What looks to be the first tropical system of the Atlantic season is already pointing to scheduling changes for cruises as they look to skirt the storm.
The disturbance is currently between the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida Keys, with sustained winds of 40 mph. It is expected to quickly ramp up to a tropical storm (Tropical Storm Alex) as it moves toward Florida.
While the storm’s winds aren’t that high and the wind radius isn’t that great, it has two factors that are impacting cruises. First, it is bringing heavy rain already to southern Florida. As well, the track has the storm impacting Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, and PortMiami, three of the busiest cruise ports in the nation.
As of now, the ports are already feeling the impacts of the system, but it won’t be until late Saturday when the storm moves completely through. Therefore, anyone sailing in or around Florida from now through Sunday should be ready to have their route and schedule possibly impacted.
Few Concrete Updates Yet (But Some Possibilities)
As is usually the case, however, the changes to schedules aren’t being implemented until it is clear exactly what path the storm will take and the timing of its movement. As well, schedules surrounding the possible closures of ports also make an impact.
As we write this, few concrete changes have been made.
Carnival Cruise Line, for instance, told Cruzely that “At this time, we are monitoring the forecast very closely. If any itinerary changes are made, our guests will be the first to know and we will let you know as well.”
Norwegian Cruise Line didn’t immediately respond to a request for any updates surrounding their schedule.
Royal Caribbean has been the most transparent about what could happen. Their Chief Meteorologist, James Van Fleet, has been active on Twitter, keeping passengers informed on what impacts ships might see.
Royal Caribbean Possible Schedule Impacts
This morning, Van Fleet posted a five-part video series detailing what could happen with each ship in the area. As well, he mentioned that trips to CocoCay this weekend could be impacted.
“I’m also feeling that CocoCay is probably getting cancelled tomorrow [June 4],” Van Fleet said.
You can view the first video update below. Click through to watch the rest. In addition, we’ve included text from his slides featured in the videos, providing updates on each specific ship in the area.
Tropical Video Briefing for Friday June 3rd, 2022 regarding PTC One (Alex) and impacts to @RoyalCaribbean Fleet and Ports today and this weekend. Video 1 (of 5 short videos due to time limits of video on Twitter): pic.twitter.com/BFi9bQJZnm
— James Van Fleet (@JamesVanFleet) June 3, 2022
Adventure OTS: Most concerned about passing in front of, and in part of storm, and just
an overall bad experience getting to, and while in Bermuda. Considering going north as we may get blocked to even make Bermuda due to Alex possibly strengthening and become Cat 1 hurricane between Georgia and Bermuda.
Allure OTS: Still monitoring that the turn on the 5th in PEV [Port Everglades] should happen with the port open however, they may briefly close on the 4th while Alex passes overhead. Should be on-time and ok.
Enchantment OTS: Considering leaving Bermuda a few hours earlier to give us something
in our pocket in getting around Alex safely coming south to The Bahamas. Once down in The Bahamas, system will be north and no longer a threat.
Explorer OTS: Anticipating the port is open for the turn on the 5th in Miami as Alex should be off to the northeast by this time, but we could be slightly delayed.
Freedom OTS: Port is open for the turn today. Messy day and stormy night after leaving Miami. CocoCay could be cancelled also due to increasing winds and swell second half Saturday the 4th.
Grandeur OTS: Scattered thunderstorms tomorrow coming through the region while the storm is off the Yucatan Coast, but seas look to stay under 2 meters for Costa Maya for Friday, and then following the system as it heads to Florida, we will be behind the weather Saturday in Cozumel.
Independence OTS: Port is open for the turn today. Messy day, and stormy night after leaving Miami. CocoCay could be cancelled also due to increasing winds and swell second half of Saturday the 4th.
Harmony OTS: Still monitoring that the turn on the 5th in Port Canaveral should happen with the port open, but anticipating they may briefly close on the 4th while Alex passes overhead.
Liberty OTS: Very messy today heading back to Galveston, coming through the region while the storm is still on the Yucatan Coast. Seas look to stay under 3 meters. Numerous rounds of t-storms and winds between 20-40 knots. Ugly “looking” day but safe to operate and be underway, although we make briefly slow down to let storm get farther in front of us, then increase speed for on-time arrival.
Mariner OTS: Leaving Bermuda one night early to allow time for storm avoidance to return to PCN [Port Canaveral]. If the port is closed, we can slow our approach too for comfort coming up behind the system. If the port remains open, we will have to cross through some of this storm to make the port on time, but it will be the must weaker area.
Oasis OTS: Cold cruise after turning on the 5th… perfect timing!
Symphony OTS: Captain Angel will have us tied up tonight, just before midnight so we are in port tomorrow morning for on-time debark, and then depending on port closure or not, we will update from there, but either an on-time departure or slightly delayed, and we will aim to make up some time in transit. If we stay on schedule, CocoCay possible cancelled on the 5th due to winds and swell from storm.
More Updates to Come, But Cruise Lines Will Offer the Latest Info for Passengers
We expect that there will be updates from more cruise lines in the coming hours as there is more certainty about the storm and port closures.
While we intend to provide regular updates here, if you are on a cruise in the area in the next few days, then the cruise line should be in touch with the latest information.
Cruise lines generally do not cancel cruises due to smaller storms like this, so we would guess that cancellations are not likely at this time. However, slight changes (including shortening or lengthening trips to avoid the impacts of the storm) could be on the table.