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Tropical Storm Sandy alters Caribbean cruise itineraries

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As Tropical Storm Sandy picks up strength south of Jamaica, cruise lines are adjusting their Caribbean itineraries.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, the late season storm is expected to become a hurricane as it nears Jamaica on Wednesday.

Taking steps to avoid the storm are Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, the world's largest passenger ship, as well as the Carnival Valor, Carnival Pride and Carnival Glory.

Allure of the Seas will skip a call at Falmouth, Jamaica on Wednesday and instead stay at sea, said spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez.

Meanwhile, Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said the Carnival Valor itinerary has been adjusted to bypass Montego Bay, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. The ship will instead head to Costa Maya, Mexico on Wednesday and Cozumel, Mexico on Thursday.

The Carnival Pride, which cruises from Baltimore, will skip calls at Half Moon Cay and Freeport in the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday and instead add a port call at Port Canaveral, Fla. on Friday.

The Carnival Glory, cruising from Norfolk, will skip a call in Freeport, do a shortened stay in Nassau, Bahamas tomorrow and then add Port Canaveral on Friday.

By Fran Golden, USA Today

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Yes, this is definitely hurricane season and we were very lucky to have cruised the end of Sept in magnificent weather.

I'd be bummed about missing the Caymans, but would not care at all about bypassing Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Jerry and I have been diverted and have also had itineraries changed. Our feeling is that the cruise line is keeping our safety and well being in mind and that whatever decision they make, we honor it. Being on a cruise is what we love. Going somewhere is second.

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I agree, Debbie. The captain and crew of ships sailing during stormy seas do a good job of keeping their passengers out of harm's way. Yet it always amazes me to read about disgruntled passenger/idiots complaining about missing a port because their ship had to change course in a hurricane and then demand to be compensated. Geez!

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We’ve cruised during the peak of hurricane season many times and have no complaints. Any itinerary changes are obviously made in the best interests of the passengers and it can be exciting to visit an unexpected port! I can’t imagine being trapped at an island resort during a hurricane. Avoiding bad weather is just another great reason to cruise!

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