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Hurricane Irene: Plane, Train, Ship Disruptions

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hurricane Irene has blown away the weekend plans of millions, from airports to cruise ships to island and beach holidays, as travelers track the storm and households prepare for strong winds, heavy rain and possible flooding. The 11 casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., are expected to close for the weekend, though a formal decision won't be announced until casino executives meet with local and state emergency management officials Friday afternoon.

Trains:  Amtrak has canceled most trains traveling south of Washington, D.C., Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The railroad may make additional announcements as the storm travels north to curtail nearly all of its Northeast corridor services.

Airports:  While major airports remain open, airlines have cancelled nearly 1,000 flights.

Jetblue is the first major airline to revise its schedule ahead of Hurricane Irene, cancelling 891 flights from Sunday through Monday. The airline will run extra service on Saturday night and Monday night to re-accommodate customers, who are being contacted today by the airline, and booked on later flights. A spokeswoman said the airline has issued waivers for change and cancel fees for many of its East Coast cities from North Carolina to Maine.

Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority told ABC News Friday morning about 100 out of 400 flights have been cancelled for Saturday at RDU and it anticipates further disruptions for flights along the East Coast through Monday, Aug. 29.

While JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Stewart and Teterboro airports are still open, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees those airports, said it is ready for potential disruptions.

The Port Authority said "additional staff and contractor employees will be assisting customers as needed in every area of airport operations," and they will "stock hundreds of cases of bottled water, diapers, cots, blankets and pillows to provide to stranded passengers if necessary. Under terms of the agency's concession contracts, at least one food vendor in every passenger terminal must remain open 24 hours so that food is available at any time of day or night."

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Reagan (DCA) and Dulles (IAD) airports, said it is not planning to close those airports but anticipates "many" flight cancellations as Hurricane Irene approaches, according to its Twitter account.

People coming to Boston Logan International Airport or Worcester Regional Airport should check flight status with their airline while passengers heading to Cruiseport Boston should contact their cruise line for up to date sailing times, said Massachusetts Port Authority.

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

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.

Carnival Cruise Lines – As of Thursday, 6:30 p.m., the cruise line said it is not sure it can make scheduled calls to the Bahamas this weekend. Carnival Glory has reversed the order of its ports of call. It will now visit Halifax on Monday from 8 AM to 4 PM and Saint John on Tuesday from 9 AM to 6 PM. 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. If the track remains the same, embarkation is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29 from 10am to 2pm at the Baltimore cruise terminal.

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. tomorrow, Friday, August 26. On Thursday, the cruise line anticipates the ship will arrive in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Monday, August 29. Because of the ship's late arrival, Celebrity Summit's next sailing will now depart on Monday, August 29. Guests scheduled to sail on the Sunday, August 28, sailing of Celebrity Summit should now arrive at Cape Liberty on Monday between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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 pm PDT Thursday.

Norwegian Cruise Line – The cruise line said as of Aug. 24 it has not made any changes to itineraries for cruises departing Friday, Saturday or Sunday

Royal Caribbean –
Royal Caribbean said its ship Explorer of the Seas, will depart Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey, on Saturday, August 27, at 4 p.m., one hour earlier than originally scheduled, and asks all guests arrive at the pier no later than 3:00 p.m. As of Thursday 6 p.m. EST, Royal Caribbean said it has not altered the itineraries of any ship that departs Friday, Saturday or Sunday and will continue to closely monitor weather conditions.

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