Cruise lines to help evacuate Irma-ravaged St. Thomas

A picture shows a wrecked car in the streets of Marigot,
Damage caused by Hurricane Irma

Two cruise lines on Saturday said they were diverting ships to the hurricane-ravaged island of St. Thomas to drop relief supplies and evacuate stranded travelers.

Norwegian Cruise Line said it was sending the 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky to the island with the goal of retrieving as many as 2,000 vacationers who were unable to leave before Hurricane Irma hit on Wednesday. The ship currently is off the coast of Mexico and should arrive in St. Thomas by late Monday.

Royal Caribbean said it was redirecting its 2,350-passenger Majesty of the Seas to the island to similarly evacuate several thousand travelers and also to drop water, food, ice and other provisions that are needed. The ship is off the west coast of Cuba and expected to arrive in St. Thomas on Tuesday.

The two ships are based in Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., respectively, and currently are sailing without passengers. The lines previously had canceled their weekend sailings due to the approach of Irma and sent the ships toward Mexico to seek shelter from the storm.

Royal Caribbean also plans to redirect its 3,114-passenger Adventure of the Seas to the hard-hit island of St. Martin on Sunday for an unscheduled stop to drop relief supplies. The vessel is departing San Juan, Puerto Rico late Saturday on a previously scheduled cruise to the Southern Caribbean and is loading on provisions that are needed for a mounting relief effort.

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Royal Caribbean lands Bonnie Tyler to perform on eclipse cruise

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Bonnie Tyler will perform Total Eclipse of my Heart.

Google “Eclipse song” and you’ll find the lyrics to Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 pop hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

So it’s appropriate that Tyler sing the song on a cruise celebrating the upcoming total eclipse on Aug. 21.

Tyler, 66, will roll out her biggest hit before a performance by the considerably more youthful Joe Jonas-led pop band DNCE, best known for “Cake By the Ocean,” recorded 32 years later.

DNCE was previously announced as entertainment on the Royal Caribbean International’s “Total Eclipse Cruise” aboard the Oasis of the Seas. The addition of Tyler was a surprise.

The Oasis will be cruising in the path of the total eclipse a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean on Aug. 21, giving guests an early look before the sun in eclipse reaches the coast of South Carolina.

The seven-night Total Eclipse Cruise sets sail on Aug. 20 from Port Canaveral, visiting St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Nassau in the Bahamas.

Majesty of the Seas to sail Cuba cruise in 2019

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Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International’s Majesty of the Seas will become its second ship to visit Cuba in 2019.

The line plans a four-day voyage from Port Canaveral departing March 25, 2019. The cruise will include a full day in Havana. Prices will start at $549 plus taxes and port fees, Royal Caribbean said.

Thus far, Royal Caribbean has only offered Havana on Empress of the Seas itineraries from Tampa, Miami and Port Everglades.