Reports indicate that at least a dozen ships originally scheduled to sail in the Western Caribbean have switched course and are heading eastward to avoid Hurricane Dean.
The storm has been making a B-line for the most popular Western Caribbean ports. It was reported that it brushed past Jamaica. Now it's heading for the Grand Caymans and Cozumel, two more major stopovers. Cruise lines have canceled most calls on the islands for the rest of the week.
The line most affected is Carnival, which has made changes to the itineraries of a dozen ships carrying more than 20,000 vacationers: the Destiny, Miracle, Triumph
, Holiday, Imagination, Inspiration, Legend, Valor, Conquest, Fantasy
, Fascination and Ecstasy. Other lines making changes that affect thousands more include Royal Caribbean and Princess.
The changes will result in unusually large crowds this week in eastern ports such as Nassau in the Bahamas and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which will both see a heavy influx of ships that normally sail to the west. Other ports gaining ships include Key West, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The worst passengers on cruise ships in the Caribbean have faced this week, by contrast, is a change in itinerary. (Source: USA Today)