As a result of the latest hurricane to batter the Caribbean- ‘Maria’, cruise lines have started to adjust itineraries in the region.
‘Carnival Glory’, ‘Carnival Magic’ and ‘Carnival Fascination’, as well as Royal Caribbean’s ‘Adventure of the Seas’ and ‘Allure of the Seas’ have all been rerouted to avoid the storm, which is forecast to follow Irma’s path in the next few days.
At the time of writing, it had already devastated Dominica.
According to the US National Hurricane Centre on Monday, additional rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and ‘Maria’ is expected to be a dangerous major hurricane as it moves through the Leeward Islands and the northeastern Caribbean Sea.
Puerto Rico’s governor has declared a state of emergency and ordered a number of evacuations for parts of the US territory ahead of ‘Maria’s’ landfall, which is expected on Wednesday morning.
He also said that the ports would be closed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Hurricane ‘Jose’ has also caused cruise lines to change schedules.
‘Jose’, which was off the coast of South Carolina yesterday, has led to Princess Cruises changing a transatlantic crossing to a more southerly route, thus avoiding Boston (Mass) and Newport (RI).
Princess Cruises said yesterday that its 3,560-pax ‘Regal Princess’ would arrive in New York a day ahead of schedule to avoid ‘Jose’, which was off the coast of North Carolina and swirling northward on Monday.
‘Regal Princess’ is now is expected to arrive in New York at 8 am on Friday instead of Saturday morning. The arrival is subject to berth availability.
She is in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean heading eastward. The ship is in the middle of a transatlantic cruise from Europe, where it was based during the summer.
Carnival informed passengers on Saturday that Sunday’s sailing to Bermuda would be delayed as ‘Carnival Pride’ rode out the storm in Chesapeake Bay.
As of 2:00 pm ET yesterday, ‘Jose’ was 265 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras (NC) and moving to the north at nine miles per hour.
‘Jose’ is projected to follow the Eastern seaboard as a hurricane until today (Tuesday) before weakening to a storm as it heads further north where it is projected to die out on Thursday.
The AccuWeather centre said on Monday that ’Maria’ posed a significant threat to Irma-devastated areas in the northern Caribbean into the middle of this week.
Cruise and cargo ships should avoid the area, the centre warned.
At a Saturday press conference, US Virgin Islands Governor, Kenneth Mapp, warned residents they should be prepared for ‘Maria’.
While it is unlikely that the storm will reach Irma’s Category 5 intensity by the time it approaches, the brisk pace of the storm means there is little time for preparations to be completed on the islands, the weather centre said.
Some of the islands expected to take a direct hit, include Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique.
“St. Croix, Culebra, Vieques and Puerto Rico may also take a direct hit and end up with more substantial damage when compared to ‘Irma’,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist, Alex Sosnowski.
“Rainfall amounts of 100-200 mm and storm surge will lead to flooding,” AccuWeather Meteorologist, Jordan Root, said.
“The Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos will be threatened with similar impacts later in the week,” Sosnowski said. “Much of the Bahamas are likely to face more substantial impact from ‘Maria’ than ‘Irma’.”
While it was too early on Monday evening to determine whether ‘Maria’ will have a direct impact on the US, all interests along the Gulf and East coasts should monitor the hurricane’s progress during the coming week, the centre said.
The tropical Atlantic is likely to remain active through much of October and into nearly the end of autumn, AccuWeather warned.