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Carnival Issues Major Hurricane Irma Update



With Hurricane Irma continuing to wreck havoc, Carnival Cruise Lines updated passengers Thursday afternoon about changes and cancellations to upcoming cruises.

The Latest Cruises Cancelled By Hurricane Irma

“We continue to closely monitor the path of Hurricane Irma,” they said via a release. “Given the storm’s projected path, the following cruises have been cancelled.” They went on to list the September 7th Carnival Liberty sailing out of Port Canaveral, the September 8th sailing of the Carnival Victory out of Miami, the September 9th sailing of the Carnival Splendor out of Port Everglades, the September 9th sailing of the Carnival Ecstasy out of  Charleston and the September 10th sailing of the Carnival Liberty out of Port Canaveral.

A full refund will be provided to all guests who were scheduled on the axed sailings. The statement went on to say, “We remain in constant contact with port officials regarding potential port closures in South and Central Florida. Given the uncertainty of the storm’s impact, we will be shortening the duration of several upcoming cruises. Guests who sail on the shortened cruises will receive a pro-rated refund of their cruise fare. Guests who wish to cancel due to the modified cruise duration may do so and receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount of their cruise fare.”

Hurricane Irma

Other Impacted Cruises

A number of other cruises set for the next few days are being impacted by Hurricane Irma, including the following:

Carnival Paradise: The September 11 cruise is now scheduled to depart September 12 on a four-day Cozumel voyage.

Carnival Sensation: Departed Thursday as planned, with the stop in Key West cancelled. Instead, guests will have an extended stay in Cozumel.

Carnival Conquest: Originally slated to depart on September 9th, the ship will instead leave Port Everglades on September 12th for a four-day cruise to Cozumel.

Carnival Glory: The September 9th sailing has been postponed to September 12, leaving Miami for a four-day sailing to Cozumel.

Carnival Magic:  Current cruise (Sept. 3-9 from Port Canaveral) will proceed directly to New
Orleans where it will arrive on Saturday, Sept. 9. Guests will be given the opportunity to disembark and make independent arrangements to travel home. Guests also have the option to
remain on board and sail back with us to Port Canaveral, where they will disembark the ship as soon as the Port reopens. The September 9th cruise is now scheduled to depart Port Canaveral on Sept. 13 on a three-day cruise to Nassau.

Carnival Vista: Rather than sailing on September 9th, the ship is now scheduled to depart Miami on September 12th on a 5-day, two-port Western Caribbean voyage to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

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Carnival Freedom: The ship will sail out of Galveston on September 9th on a three-port Western Caribbean cruise visiting Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel.

Carnival Dream: The ship will sail from New Orleans on September 10 on a three-port Western Caribbean cruise to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Carnival Pride: The ship will set sail from Baltimore on September 10th on a cruise to Canada and New England. Itinerary details are expected to be revealed Thursday afternoon. Carnival is allowing guests to cancel and receive a future cruise credit. Those deciding to sail will receive a 25% future cruise credit based on the fare paid for this trip.

Carnival Sensation: The sailing scheduled for September 11 will now depart on September 13th for a three-day cruise to Nassau.

Carnival VictoryThe Sept. 4-8 cruise is returning to Miami early. Guests who want to disembark will have the opportunity to do so on Friday. Guests will also have the option of staying on board and sailing back out to sea with us until the storm passes. The September 8 cruise has been cancelled. The Sept. 11 cruise will now depart on Sept. 12 for a three-day cruise to Nassau.

Carnival Paradise: The ship is set to sail on September 11th as planned, and the itinerary, as of now, remains unchanged.

Carnival Liberty: The September 7 three-day Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral and Sept. 10 four-day cruise have been cancelled.

Carnival Splendor: The five-day eastern Caribbean cruise on Sept. 9 has been cancelled.

Carnival Ecstasy: The six-day Bahamas cruise from Charleston on Sept. 9 has been cancelled.

Carnival Fascination: On Sunday, September 10 the ship will depart San Juan for a cruise to Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, and St. Kitts.

Guests scheduled to cruise on these upcoming trips are encouraged to sign up for text alerts by texting the codes below to CRUISE (278473)

Carnival Conquest: CCL2

Carnival Glory: CCL3

Carnival Magic: CCL4

Carnival Splendor: CCL5

Carnival Vista: CCL6

Carnival Liberty: CCL7

Carnival Victory: For the 9/11 sailing, CCL8

Carnival Sensation: For the 9/7 sailing, CCL9

Carnival Sensation: For the 9/11 sailing, CCL1

Carnival Freedom: CCL12

Carnival Dream: CCL13

Carnival Pride: CCL14

Carnival Fascination: CCL15

Carnival Paradise: For the 9/11 sailing, CCL16

Carnival’s Florida Offices Closing

The release ended by informing passengers that due to Hurricane Irma’s impending arrival, Carnival “has closed its South Florida headquarters… to allow employees as much time as possible to finalize their hurricane preparations. The safety and welfare of our team members is of utmost importance. Our Business Continuity Plan is in full effect, and a wide variety of essential personnel spanning all key areas of the company will be continuing to work remotely and from the company’s hurricane-resistant facility in Miami.”

Updated at 1:45 pm on Saturday, September 9.


Carnival Cruise Line

Inside The Party For Carnival Horizon [PHOTOS]



Given that Queen Latifah is the Godmother of Carnival’s newest ship, you had to know a good time was going to be had by all at the Carnival Horizon’s official naming ceremony. Held in New York City on a picture-perfect afternoon, the event featured plenty of food, lots of drink, singing, dancing and even a pretty substantial charitable donation.

Welcome To Flavortown

Things got under way with a ribbon-cutting ceremony as celebrity chef Guy Fieri welcomed guests to the latest outpost of Flavortown, the Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse. With live music playing, servers dished out hearty helpings of the venue’s signature foods, including trashcan nachos, dragon chili cheese fries and a pecan pie that was, according to the genuine Southern belle at our table, “to die for.”

Guy Fieri and brewmeister Colin Presby, doing the honors.

After that, the traditional naming ceremony kicked off with Brand Ambassador John Heald offering up a tip of the hat to “the one man to blame” for the fact that “I now have X’s in the back of everything I’m wearing,” Fieri.

Next up was the traditional prayer of blessing, followed by Carnival president Christine Duffy welcoming everyone aboard before discussing the very special bond between the cruise line and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Speaking proudly of the $16 million dollars raised by Carnival since the partnership first began in 2010, Duffy then presented the hospital with a check for another $100,000 and directed everyone’s eyes to the 24-foot Dreamscape, which anchors the atrium and now features among it’s displays 33 pieces of art created by St. Jude patients.

Artwork done by St. Jude patients lit up the Dreamscape.

Next up was the ship’s Godmother, Queen Latifah, who also happens to be a major supporter of St. Jude. After thanking the crowd “for looking so good,” Latifah asked everyone to take another look at the artwork-adorned Dreamscape. “My mom was an art teacher,” she said of her recently-deceased parent, “so I appreciate what the kids do. I know what it does for a child’s heart to create like that.”

Of being Godmother to a cruise ship, Latifah admitted it was “one of the coolest things I’ve ever been asked to be a part of in my life!” She was then joined on stage by Captain Luigi De Angelis and, together, they poured an oversized bottle of champagne (“This is the only time the captain will hold a bottle of champagne like this,” quipped Heald) over the ship’s inaugural season bell.

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“Only at Carnival Cruise Line,” quipped Heald of the ceremony, “do we water the plants with Moet.”

With the official business of the day out of the way, it was time for the fun to start in the Liquid Lounge, where Latifah battled Philadelphia Eagles player Jake Elliot in an epic Lip Sync Battle hosted by popular Carnival cruise director Matt Mitcham. But before the main event could begin, the crowd was in for an unexpected treat when Duffy was joined on stage by Carnival Corp’s President and CEO, Arnold Donald, for a lip synched performance of The Black Eyed Peas’ party anthem “I Gotta Feeling.”

Duffy and Donald proved they definitely choose fun.

With Duffy cheering on Elliot, and Donald firmly in the Queen’s corner, the main event began. And while footballer Elliott took the pumped-up crowd back to the days of MTV’s Headbangers Ball by donning a massive wig to perform Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” this was Latifah’s battle to lose. And if you know anything about the singer/actor/businesswoman — who also happens to be a past Lip Sync Battle champion — it’s that she does not come to lose. The moment she and the Playlist Productions performers took to the stage to perform “It’s Raining Men,” it was all over but the cheering. Of the stripping background dancers, Mitcham joked that Latifah’s performance was “like Baywatch and Magic Mike went wild,” while Donald said that the dancers “inspired me to keep my shirt on!”  

Elliott put up a good fight, but he couldn’t dethrone the Queen.

Before being crowned the winner, Latifah admitted there was one thing about her new role which she’d found disappointing. “Shouldn’t Godmother’s have a wand?” she asked… only to promptly be presented one, with which she sprinkled “love dust over the crowd, even my sworn enemy Jake.”

The evening ended with a bang… or, more precisely, a whole lot of bangs.

With the scheduled events of the evening over, invited guests dispersed to enjoy the live entertainment taking place all around the ship, as well as movies in the Imax and Thriller Theaters, a party on the Lido deck, a midnight buffet and an impressive fireworks display that was, appropriately enough, set in part to the tune “New York, New York.” 

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Carnival Horizon Makes Inaugural Call in Canadian Port



Carnival Cruise Line’s brand new Vista-class ship Carnival Horizon made her first-ever call in Halifax, Nova Scotia yesterday.

The day was a welcome change for cruise passengers; it was the first port stop after six days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean. Ship officers as well as local officials held a traditional plaque ceremony in the Library onboard, where a plaque was given to the ship by the Port of Halifax and other tokens were exchanged, including a model of the ship given to the port by Carnival Cruise Line.

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Carnival Horizon is the sister-ship to Carnival Vista, which pioneered a number of new concepts for Carnival including the SkyRide bicycling attraction and the Dreamscape LED sculpture in the atrium. Some of Horizon’s unique new features include a sit-down barbecue smokehouse and brewery as well as a Cat in the Hat themed WaterWorks water park.

Click here for a video of the ship headed into the Port of Halifax.

Click here for our article on all of the free food found aboard Carnival Horizon.

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Everything Carnival Horizon, Part 10: Before You Disembark



Hard as it is to believe, our time together exploring Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ships is coming to an end. But before that can happen, we need to take one last spin around the Carnival Horizon… just to make sure you aren’t missing anything!

How Do You Spend That Final Day?

Nobody likes to think about disembarkation, yet that seems to be what the mind winds up focusing on during those final 24 hours of any cruise. You’re not even off the ship yet, but the mind begins wandering to the work that will be waiting on your desk or the unmowed lawn waiting to be tended.

Our best advice: Given that you are on a Carnival ship, do as they advise and Choose Fun for as long as you possibly can.

Sure, you’ll have to pack your suitcase eventually… but the last day of your vacation is when you should slow down enough to soak it all in. Give yourself a little extra time to sit in a quiet spot, staring out at the sea and taking mental photographs. Have a long, leisurely brunch (during which you allow yourself to have a second, and maybe even a third, Bloody Mary. Head to Cherry on Top and get one more of those amazing ice cream sandwiches, which you know you’re going to have cravings for once you get back home.

Choose your cookie. Choose your ice cream. Choose your toppings. Eat. Could anything be simpler?

One thing we’d definitely recommend you do in advance: If you have a specialty restaurant you want to enjoy that final dinner-at-sea in, make a reservation. For many people, dining at the Steakhouse, for example, is a perfect capper to their cruise. Tomorrow, they’ll be back to making their own dinner and clearing their own tables, so why not have one final high-end meal?

Go ahead, live a little… it’s the last night of your cruise!

Another thing you definitely want to make sure to do on that final evening is head to the casino to cash in any winnings you might have! One of our favorite ways to make sure we go home with a little money? Cashing out whenever we have a decent win on a slot machine, putting a fresh $20 bill in the game… and sticking those tickets into the safe in our stateroom and not touching them until the week is over. When it’s time to head upstairs on the final night and pack our bags, we grab those tickets and cash them out.

One way we fight the melancholy that can often set in on the final day is by booking another trip, which on the Carnival Horizon can be done by visiting the future cruise desk on deck 10. Then, having put it off as long as we possibly could, we finally head back to the room and pack. After spending a fair amount of time deciding what to bring and what to leave behind during the days building up to the cruise, the packing-to-disembark process is a lot quicker and easier. You know the drill: Throw everything into the suitcase, don’t even bother folding it, taking as little time as possible.

The saddest thing on a cruise ever? Seeing all the suitcases lining the hallways, waiting to be collected on that final night.

If you need any information at all about the disembarkaton process, make sure to check the Fun Times or ask at Guest Services. But don’t leave this until the last morning… trust us, the staff will have their hands full trying to get everyone off the ship so that a whole new group of passengers can board and begin their vacations! In fact, if you have anything at all you need to deal with Guest Services about, try not to wait until that last evening, because the place can become a bit of a zoo!

And remember that there is no room service available on that final morning, so if you want to grab one last free meal, you’ll have to actually leave the room… or at least convince one of your traveling companions to do so! Again, consulting the Fun Times will tell you where you can go for that final meal, whether it’s a sit-down breakfast or just grabbing some coffee to get yourself going.

Sadly, it is here that we, too, must part ways. Here’s hoping that you’ve enjoyed our special, in-depth look at the Carnival Horizon. Keep checking back for more information on not only this ship but the upcoming Carnival Panorama, which we’re already excited to explore!

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