Cruise ships change course to avoid Hurricane Florence's wrath

Christopher Palmeri | Bloomberg

Jakarta, posted: Wed, September 12, 2018 | 05:02 pm

Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Sept. 8 sailing of the Grandeur of the Seas was diverted to Florida’s Port Canaveral from Bermuda for two days before a scheduled return to Baltimore on Sunday.(Royal Caribbean International /File)

Cruise lines have been charting new courses for their ships as Hurricane Florence bears down on North Carolina.

Carnival Corp., the largest cruise-line operator, altered the itineraries for three ships -- with some stops in Puerto Rico and Bermuda getting canceled. Passengers have been getting storm updates in text messages sent to their phones.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Sept. 8 sailing of the Grandeur of the Seas was diverted to Florida’s Port Canaveral from Bermuda for two days before a scheduled return to Baltimore on Sunday. Passengers are receiving daily weather updates from the company’s chief meteorologist.

Not everyone is happy about the cruise lines’ efforts to avoid the storm. Michelle Younique Bernier, who identified herself on Facebook as a passenger on Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.’s Norwegian Dawn, said its trip to Bermuda was diverted to Canada. She said the cruise line was doing nothing to compensate guests or entertain her 6-year-old son.

Read also: Major US tourist sites in path of Hurricane Florence

“This is such a downgrade,” said Bernier, who added that she would have “never paid this much to go to Canada.”

Norwegian, which changed schedules for two of its ships, said the safety of its guests is a top priority and “our on board teams are prepared to ensure the best vacation experience possible given these weather-related necessary changes.”

Florence is scheduled to cut across the Atlantic north of the Caribbean and south of Bermuda, making landfall in North Carolina Thursday night.

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