Carnival Cruise Line has notified guests the day before embarkation that Carnival Venezia will not be able to sail the planned Eastern Caribbean itinerary due to the influence of Hurricane Lee.

Instead, the ship will stay safely away from the projected path of the storm by visiting the Bahamas, with three ports of call and longer port times for guests to enjoy.

Carnival Venezia is scheduled to depart New York at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 8, 2023 for what was to have been an Eastern Caribbean sailing with visits to Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Grand Turk. Instead, the ship has been forced to adapt to a new itinerary because of Hurricane Lee.

“In partnership with our Fleet Operations Center, we are monitoring Hurricane Lee, which is moving in a northerly direction from the Leeward Islands,” the email explained. “Due to the projected path of the storm, we have no choice other than to change our itinerary.”

Now, the ship will be enjoying two days at sea before spending three days in the Bahamas. First, Carnival Venezia will visit Half Moon Cay, the cruise line’s private island destination, followed by both Nassau and Freeport. Two further days at sea will return to the ship to New York as planned on Saturday, September 16.

Carnival Venezia Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Mariusz Lopusiewicz / Shutterstock)

“We know this change impacts your plans and we share your disappointment,” the email continued. “We trust you understand this decision was made with everyone’s safety in mind.”

Travelers should note that the visits in the Bahamas are scheduled for longer times docked than on the original itinerary. This will give guests more time to enjoy each port of call and the opportunity to take advantage of additional shore tours or to enjoy local attractions.

In total, Carnival Venezia will now spend 28.5 hours in ports of call, compared to 22.5 hours planned on the original itinerary.

Carnival Venezia is the only Venice-class vessel in the Carnival fleet, transferred from Costa Cruises as part of the “Carnival Fun, Italian Style” program in March 2023. The unique ship can welcome 3,934 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 4,977 travelers when fully booked.

Carnival Venezia is not the first ship to make an itinerary change due to Hurricane Lee – Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Fantasy, sailing from Port Canaveral, changed to a Western Caribbean cruise rather than a Bermuda itinerary for the September 9 departure.

Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock)

Other cruise ships from multiple lines will undoubtedly make similar changes in the coming days. Eastern Caribbean and Bermuda itineraries are the most likely to be impacted, and the storm may also interfere with Canada and New England sailings in the next 7-10 days.

Read Also: How a Hurricane Could Affect Your Cruise

This could mean that Carnival Venezia‘s next sailing – a 7-night Canada & New England sailing departing New York on Saturday, September 16 – might also be altered because of the storm. That potential impact is too far in the future to accurately predict at this time, however, and no official itinerary adjustments have yet been announced.

Hurricane Lee is already one of the top 20 strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, with maximum sustained winds of 165 miles per hour (265 kilometers per hour). The storm is expected to continue to strengthen over the next day or two as it remains over warm water.

The center of the storm is currently located approximately 830 miles (1,336 kilometers) due east of San Juan, Puerto Rico, moving west-northwest at 14 mph (23 kph).

Hurricane Lee

While the current path does put the storm on a direct line to impact the Bahamas, forecast modeling is confident that Hurricane Lee will make a strong turn to the north early next week, followed by a more gradual turn east as it curves back into the Atlantic Ocean.

This does put the hurricane on track for what could be a close pass by Bermuda, depending on how sharp the eastern curve becomes. If the storm stays more to the north, destinations in eastern Canada may be impacted, including Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Travelers booked on sailings in those regions should stay in close communication with their cruise line for itinerary adjustments and updates.

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