Hurricane Humberto Causes Cruise Ships to Alter Course

Five-day forecast for Hurricane Humberto.

PHOTO: Five-day forecast for Hurricane Humberto. (Photo courtesy of National Hurricane Center)Hurricane Humberto, which has developed over the weekend from a Tropical Storm into a full-blown, Category-1 hurricane, is making its way toward Bermuda, forcing cruise lines operating in the region to reroute their ships.

According to CruiseCritic, Humberto has thus far affected two Carnival Cruise Line itineraries that were scheduled to be sailing in Bermuda between Wednesday, September 18, and Friday, September 20.

Carnival Pride, which left Baltimore on September 15, is now spending two days at sea before sailing on to visit Grand Turk and the Dominican Republic’s Amber Cove, rather than Bermuda, as was originally intended.

Carnival Sunrise, departing today from New York City, will stop in Charleston, South Carolina, on September 18 before spending a previously-unscheduled day at sea. Sunrise will then spend a single day in Bermuda on Friday, September 20, by which time the storm is expected to have moved on, before cruising back to New York by September 22.

Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas is also scheduled to weigh anchor in Bermuda on September 21, after Humberto is forecast to have already moved away from the island.

While no warnings are currently in effect, the National Hurricane Center anticipates the need to a Tropical Storm Watch for Bermuda later this afternoon, as Humberto continues to gain strength and move east-northeast over the next two days or so.

With sustained wind speeds of 85 mph, the hurricane was this morning sitting about 710 miles outside of Bermuda but is expected to reach the north end of the island by Wednesday night. Humberto is expected to peak as a major hurricane within the next 36-48 hours, with forwarding speed intensifying through Thursday, September 19.

Other effects of the storm include large swells, which will affect portions of the northwestern Bahamas and the southeastern U.S. during the upcoming few days. People in those areas should be aware of dangerous surf conditions and potentially life-threatening rip currents.

St. Maarten welcomes first cruise ship since Hurricane Irma

T1211VIKINGSTMAARTEN_C.jpgThe Viking Sea in St. Maarten. Photo Credit: RTGH PhotographySt. Maarten has reopened as a port of call for cruise ships, three months after Hurricane Irma left the Dutch-French island in shambles.

The Viking Sea sailed into St. Maarten on Dec. 4, followed by the Marella Discovery on Dec. 5. Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas will call on Dec. 17.

Signs of progress on the French side of St. Martin include the reopening of Tijon Parfumerie and the Spiga restaurant and the debut of Cafe Spiga in Grand Case later this month.

On the Dutch side, hundreds of villas are available for rent. Timeshare resorts Sapphire Beach Resort and Atrium Resort plans to welcome guests early in 2018, according to SXM Weekly News.

Grandeur of the Seas Returns

Grandeur of the Seas Returns

Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur returns to Baltimore

By: Marilyn Green

Grandeur of the Seas was welcomed her homeport of Baltimore flying an historic flag. // (c) 2013 Royal Caribbean International

Grandeur of the Seas was welcomed her homeport of Baltimore flying an historic flag. // (c) 2013 Royal Caribbean International

On July 12, Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas was welcomed back to her homeport of Baltimore, after six weeks’ recovery from a May 27 fire in the Bahamas, which is still under investigation.

Grandeur previously had a five-week, $48 million revitalization last year, adding balconies and Oasis-class features including flat-screen televisions, an outdoor movie screen and a redesigned atrium equipped for aerial shows, which received heavy applause as guests captured the Four Seasons spectacular. There are also new digital signs by the elevators that take guests through the daily schedule, give directions and display restaurant menus, all in several languages.

But only a few weeks after the ship started service out of Baltimore, the fire broke out. It was extinguished without injuries, although the passengers were called to their muster stations as a precaution. The ship never lost its power, propulsion or communications.

As Grandeur sailed back into Baltimore in July, the ship flew the historic Star-Spangled Banner flag as it passed Fort McHenry, as well as the U.S. Navy’s “Don’t Give up the Ship” flag flown by Commodore Perry during the War of 1812. Clearly, agents took up the message: Royal executives hosted 1,600 travel partners on a July 12 sailing prior to the resumption of revenue service, and attendees were warm in their praise.

The city was even more enthusiastic in its welcome for Grandeur in the wake of the announcement that Carnival Pride would be leaving the homeport in 2014. Grandeur of the Seas is committed to year-round cruises from Baltimore until at least April 2015.