After sailing for six weeks from Jacksonville, Florida, Carnival Spirit is now en route to the west coast for the Alaska season.
A Cameo Appearance For Jacksonville
This was the first time in 18 years a Spirit-class ship has sailed from Jacksonville. The previous was Carnival Miracle when it was christened at the port in 2004. Since then, the First Coast has had the former Celebration, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Elation, and Carnival Ecstasy.
Carnival Elation will be back to take over Spirit’s itineraries later this month.
Australia’s Delay is America’s Gain
In early 2022, Carnival announced that it would be pulling both Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor from Australian waters and repositioning them to North America. Spirit would go to Jacksonville for six weeks and Splendor would sail Alaska for the summer.
At the time of the announcement, Australia had no set date to reopen its cruise industry and the ships were laid up off the coast of Dubai. Since then, the Australian government announced the cruise industry would reopen to foreign-flagged ships in April.
During the shutdown, Spirit went in for a brief dry dock to receive a new paint job to reflect the line’s new livery and general maintenance.
When Carnival Spirit set sail from Jacksonville on March 7, it was the first major cruise ship to depart from JAXPORT in nearly two years. That departure was also special for Carnival Cruise Line because it marked the kickoff of the company’s 50th birthday celebration.
A Brief Stop in Miami
The ship is now en route to Miami. On Sunday, she’ll take on guests and begin a one-way, 16-night voyage through the Panama Canal to Seattle, Washington. Port calls will include Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cartagena, Colombia; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. As part of Carnival Corporation’s health and safety protocols, all eligible guests cruising on voyages 16 days or longer have to have a booster shot.
Six and Eight-Night Alaska Cruises
On May 3, Carnival Spirit will begin a spring and summer schedule of six to eight-night voyages to Alaska roundtrip from Seattle. Port calls will include some combination of Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point, with scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord.
In October, the ship will return to Florida to operate six and eight-night Caribbean voyages.
Launched in 2001, Carnival Spirit is the flagship of the company’s Spirit class vessels. Highlights of Carnival Spirit include Guy’s Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, RedFrog Pub, Alchemy Bar, and the steakhouse that’s located inside the ship’s funnel.
Carnival Spirit is expected to remain in North America through at least 2023. Sister ship Carnival Splendor will head back to Australia in early September 2022.