Two tropical weather systems – one an official tropical storm and one an official hurricane – are likely to impact sailings in different regions over the next few days.
Tropical Storm Tammy has formed in the Atlantic and is on course for the Lesser Antilles and Eastern Caribbean, while Hurricane Norma is strengthening and may make a direct impact on Baja Mexico.
Tropical Storm Tammy in the Atlantic
Tropical Storm Tammy is in the eastern Atlantic, roughly 525 miles (845 kilometers) east of Barbados. The storm is currently tracking west at a speedy 23 miles per hour (37 kilometers per hour), and is expected to gradually turn to the north as it comes across the Lesser Antilles, including St. Lucia, Antigua, and both the US and British Virgin Islands.
While the storm only has a maximum sustained wind speed of 40 mph (64 kph) at the moment, barely an official tropical storm and well below the 74 mph (119 kph) threshold for a hurricane, it can still create significant rough weather for cruise ships sailing in the Eastern Caribbean.
The storm may continue to strengthen slightly over the next few days, and while it may reach hurricane status, it should not become a significantly strong storm.
Though the storm’s speed can fluctuate in the days to come, the greatest impact on Eastern Caribbean ports of call is likely to be over the weekend. By Monday morning, Tropical Storm Tammy will be far out of the area and most likely curving back out into the Atlantic.
At this time, there are no confirmed impacts to Eastern Caribbean sailings, though the following ships may be affected. Based on port schedules in the affected region, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Joy may both have itinerary adjustments, as well as other ships on Eastern Caribbean sailings or passing through the region.
Hurricane Norma in the Pacific
Hurricane Norma has formed in the eastern Pacific and is currently located roughly 545 miles (877 km) west of Acapulco. The Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (128 kph), is moving north at 8 mph (13 kph).
This storm is expected to strengthen significantly, and may become a major Category 3 storm by midday Thursday, October 19, 2023. As the storm shifts slightly west over the next few days, however, it may weaken again, before impacting nearly head on to Cabo San Lucas late on Saturday or early on Sunday, depending on how its overall speed is affected.
Fortunately, there are no cruise ships scheduled for Cabo San Lucas on either day. Likewise, there are no sailings this weekend scheduled for other popular Mexican Riviera ports of call, including La Paz, Mazatlán, or Puerto Vallarta.
Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas is scheduled for Puerto Vallarta on Friday, October 20, while Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Panorama is visiting Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday, October 24. Depending on the storm’s exact track and speed changes, either sailing might have some impact from expected rough weather.
Hurricane Season Coming to a Close
The peak of the 2023 hurricane season has passed, but significant storms could still form before (and after) the official end of the season on November 30.
Similarly, any current storms – including Tammy and Norma – may yet change course, strengthen or weaken, and become a greater threat to cruise travel or ports of call. Whenever a storm’s impact is several days away, the potential for changes to the forecast is significant and it is essential to stay updated with the most current information.
Any guests with sailings booked in the next few weeks should continue to remain alert to storm systems and potential rough weather on their cruise vacations, and stay in close contact with their cruise line for any updates, itinerary changes, or cancellations.