In an unexpected move, Carnival Cruise Line has extended its operational pause for five ships. Earlier this week, the company slowly started removing sailings from its website. And on Wednesday evening, they made the move official by announcing which ships would see their returns delayed and informing impacted guests that their cruises had been cancelled.
“We Need Some Additional Time”
In a press release, Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said that their “restart plan continues to extend across all metrics, and we are looking forward to completing the restart of the fleet in the new year. We appreciate the support and patience of our guests, travel agents and port and destination partners who have been key to this successful restart.”
Meanwhile, a communication sent to guests explained that several ships would see cancellations as well as the reason why. “With 17 ships scheduled to return to service by the end of the year,” it read, “we are pleased with the progress we are making resuming our guest operations. However, we will continue to take a phased approach as we bring back the remainder of our U.S.-based fleet in the new year as we staff ships, train our crew on new operating protocols, and work on the many other issues related to the resumption of service. As a result, we will need some additional time for certain ships and, consequently, your cruise has been cancelled.”
The following voyages have been canceled:
- All Carnival Sunshine cruises from Charleston, South Carolina through January 13, 2022
- All Carnival Liberty voyages from Port Canaveral through February 11, 2022
- All Carnival Ecstasy sailings from Jacksonville through February 2022
- All Carnival Paradise sailings from Tampa through February 2022
- All Carnival Sensation sailings from Mobile through February 2022
Elsewhere, the company said that sailings for Carnival Splendor out of Sydney, Australia, were cancelled through February 7, with those slated for Carnival Spirit out of Brisbane, Australia, cancelled through February 20.
Duffy said that Carnival was “optimistic that vaccines will be approved for children between the ages of 5-11 before the end of the year,” adding that they looked forward to “welcoming more families back on board.” For the time being, Carnival plans to continue operating vaccinated cruises under their current protocols.
Like other cruise operators, Carnival is doing a phased-in approach as they return its vessels into service. If all goes as planned, they should have 90 percent of their U.S.-based fleet sailing by February of 2022.
On a brighter note, Carnival Radiance — the ship formerly known as the Carnival Victory — is in the final stages of her transformation. Originally scheduled to debut in April 2020, the vessel will soon make its way to North America where it’ll start Mexico sailings from Long Beach on December 13, 2021. Radiance was originally scheduled to debut in Europe.