Following Hurricane Irma, USA Today is reporting that PortMiami’s cruise operations are still closed due to sunken sailboats blocking the channel.
As a result, Carnival Cruise Line is being forced to shorten several of its next voyages, and Royal Caribbean International is canceling another.
Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean had originally hoped to resume departures from the Florida destination today, but that is not possible. It is now understood that two sailboats are sunk in the passage, blocking ships from entering and exiting.
While the main shoreside facility has reopened, PortMiami's own website currently reads, “The port will remain closed for marine traffic until further notice. Upon conclusion of side sonar underwater inspections by NOAA we will update the public as to the opening of PORTMIAMI's navigational channels.”
Provided it can be cleared to ship traffic in time, Carnival has now scheduled Carnival Glory and Carnival Vista to sail on Wednesday on cruises reduced in length by another day. Carnival Victory’s next voyage has, however, been altogether canceled. Carnival Sensation is also set to depart on Wednesday for an abbreviated sailing.
Royal Caribbean’s next Enchantment of the Seas cruise has now also been canceled.
Meanwhile, also according to the USA Today report, the two companies still plan to operate from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today for the Carnival Conquest and Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas to depart on shortened sailings.
Unlike PortMiami, the Port Everglades website indicates, “The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port has approved daylight vessel operations at Port Everglades in Northport and Midport areas” and also lists Carnival Splendor as another ship scheduled to arrive.
Other Floridian ports still affected include Port Canaveral, which has yet to reopen.
Its website says, “We will begin assessing general harbor conditions soon to facilitate return to normal operations as soon as possible. Port remains closed until further notice.”
Jacksonville’s JAXPORT website similarly reads, “The U.S. Coast Guard is currently assessing the condition of the Jacksonville harbor and port facilities following Hurricane Irma. All JAXPORT offices and terminals remain closed today. The Port of Jacksonville remains in condition Zulu.”
Port Tampa Bay is in the same boat, so to speak, with its website simply displaying, “Port Tampa Bay security and operations personnel are at condition ‘Zulu’ for Hurricane Irma.” (That is to say, it too is closed to vessel traffic.)
Lastly, Port of Palm Beach is also still at Zulu.
Edited by sunluva7