Only a few days after canceling two early December sailings for the Carnival Horizon, Carnival Cruise Line has announced that the ship will be taken out of service for the rest of the year. Picking up the slack and welcoming displaced guests will be the Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Liberty, both of which will be returning to service earlier than anticipated.
What Guests Can Expect
In a letter sent to impacted guests, Carnival explained that after the technical teams had done “a full assessment of the issue” which was impacting Horizon‘s maximum sailing speed, it was determined that the vessel would need to be “taken to dry dock to complete the necessary work.”
Rather than outright cancel the sailings scheduled for December 19, 26, and 31, Carnival has made the unusual move of returning Sunshine and Liberty to service early and transferring impacted guests to those ships. “In order to transfer your reservation,” the letter explains, “we must close access to your booking. Once the transfer is completed, you will receive a confirmation with your new ship and stateroom assignment.”
Carnival added that it is “working to assure your new accommodations will be comparable to your original stateroom.”
Different Ships, Different Spaces
Of course, the whole “comparable stateroom” idea won’t work in every case. For example, while Carnival Horizon features both Family Harbor and Havana staterooms, neither category is offered on either Sunshine or Liberty. As a result, guests booked into those particular categories will receive a $250 per stateroom onboard credit.
All other guests will receive a $200 per stateroom onboard credit so that they can, in the words of Carnival, “enjoy a special experience on us.”
Those who decide that they would rather cancel their sailing have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, to cancel and receive a full refund. Once Carnival has an idea of how many people will be sailing, they will begin the process of transferring reservations and sending new confirmations to those impacted. The letter indicated that confirmation emails would go out on the following schedule:
- Those sailing on December 19 will receive their new confirmation information by no later than December 14.
- Those sailing on December 26 will receive their new confirmation information by no later than December 16.
- Those sailing on December 31 will receive their confirmations no later than December 21.
Once the new confirmations have been received, guests will have 48 hours to decide if they wish to continue with the sailing on their newly-assigned ship or cancel for a full refund. There are, of course, other details which will impact those scheduled to sail, including everything from pre-booked shore excursions to pierside testing reservations. Guests should look for a letter outlining all of the pertinent information or contact their travel specialist for more information.