Today is another exciting day for Carnival Cruise Line, as two more of its ships are resuming passenger service.
Just on the heels of the christening ceremony for the newly renovated and renamed Carnival Radiance in Long Beach yesterday, the vessel today is setting sail on a four-night Baja Mexico cruise. The ship will stop at Catalina Island, California, as well as Ensenada, Mexico.
The voyage is part of Carnival Radiance‘s new year-round three and four-night Baja Mexico schedule.
The ship is part of Carnival’s Sunshine-class, a class made entirely of former Destiny-class ships that have been overhauled and renamed.
Carnival Radiance, then called Carnival Victory, entered into dry dock in March 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning to take hold around the world. The planned 38-day dry dock turned into 19 months when the shipyard and cruise industry shut down due to the health crisis situation.
The $200 million renovation saw the ship receive refreshed interiors, new venues, and a new hull paint job to match the blue, white, and red look of Mardi Gras and other recently repainted vessels in the fleet.
New-to-ship eateries include Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, Bonsai Sushi, RedFrog Pub, and Shaquille O’Neal’s counter-service restaurant Big Chicken.
Two other Carnival ships currently sail from Long Beach: Carnival Panorama and Miracle.
And over on the east coast, Carnival Conquest will set sail from Miami today. This is the first time that the Fun Ship is carrying revenue guests in 21 months.
The ship will depart on a four-night cruise to private destination Princess Cays on Eleuthera and Bimini, Bahamas.
Originally scheduled to call to Key West, the cruise line removed voyages to the island at startup until Key West and the cruise industry can come to terms on cruise ship docking. The ship will sail three, four, and five-night sailings to both the Bahamas and the Western Caribbean.
During the shutdown, Conquest, like a majority of the other Carnival ships, spent time in the anchorage off the coast of the Bahamas, waiting to get clearance to sail again.
Launched in 2002, and the vessel is the flagship of the Conquest-class. The ship is comprised of 60 percent balconies and last received a refurbishment in 2017.
Other Carnival News
By the end of the year, Carnival will have 19 ships back into service and sailing from North America, with a majority sailing from Miami, Port Canaveral, and Galveston.
At the end of November, the cruise operator announced that Sunrise and Liberty would resume cruising sooner than anticipated after an unexpected propulsion issue sent Horizon to dry dock.
Down Under, the return to cruising isn’t ramping up as fast due to continued restrictions and lockdowns in Australia.
Carnival Splendor and Spirit, which are both based in the country, have no plans to resume cruising until at least Spring 2022. By the time both ships return, they will have been out of service for over two years.