Several cruise ships sailing in the Caribbean changed itineraries to avoid the path of Tropical Storm Emily, which gained strength on Aug. 2 when it was about 215 miles south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. A tropical storm warning was in effect for Vieques and Culebra in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, while a watch was issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The National Hurricane Center forecast that the center of Emily will be near the coast of Hispaniola on Aug. 3. A “slight strengthening” of the storm is expected in the next day or two. Maximum sustained winds have increased and are now near 45 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles.
Royal Caribbean International has altered the itineraries of the Oasis of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas. Oasis was unable to make its scheduled port calls to St. Thomas on Aug. 2 and St. Maarten on Aug. 3. Instead, the ship spent Aug. 1 and 2 at sea, and will call on Costa Maya on Aug. 3 and Cozumel on Aug. 4. The ship will spend Aug. 5 at sea as it returns to Port Everglades on Aug. 6, as scheduled. Freedom of the Seas is also unable to make its scheduled port calls to St. Thomas on Aug. 3 and St. Maarten on Aug. 4. Instead, the ship will call on Grand Cayman on Aug. 3 and Cozumel on Aug. 4. The ship will spend Aug. 5 to 6 at sea as it returns to Port Canaveral on Aug. 7, as scheduled.
Carnival Cruise Lines changed the itineraries of the Carnival Dream and Carnival Liberty. The Dream cancelled a call at St. Thomas on Aug. 2 and instead went to Grand Turk. The Aug. 4 sea day will be replaced with a call at Freeport. The Liberty also went to Grand Turk instead of St. Thomas on Aug. 2, and will replace its scheduled Aug. 4 call on Grand Turk with a visit to Key West. The Aug. 5 sea day will be replaced with a call to Freeport.