Update: 4/13/23 @ 10:30 Eastern: A notice on Port Everglades website says the port is open, but that cruise passengers should check with their line about delays.
“Port Everglades Open, Damage Assessment Underway”
“Port Everglades is open. Some companies at the Port may be closed due to flooding and storm damage. Cruise guests should check with their cruise line about possible delays. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is closed.”
Yesterday and through the night, Fort Lauderdale — home to Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise ports in the country — saw torrential rainfall totaling upwards of 20 inches in some spots.
The rainfall has been a truly historic event, leading to localized flooding and causing the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to close until at least noon today. Radar images from during the storm show heavy rains seemingly staying in place for hours yesterday, dumping water on the area non-stop.
Really bad. This thing has been parked for hours. Efficient, warm rain processes. Like putting a faucet right over Fort Lauderdale, turning it on, and walking away. pic.twitter.com/8mg8UgFrqv
— Alex Lamers (@AlexJLamers) April 13, 2023
Of course, that much rainfall in a short period of time has caused major issues. Reports of people being stranded in cars have been widespread. The city of Fort Lauderdale asking people to stay off roads as there are “various arterial roads with broken-down cars and tow trucks continue removing these to improve traffic flow.”
Dramatic videos on social media show literal waterfalls and streets turned into rivers:
This is from my friend @boograyson. Has been stuck in her car for an hour at Fort Lauderdale airport due to intense flooding. pic.twitter.com/bCOOGqzfLP
— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) April 12, 2023
In response, area schools are closed for today, and as mentioned, the airport is closed.
But what about the impact on cruises?
Mid-Week Storms Point to Little Impact on Cruises
While Port Everglades is less than two miles from the Fort Lauderdale airport, at this time, the impact on cruises appears to be minimal.
In fact, live cams of the port show container trucks continuing to move in and out of the port under sunny skies at the moment.
Meanwhile, the only cruise ship scheduled for today is Viking Octantis. That ship is currently visiting Fort Lauderdale on a port of call according to CruiseMapper.com.
The next ship to actually embark passengers at Port Everglades is Liberty of the Seas, which won’t arrive until Friday morning. Currently, Royal Caribbean shows no schedule updates on its website.
We called Port Everglades to confirm no impact on cruises. A representative told us the port was operating, and there were no schedule changes as of now. The person we spoke with did emphasize the impact on Fort Lauderdale’s airport, which might impact travel plans.
Today, there is the possibility for more rainfall in the area before clearing and drying out is expected beginning Friday and through the weekend. On Saturday, five ships are set to dock at Port Everglades.
The bottom line seems to be that while the rain has been significant and caused major issues for Fort Lauderdale, the timing has been perfect for cruises. The storms arrived in the middle of the week when few ships were scheduled. When the port gets busier this weekend, the weather should be much improved.
Still, remember that things can change. If you have an upcoming cruise from Fort Lauderdale, your cruise line will be in contact with any potential adjustments to the schedule.