Ernesto creates winners and losers for Caribbean ports
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday, August 6, 2012 – As Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to churn northward through the Caribbean some ports of call for cruise liners are getting additional business while others are seeing theirs sail away.
According to the USA TODAY, the strengthening tropical storm has forced nearly half a dozen cruise ships heading to the western Caribbean to alter course.
Jamaica is one of the chief countries to benefit from the re-routing. As its days of being lashed by Ernesto’s heavy winds and rains are now over the 2.974-passenger Carnival Freedom, which departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida yesterday (August 5), will visit the popular resort town of Ocho Rios on Wednesday instead of Grand Cayman. A pushed-back call in Grand Cayman is now tentative, the line says.
Montego Bay, Jamaica, will also have its cruise arrival numbers boosted as the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend, which also departed Tampa, Florida, yesterday will dock there instead and skip scheduled calls in Belize and Mahogany Bay, Honduras.
The National Hurricane Centre says the storm is likely to strengthen over the next 36 to 48 hours as it approaches the coast of Belize.
The Disney Cruise Line's 2,500-passenger Disney Fantasy is sailing to the Eastern Caribbean instead of the Western Caribbean.
A fourth Carnival ship, the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph, is reversing the order of two calls in Progreso and Cozumel, Mexico scheduled for today (August 6) and Tuesday.
A hurricane watch has been issued for the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal northward to Punta Gruesa.
Ernesto is currently east of Roatan, Honduras and moving to the west at about 12 miles per hour. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.