Home News Cruise lines reroute ships as subtropical storm Nicole approaches Florida

Cruise lines reroute ships as subtropical storm Nicole approaches Florida

Cruise lines reroute ships as subtropical storm Nicole approaches Florida

Tropical storm nicole cruise ship impact


On Tuesday, at least three cruise lines rerouted ships in the Caribbean and Bahamas as subtropical storm Nicole approached Florida.

In perhaps the most significant change, Royal Caribbean’s massive Quantum of the Seas, which departed from Bayonne, New Jersey, on Sunday on a seven-night cruise to Florida and the Bahamas, skipped its first call Tuesday at Port Canaveral, Florida, to avoid the storm, and will also skip the two remaining calls on the itinerary — at Nassau, Bahamas, and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.

Instead, the 4,180-passenger ship is sailing south to Labadee, Haiti, where it is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.

The 3,798-passenger Liberty of the Seas and 3,926-passenger Freedom of the Seas, both of which departed Florida on Monday on four-night voyages, were also rerouted significantly Tuesday.

The Liberty of the Seas, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was sailing south to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday instead of sailing to the Bahamas for calls in Nassau and Perfect Day. The Independence of the Seas, based in Miami, is on its way to Falmouth, Jamaica, rather than the Bahamas.

The Independence of the Seas, a 3,858-passenger Royal Caribbean ship based in Port Canaveral, is skipping a call scheduled for Wednesday at Perfect Day.

Royal Caribbean’s Baltimore-based Enchantment of the Seas, which began an eight-night voyage to Florida and the Bahamas on Saturday, is also calling at Perfect Day on Tuesday and is on its way back north toward Baltimore earlier than planned.

The Bahamas ports that the ships were supposed to visit are now in Nicole’s expected path over the next two days.

The approach of subtropical storm Nicole to the Bahamas and the coast of Florida has also forced Disney Cruise Line to cancel calls to Castaway Cay, its private island in the Bahamas, scheduled for two Florida-based ships: Disney Dream and Disney Wish, this week.


The Disney Wish, which is based in Port Canaveral, will also skip Nassau and instead visit Cozumel, Mexico. Both the Disney Wish and the Disney Dream, both based in Miami, are on four-night cruises that began on Monday.

Two Carnival Cruise Line ships are also affected: the 2,974-passenger Carnival Liberty and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation.

  • The Carnival Liberty, which left Port Canaveral on a four-night cruise on Monday, will spend Tuesday at sea instead of visiting Nassau, Bahamas. Instead of Princess Cays, Bahamas, the ship will stop in Cozumel on Wednesday.
  • The Carnival Elation, which left the port on a five-night cruise on Saturday, will spend Tuesday in Freeport, Bahamas, rather than Princess Cays.

The storm, which is currently well east of Florida, is expected to affect more cruise ships in the coming days as it moves westward toward the northwestern Bahamas and Florida.

Nicole, which is currently a subtropical storm with maximum sustained winds of only 50 miles per hour, is expected to gain strength quickly over the next 48 hours and may reach hurricane strength before making landfall along the Florida coast.

Nicole’s winds, however, aren’t as difficult for cruise ships sailing in the area as the massive waves that the storm and interacting storm fronts are expected to produce over the next few days.

Royal Caribbean chief meteorologist James Van Fleet warned in a video update posted Sunday that the storm could produce waves up to 20 feet high in the waters off the east coast of Florida and up through the Carolinas.

“We’re looking at about 21 to 24 feet [waves], and that’s not where we want to put our ships sailing in those regions,” Van Fleet said in a Twitter video about the storm and its impact on cruises.

Nicole was 385 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas as of 7 a.m. EST Tuesday, moving west-northwest at 8 mph. The hurricane had sustained winds of up to 50 miles per hour.

The storm was expected to approach the northwestern Bahamas on Tuesday, move near or over those islands on Wednesday, and approach the east coast of Florida Wednesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.