Winds Cause Carnival Cruise Ship to Skip Port of Call

Strong winds made Carnival Pride cancel one port of call, while another ship did not cancel. Why the difference?

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Windy conditions have made it unsafe for Carnival Pride to make its scheduled call to Costa Maya, Mexico on Thursday, January 19, 2023, and instead, the ship will be spending the day at sea.

While this will understandably be disappointing to guests eager to explore the culturally-rich destination, safety is always the first priority for any cruise ship.

Costa Maya Cancelled for Carnival Pride

Carnival Pride is currently sailing a 6-night Western Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from Port of Tampa. The ship departed on Sunday, January 15, and has already called at Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, Belize. Costa Maya was to have been the ship’s last port of call before a day at sea and the return to Tampa on Saturday, January 21.

Due to high winds, however, the Spirit-class vessel has been unable to safely dock, and will instead be spending Thursday at sea rather than at Costa Maya.

Carnival Pride was scheduled to dock at approximately 8 a.m. Winds in Costa Maya are steady at 9-10 miles per hour (14-16 kilometers per hour) from the south-southeast.

Carnival Pride Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

While the wind speed is not necessarily shocking, higher gusts could make the conditions much more severe and impede navigation as the ship approaches the dock. Furthermore, the direction of the winds could push the ship into the dock, potentially causing damage either to the vessel or the pier structure.

Safety is always the primary concern for cruise ships, including the overall safety of the vessel as well as the safety of guests and crew members.

Any shore tours booked through Carnival Cruise Line will automatically be refunded back to guests’ accounts. Onboard, the cruise ship’s Fun Squad and entertainment staff will be putting together additional activities, games, and contests for the unexpected day at sea, and the ship’s casino will be open as well.

Other Ships in Costa Maya

While Carnival Pride is unable to make the call to Costa Maya, Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess has safely docked as scheduled. The two ships, however, have significant size differences.

Carnival Pride weighs in at 88,500 gross tons, with 12 guest decks to welcome and entertain as many as 2,124 passengers at double occupancy, with 910 crew members.

Cruise Ships Docked in Costa Maya
Cruise Ships Docked in Costa Maya (Photo Credit: BUI LE MANH HUNG / Shutterstock)

Sky Princess, on the other hand, is a Royal-class ship and the largest in Princess Cruises’ fleet, weighing in at 145,281 gross tons with 19 guest decks. The ship can host 3,660 passengers at double occupancy, with a crew of 1,346 international team members.

Because Sky Princess is a much heavier ship, she will not be as affected by the current wind speeds in Costa Maya, and will be able to dock more safely. Sky Princess will be in Costa Maya today from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Other Weather Cancellations

Every cruise line, and every captain of an individual cruise ship, assesses safety conditions carefully when considering any itinerary adjustments. While it is always the intention to keep planned itineraries and port schedules intact, safety is paramount and will always be protected first.

It is not unusual for cruise ships to skip ports of call based on weather. Just recently, several vessels in The Bahamas altered itineraries due to widespread poor weather and high winds, causing missed days at Nassau and nearby private island destinations. Similar poor conditions have also caused changed itineraries in Australia and New Zealand in recent weeks.

Even something as simple as fog can cause delays when visibility is severely impeded, making it difficult for cruise ships to navigate into channels and harbors safely. This happened at the beginning of the month for three ships returning to Port of TampaBrilliance of the Seas, Celebrity Apex, and Norwegian Dawn, all of which were delayed approximately 10 hours due to heavy fog.

No further delays are expected for Carnival Pride, which should return to Port of Tampa on Saturday.

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