Weather Holds Carnival Cruise Ship in Port Overnight

Poor weather kept Carnival Paradise overnight in Key West and not all ship amenities could be open due to port regulations.

Guests aboard Carnival Paradise had more time docked in Key West than originally scheduled on the ship’s itinerary, thanks to strong winds that made it unsafe for the ship to depart as planned on Tuesday, February 6. Instead, the ship stayed overnight in the Florida port, before departing on Wednesday morning to make her way to Cozumel.

Carnival Paradise Stays In Port Overnight

High winds and swells were a factor for Carnival Paradise to remain docked in Key West overnight on Tuesday, February 6. The ship was not originally scheduled to visit the Florida port of call on her current 5-night Western Caribbean itinerary, but rough weather passing through the region made it impossible for her to visit Grand Cayman as planned.

Instead, the ship made an impromptu visit to Key West, but unfortunately, the rough weather made it impossible for Carnival Paradise to leave as planned. On Tuesday evening, wind speeds near the tip of the Florida Keys were steady at approximately 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour), with gusts as high as 35 mph (56 kph).

Guests were informed of the decision to remain in port via onboard announcements and letters delivered to their staterooms on Tuesday evening.

Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock

“As announced, unfavorable weather conditions, marked by strong winds, are preventing us from safely departing Key West,” the letter, signed by the ship’s Captain, Michele Paparo, stated. “We will remain docked until tomorrow morning when conditions are expected to improve for us to safely sail.”

By 7 a.m., steady wind speeds had dropped to 14 mph, making it much easier for the ship to safely depart. Carnival Paradise is now making her way to Cozumel, Mexico for her port of call visit on Thursday, February 8. That visit was part of the ship’s originally planned itinerary.

What to Do Onboard

Unfortunately, local regulations restricted what operations Carnival Paradise could offer while she remained in Key West. The casino and retail shops had to remain closed, though the ship’s onboard activities Fun Squad was able to schedule additional activities and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

At no time was the ship in danger or damaged in any way, and all hotel, dining, and bar operations remained normal.

Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship
Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship

Guests could enjoy all the features the 71,925-gross-ton, Fantasy-class Carnival Paradise has to offer, including Guy’s Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina, the WaterWorks aquapark, the miniature golf course, shuffleboard, corn hole, the onboard piano bar, and the adults-only Serenity retreat.

Carnival Paradise is currently homeported year-round from Tampa, Florida and offering short 4- and 5-night getaways. Both Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries are on offer, with destinations such as Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Bimini, and Nassau. Occasional 6-night sailings also visit Jamaica, Belize, or Roatan, depending on the departure date.

In the summer of 2025, Carnival Paradise will begin visiting Carnival Cruise Line’s new private destination, Celebration Key, on her Bahamas itineraries.

The ship can welcome 2,124 guests at double occupancy, or up to 2,697 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled. The ship is also home to 920 international officers and crew members to ensure everyone aboard has a great oceangoing getaway, even when itineraries may not go as planned.

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