Tropical Storm Chantal continued to move across the Caribbean Tuesday, and was expected to reach Puerto Rico by evening or early Wednesday. A new tropical storm watch has been issued for the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, and the storm has already impacted some cruise ship itineraries.
Chantal was located about 45 miles to the northwest of Barbados and about 85 miles east of Saint Lucia, Tuesday according to the National Hurricane Center, moving toward the west-northwest at 26 m.p.h. with sustained winds of up to 50 m.p.h.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico and the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for St. Vincent, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Vieques and Culebra in Puerto Rico, the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
American Airlines is offering to waive one-time ticket-change fees for travelers flying to or from Barbados, St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico due to the storm. Jet Blue Airways is advising passengers departing from airports in Baltimore, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey Philadelphia, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. of flight delays due to the storm. Caribbean airline LIAT canceled flights to and from St. Lucia through late Tuesday.
Among cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines shifted the itineraries of the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Victory to avoid Chantal. Carnival Liberty’s July 6 departure from Miami will call at San Juan instead of St. Thomas on Tuesday, at Grand Turk instead of San Juan on July 10, spend a day at sea on July 11, and call at Nassau instead of day at sea on July 12.
Carnival Victory will replace a scheduled day at sea on Tuesday with a call at Nassau, and will call at Half Moon Cay instead of Grand Turk on July 10. The ship will visit Freeport, Bahamas instead of Half Moon Cay on July 11 and replace a Nassau call with a day at sea on July 12. Royal Caribbean International had not announced itinerary changes, but company officials said they are monitoring the storm.