High winds near Progreso, Mexico on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 forced one Carnival cruise ship to cancel its scheduled visit, as the port was closed to marine traffic. Ironically, the impacted ship was the ironically-named Carnival Breeze, which instead spent an extra day at sea and will return to Galveston, Texas, as scheduled.
Guests onboard Carnival Breeze‘s current sailing were unable to visit Progreso, Mexico as planned on Tuesday, December 12, due to strong winds that closed the port.
Onboard announcements, as well as a letter delivered to passengers’ staterooms, explained the decision and discussed the result of the change.
“The Port of Progreso is currently closed to marine traffic and, regrettably, our visit had to be cancelled. Weather conditions, marked by strong winds, made it unsafe for us to dock,” the notification letter, signed by Captain Isidoro Renda, read.
Carnival Breeze was scheduled to be in Progreso from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ship did approach the port, but ultimately decided the conditions were not suitable for docking. Strong winds can make maneuvering a ship challenging, and may also put extra tension on dock ropes that could snap with a wind gust.
Other considerations are whether or not gangways can be safely deployed if a ship is rocking too much at a windy dock, and if the dock is safe for guests to walk to and from the vessel with waves crashing over the pathway.
“We were looking forward to delivering the full itinerary and share your disappointment for this unexpected change of plans. We trust you understand this decision was made with everyone’s safety in mind,” the letter explained.
Instead, Carnival Breeze spent the day at sea, and the ship’s crew went above and beyond to offer additional activities such as trivia, games, music, and other fun times for guests to enjoy onboard.
Guests could also take advantage of the extra time to enjoy the ship’s spa facilities, the Carnival Waterworks water park, the SplashZone splash park, the 9-hole, two-level miniature golf course, the ropes course, the casino, and much more, while grabbing another Guy’s Burger, slice of pizza, or other delicious dining.
The 130,000-gross-ton, Dream-class Carnival Breeze can welcome 3,690 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,727 travelers when fully booked with all berths filled. Also onboard are nearly 1,400 international crew members, all of whom want to ensure every passenger enjoys their cruise vacation, even if port adjustments are necessary.
The ship’s current sailing – a 5-night Western Caribbean itinerary – departed Galveston, Texas on Saturday, December 9, and has already visited Cozumel, Mexico. There should be no delay for Carnival Breeze to return to Galveston as planned on Thursday, December 14, and no impact on the next cruise, a 4-night sailing that will only visit Cozumel.
As is customary, the taxes and fees associated with the stop in Progreso were refunded to passengers’ onboard Sail & Sign accounts. The exact amount of each refund depended on how many guests were traveling in individual staterooms, and usually is only a few dollars per port.
All pre-paid Carnival shore excursions booked through the cruise line were also automatically refunded to guests’ onboard accounts. Guests who may have booked private tour arrangements will need to contact their tour operators for any refund options.
Port cancellations due to weather are quite common, whether it is due to wind, excessive rain, local flooding, or even tropical storms, hurricanes, or tropical cyclones.
No other cruise ships were scheduled for Progreso, Mexico on Tuesday, and none are planned for Wednesday, December 13. The next ship to visit is expected to be Carnival Valor on Thursday, December 14. Carnival Breeze will return on Thursday, December 21.
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