Carnival: No need to alter course for hurricane

Hurricane Joaquin isn't affecting plans for Carnival's Fascination for now


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite Hurricane Joaquin churning across the Bahamas, the Carnival Cruise ship Fascination left the terminal at JaxPort Thursday afternoon without altering its charted course.

Two other Carnival ships -- one sailing from Port Canaveral and the other from Baltimore -- had to make changes to their courses to avoid the storm, the cruise line said.

The Fascination, sailing from Jacksonville, will be out on the Atlantic Ocean for four days, heading to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas before returning to Jacksonville.

Lucius Curtis and his wife came down to Jacksonville from Memphis to catch the ship. He said he knows a thing or two about what to expect during a storm.

"Hopefully they'll know how to navigate to go around," Curtis said. "I was in the Coast Guard for four years, and so we used to have to go and rescue people like us that are on vacation trying to sail away."

But Curtis said he's not expecting any problems, just a rough ride.

"The seas are going to be a little choppy. You're going to get whitecaps all over the place right there, so I might go on the bow and ride it," Curtis said.

Kelly Romisher, who is traveling with her children, said she is confident the crew knows what it's doing.

"We are worried, but we are hopeful that it will change," Romisher said. "But with the little ones, we are always worried."

"It's kind of scary," Meagan Fowler said. "I've been on cruises before and the weather's been rough, but I think it will be OK. I think they can handle it."

A Carnival spokesman said the cruise line can make changes quickly to steer for calmer waters, but he's not anticipating any problems.

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