Tropical Storm Isaac has caused the temporary closing of the Port of Miami, causing thousands of cruise passengers to wait out the storm aboard their cruise ships.
Passengers aboard the 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor and 2,052-passenger Carnival Imagination are sitting off the coast of Miami, Florida, awaiting the reopening of the Port of Miami, which was closed in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaac. But Carnival passengers were not the only cruise travelers affected by the storm, the 2,350-passenger Majesty of the Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky are also waiting off the coast of Miami for safe passage home.
Cruise travelers may or may not feel burned by the delays. Surely there are some passengers who celebrate a little extra time aboard the cruise ships, but there must certainly be others who will miss their flights home, or other important scheduled events. Of course, this year’s delays may seem like a relatively minor disturbance, but last year’s hurricane season brought about far more significant itinerary changes.
Last summer, as a potential hurricane threatened Puerto Rico, both Carnival and Royal Caribbean had ships in port at the island. Due to the impending storm, both companies decided to set sail early – stranding hundreds of passengers in the process. The passengers were left with no notice, leaving them to have to find lodging and a way home. Royal Caribbean even refused to help reimburse the costs of the stranded passengers, until a internet firestorm caused the company to change course.