue to strengthen and may reach Category 3 (major) status within the next 24-36 hours.
It is also possible the storm could reach Category 4 status, which would mean sustained winds greater than 130 miles per hour, later in the week.
On Wednesday, the storm is predicted to begin a slight turn to the northeast, and it will likely impact Bermuda late Thursday or early Friday, though the exact track is difficult to predict several days in advance.
Stay tuned to further updates on Hurricane Fiona and how the storm is impacting cruise travel and ports of call throughout the week.