Carnival Mega Ship Temporarily Drops Port for Savings

mardi gras san juan august 3, 2021

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Carnival Cruise Line has modified the itinerary for multiple eastern Caribbean voyages on its Excel-class ship Mardi Gras.

In a note to booked guests in late October, the line said that a total of 21 sailings with departure dates between December 2022 and April 2024 have dropped San Juan, Puerto Rico as a port call, replacing it with a stop to Nassau, Bahamas instead.

mardi gras san juan august 3, 2021
Mardi Gras arrives into San Juan on August 3, 2021

A statement sent to booked passengers said that the change was so the cruise line could “refine [its] operational plans.” However, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority has more insight.

In a statement released by the authorities in Puerto Rico, Ports Authority Executive Directory Joel Pizá said the changes are a financial decision. “The reason expressed by Carnival is of a financial nature, related to the cost of fuel, and others that they have been explaining to their shareholders, clients, and suppliers.”

He continued, “We have had further conversations with Carnival, and we hope that their economic situation improves and that their business model can sustain more voyages with longer itineraries and more stops in Puerto Rico.”

mardi gras

Booked guests who had already pre-purchased shore excursions for San Juan will be automatically refunded to their original form of payment. New excursion options for Nassau for the affected sailings will be available online shortly.

Mardi Gras sails year-round from Port Canaveral, departing Saturdays on mostly seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises. Next year, the vessel is scheduled to offer two eight-night southern Caribbean voyages which will stop at Aruba, Grand Turk, and either Curaçao or Bonaire.

Mardi Gras is the line’s first ship powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), a cheaper and cleaner burning alternative to bunker fuel.

Currently there haven’t been any plans to modify Carnival Celebration‘s itinerary. The ship will make her debut in PortMiami on November 21st.

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