Cruise Port: St. John’s
Antigua escaped much of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma and Maria, and lines like Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Oceania are making regular calls.
Unfortunately, sister island Barbuda was severely impacted by the storm.
Cruise Ports: Oranjestad
Aruba, in the Southern Caribbean, was not impacted by the recent storms. Some lines are substituting calls on affected itineraries with Aruba.
Cruise Ports: Nassau; Freeport
The Port of Nassau, and other ports around The Bahamas, are open, escaping any effects from Hurricane Maria. Nassau and Paradise Island hotels received no damage from either Irma or Maria. The majority of hotels and resorts throughout The Bahamas are operating as usual or are expected to re-open on their regularly scheduled dates.
Bahamasair resumed service into the United States on September 12.
Cruise Line Private Islands in Bahamas
- Great Stirrup Cay: Norwegian’s private island was unaffected by the storms.
- CocoCay: Also known as Little Strirrup Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas is currently open.
- Castaway Cay: Disney’s private island is open.
- Half Moon Cay: The private island used by Carnival and Holland America is open.
- Princess Cays: Princess Cays, located at the southern end of Eleuthera island, is now open for business.
Cruise Port: Bridgetown
The Port of Bridgetown is open and unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Cruise Ports: King’s Wharf; Hamilton; St. George’s
Bermuda escaped any effects from recent storms and is open to all cruise ships.
Cruise Ports: Kralendijk
Bonaire, a tiny island in the Southern Caribbean, was unaffected by recent hurricanes.
Cruise Ports: Havana; Cienfuegos; Santiago de Cuba
Havana’s port facilities were not impacted by Irma and the port re-opened to cruise passengers on September 18, as scheduled, for a four-day Norwegian Sky cruise.
Cruise Ports: Willemstad
Curacao, one of the ABC Islands in the Southern Caribbean along with Aruba and Bonaire, was unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Cruise Port: Amber Cove; La Romana; Samana; Santo Domingo
According to the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, all ports in the country are operating normally and none suffered damage due to Hurricane Maria. More than 50 cruise ships are expected to arrive this year to the DR, and the small ports in Sans Souci and Cap Cana are also fully functional and carrying out their operations without disruptions.
After Maria, La Romana welcomed Carnival Vista on September 26, and Amber Cove in Puerto Plata received Carnival Conquest and Carnival Magic on September 27, as well as Carnival Splendor on September 28.
The ports of the Dominican Republic emerged from Irma without major damage. Punta Cana International Airport resumed normal operations and the area’s hotel sector reported no major damage. Ships began sailing back to Amber Cove shortly after the first storm.
The Florida Keys
Cruise Ports: Key West
On September 24, Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas called on Key West — just two weeks after Irma made landfall there. The Florida Keys sustained serious damage and flooding as a result of Hurricane Irma, but the Port of Key West recovered sooner than expected. Originally, Key West officials had stated that the port wouldn’t be open for tourism until October 20.
On September 25, Royal Caribbean announced that Key West was officially back on itineraries (specifically beginning with the October 2 and 9 sailings on Enchantment of the Seas). According to an official with Royal Caribbean, most shore excursion in Key West are available. The only four from their normal tour program that remain closed are Snuba, Hemingway’s House, Taste of Key West and Butterfly Conservatory.
Carnival also announced Carnival Victory’s return to Key West on September 26, followed by Carnival Paradise on September 27.
Cruise Port: St. George’s
Grenada was unaffected by the September storms and is open to cruise ships and visitors.
Cruise Port: Labadee
Haiti was relatively unscathed by Irma. All services remain in operation and the country continues to welcome visitors. Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas called on Labadee, Royal’s private island, beginning on September 14.
Cruise Port: Fort de France
Hurricane Maria passed over Martinique on September 18, and the port re-opened on September 20.
Cruise Port: Little Bay
Montserrat, like Grenada, is part of the British West Indies and was not affected by the hurricanes.
Cruise Port: Charlestown
The port in Charlestown and Nevis’ Vance W. Amory International Airport are currently open.
Cruise Port: San Juan
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas resumed homeporting from San Juan on October 7. The vessel played a crucial role in aiding evacuations and delivering supplies. (Cruise Critic reported live from that sailing.)
On November 30, Carnival Cruise Line will return to San Juan with a call from Carnival Conquest and Royal Caribbean will call with Freedom of the Seas.
Carnival Fascination will resume its year-round weekly departures from San Juan on February 18, 2018.
Carnival had originally confirmed a return to homeporting its cruise ship Carnival Fascination there, beginning October 15. However, due to humanitarian needs, the line has instead allowed FEMA to charter the ship until the end of January. In an October 9 statement the line said: “Our team’s visit this past week confirmed the Old San Juan area is ready to receive tourists. Many shops and businesses have returned to their normal business operations with more opening up every day.”
Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on September 20 with winds of up to 155 mph, knocking out power to the entire island. Prior to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico served as a staging ground for evacuees from other islands affected by Hurricane Irma.
A September 26 letter to passengers on the October 28 Celebrity Summit sailing states “while several facilities in San Juan suffered significant damage, we remain confident that the airport and cruise terminals will be functional at the time of your sailing, and we continue to work closely with local officials to provide food, water, and generators to those in need.”
Cruise Port: Basseterre
The Port Zante cruise pier did not sustain storm damage and St. Kitts welcomed cruise ships — Carnival Fascination and Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas — beginning on September 23.
All hotels in St. Kitts are fully operational and St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport re-opened and began welcoming flights on September 20.
The port of Basseterre was one of the first cruise ports to re-open following Hurricane Irma; Carnival Fascination called on September 8. St. Kitts & Nevis sustained minimal damage from Irma.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Cruise Port: Kingstown
St. Vincent and the Grenadines are open and unaffected.
Cruise Port: Port Castries
St. Lucia has not been affected by hurricanes so far this season.
Cruise Port: Road Bay
The Road Bay Port at Sandy Ground re-opened after Irma and is able to receive cargo, but no cruise ship calls are on the schedule until late November.
Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport is open with flights from St. Kitts, Antigua and San Juan. Chief minister Victor Banks has announced that plans are in place for an expansion of the airport.
Cruise Port: Pointe-a-Pitre
Hurricane Maria hit the southern shores of the French island of Guadeloupe on September 18, causing flooding and obstruction of roads from debris.
Holland America’s Koningsdam called on October 22.
St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Cruise Port: Frederiksted
The Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility pier in Frederiksted, St. Croix’s deepwater cruise ship facility should be welcoming cruise ships soon. The latest statement from the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands is that 90 calls are scheduled to St. Croix this season.
Hurricane Maria made landfall in St. Croix between September 19 and 20. While fellow U.S. Virgin Islands St. Thomas and St. John were far more impacted by Hurricane Irma, seaports on St. Croix and the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix quickly re-opened. JetBlue resumed operations on the island on September 8, and American Airlines followed on September 12.
St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Cruise Ports: Cruz Bay
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Port of St. John is open; the port is expected to open to cruise traffic soon, but no word on when.
There is no commercial airport on the island of St. John.
St. Maarten (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Cruise Port: Philipsburg
At the State of the Tourism Industry Conference in Grenada on October 12, Director of Tourism Rolando Brison reported that despite sustaining extensive damage, the port at Philipsburg should re-open on November 11 (St. Maarten Day) and that they expect to receive “at least one or two ships” a day throughout the winter 2017/18 tourist season.
An October 25 statement from Royal Caribbean says that the lines expects to return to the island on December 17 with a call from Grandeur of the Seas.
On October 20, Carnival Cruise Line announced they would return to St. Maarten on January 15, 2018 with a call from Carnival Sunshine.
Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) reopened to commercial flights on October 10, facilitating critical connections to other affected islands, such as Anguilla and St. Barts.
“A delegation from RCL recently met with Port St. Maarten Board, Management and Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher, about the quick recovery efforts of the destination that are underway.”
It added that Royal Caribbean executives visited the port to determine whether it was ready for cruise passengers, as well as evaluate the availability by early November of tours, shore excursions, shopping, beaches and other cruise-tourism related amenities.
“RCL was full of praise for Port St. Maarten Board, Management and Government with respect to the diligence carried out by the aforementioned to get the country ‘cruise ready’ for November in order to bring in much needed foreign exchange into the economy that would kick-start the economic engine of the country — (cruise) tourism.”
In a call, CEO of Carnival Corp. Arnold Donald mentioned that a the zip line excursion would be operational in St. Maarten as of December 1.
St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Cruise Ports: Charlotte Amalie; West Indian Company dock; Crown Bay dock
An October 20 statement from Governer Mapp of the USVI said that he expects 25 cruise ship calls in November. On that same day, Carnival Cruise Line announced they would be returning to St. Thomas with a call from Carnival Glory on January 9, 2018.
An October 16 statement from Royal Caribbean says that the line will return to St. Thomas on November 10 with its ship Adventure of the Seas.
The island, previously replaced with St. Croix, has been restored by Holland America to itineraries sailing as soon as November 4, 11 and 25.
A September 26 letter to passengers booked on the October 28 Celebrity Summit sailing states “Due to the success of the recovery efforts in St. Thomas, USVI, we’re happy to announce that we will be adding a visit to this stunning island back to your sailing. We’ve removed the stop in St. Croix, USVI from your sailing…We’ll send you all the details on our updated shore excursion offerings in St. Thomas as soon as they’re finalized.”
The Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, which received extensive damage during Hurricane Irma, re-opened to commercial flights on September 28.
Tortola (British Virgin Islands)
Cruise Port: Road Town
In an October 2 statement released by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Mark Vanterpool, the minister of communications and works for BVI, said: “Through the BVI Ports Authority, we are on a fast track towards the restoration of Tortola Pier Park’s cruise and shopping facility with a targeted date of re-opening at least 50 percent of retail and food and beverage stores by November 1.” The island is currently pending cruise line assesment of Tortola Pier Park in Road Town.
Turks & Caicos
Cruise Port: Grand Turk
In an interview with Cruise Critic, Gavin Burgess, fleet manager for Carnival shore excursions, said Grand Turk is scheduled to re-open by November 1.
Carnival Cruise Line announced Carnival Ecstasy will return to Grand Turk on November 1.
A September 30 statement from the Caribbean Tourism Organization discussed the rest of the islands, stating: “The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) is making a strong and speedy recovery following the passage of Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Maria did little to delay the rebuilding, and additional damage was minimal across most of the TCI’s eight inhabited islands.”
Hurricane Maria passed over the Turks & Caicos islands on September 22.
Several of the hotel properties on Turks & Caicos were scheduled for annual closure prior to Irma. Some properties had elected to remain closed to assess any damage to their properties and are looking to re-open in the beginning or middle of October.
After Hurricane Maria, the Providenciales International Airport resumed service on September 23.
Cruise Port: Low Bay Beach
The cruise port in Barbuda remains closed. The island of approximately 1,800 residents — a twin to the better-known Antigua — was severely impacted by Hurricane Irma, which passed directly over the small island, resulting in one fatality. Prime Minister Gaston Browne said 90 percent of homes were destroyed as a result of the storm, and Barbuda’s hotel infrastructure was also damaged.
Cruise Port: Roseau
Hurricane Maria hit Dominica as a Category 5 storm on September 18. The island’s Prime Minister said that initial reports were of widespread devastation, with most homes losing roofs from the 160 mph winds.
The ferry company L’Express Des Iles has resumed daily service between Dominica and Saint Lucia, as of October 6. Service will be one way only, either from or to Dominica. However, the island remains closed to cruise ship traffic.
The government has announced that landline services are back up in the northern town of Portsmouth.
Much of the island is still without electricity or running water, however the tarmac at Mellville Hall [Airport] was not too badly damaged, according to a statement, so the strip has re-opened for larger relief planes to land. The government of Trinidad & Tobago have offered their assistance and supplies.
Cruise Port: Gustavia
St. Bart’s was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma, which destroyed government buildings and badly damaged private homes and hotels. The French government has sent people and supplies to the country to assist with recovery efforts.
On September 14, the island’s airport re-opened to commercial flights, and the harbor is open to relief efforts. Roadways have been cleared, water production has resumed and electricity is being restored. No date has been announced regarding when the cruise port is expected to re-open.
Cruise Port: Marigot
Air France has confirmed daily flights into St. Martin from Paris-Orly via Pointe-a-Pitre (in partnership with Air Antilles).
Currently, there is no information on when St. Martin (French side to St. Maarten) will re-open to cruises.
Both the Dutch and French sides of the island were severely impacted during Hurricane Irma
Land-based resorts were severely damaged, including hotel chain Sonesta, which has canceled all reservations on the island through the remainder of 2017.