Hurricane Irene Causes Flight Cancellations, Train Service Disruptions

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Most cruises set sail on weekends, so the ships that had already departed were clear of the storm by the time it made landfall, said Paul Motter, editor of CruiseMates.com.

However, all the major cruise lines have altered their schedules to some degree.

Carnival Cruise Lines As of 10 a.m. today, Carnival announced changes to cruises departing this weekend to the Bahamas and Key West, updating guests and suggesting they continue checking the company website.

Carnival Pride has been directed by the US Coast Guard to arrive early from the previous cruise and proceed to a secure, alternate location until the storm passes.

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Summit did not depart Kings Wharf, Bermuda, Thursday at 6 p.m. Instead, the ship will remain in Bermuda until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26. As of Friday morning, the cruise line anticipates the ship will arrive in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Aug. 29.

Holland America HAL's Veendam which left August 21 for a seven-day Bermuda Cruise, departed Bermuda at 5:00pm on Thursday, Aug. 25, and is scheduled to arrive in New York one day early on Saturday, ahead of the storm's anticipated arrival, as of 10 p.m. PDT Thursday.

Norwegian Cruise Line The cruise line announced Friday at 2 p.m. EST changes to the schedules of the Norwegian Jewel and asked travelers to check the companies website.

Royal Caribbean'sExplorer of the Seas will depart Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey, on Saturday at 4 p.m., one hour earlier than originally scheduled.

On Friday at noon EST, it also cancelled Majesty of the Seas' call to CocoCay on Saturday and Monarch of the Seas' call to CocoCay on Sunday.

The safest location for a ship during a hurricane is at sea, well away from the storm. A ship should never be in port when a storm hits, because the vessel can be dashed against the pier and sustain damage, he said.

The biggest challenge comes when a hurricane makes landfall the same day that the ship is scheduled to be in its U.S. home port, Motter said. Cruise lines will usually opt to keep ships out to sea until "the coast is clear." The passengers get an extra day of "fun," although the seas may be rougher than usual.

Motter said the worst part of a hurricane during a cruise may be the airline reservation chaos passengers face when they disembark a day later than planned.

Dennis Powell and Stephanie Smith contributed to this report.

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