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New Carnival Cruise Ship Heads to West Coast

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While celebrating the re-opening of new Long Beach Cruise Terminal today, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy made some major announcements for plans to further the company’s footprint in the West Coast.

Carnival Panorama Is West Coast Bound

Photo via Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Panorama, the newest Vista-class ship in the fleet, will home port in Long Beach upon its debut in 2019 to provide 7-day Mexican Riviera cruises. The 133,500-ton ship is set to sail to California directly from the shipyard, making it the first brand new Carnival ship deployed to Southern California in 20 years. Reservations are expected to open in March.

Ensenada Port Renovations Coming Soon

Duffy also announced Carnival’s plans for a multi-million dollar port development project for Ensenada, Mexico. While no details were released regarding dates, the project will enhance the dining, retail, and onshore attraction experiences for cruisers. Ensenada is a featured port on the 3- and 4-day itineraries from Long Beach.

Long Beach is Growing

“This is a momentous occasion for both Carnival and the City of Long Beach – not only are we celebrating the grand re-opening of this magnificent cruise terminal, but also demonstrating our commitment to the West Coast with the deployment of the spectacular new Carnival Panorama in 2019 and the announcement of an exciting new port development project in Ensenada,” said Duffy. “The West Coast is an important market with vast growth potential and these initiatives further demonstrate the confidence in our future success in Long Beach.”

“The expansion of the terminal and arrival of this exciting new ship is great news for the city of Long Beach, underscoring Carnival’s longstanding commitment to our community while adding additional opportunities for growing our economy and promoting all that our wonderful city has to offer,” said Robert Garcia, mayor of Long Beach. “Carnival has been an excellent partner for 15 years and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Renovating Carnival’s Long Beach Cruise Terminal

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The Long Beach cruise terminal was originally built to house Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose plane as well as serve as a soundstage for several Hollywood movies such as Batman and Pirates of the Caribbean. The renovations have now more than doubled the size of the facility’s space to 146,000 square feet. With a focus on comfort, security, and accessibility, the improvements also enhance the guest experience and operational flow. On the technical side, shoreside power was expanded to enable large ships to plug into the local electric grid, reducing exhaust emissions while docked.

“This project is many years in the making and Carnival’s Long Beach Cruise Terminal is one of the most visually striking and efficient facilities of its kind, providing a seamless embarkation for our guests while making a tremendous economic impact on the Southern California region,” said Carlos Torres de Navarra, Carnival’s vice president, strategic and commercial port development.

The terminal’s striking design is a blend of many elements all meant to extend the energy of Carnival’s “Choose Fun” guest experience from the ship into the terminal. Wanting to bring to life that “California feeling,” the terminal decor features two replica Spruce Goose planes, mountain decor to echo Thunder Mountain, benches to evoke an outdoor park feel, and an ocean motif at the check-in counters. The terminal also includes the cruise industry’s first 1980s-style arcade for guests to enjoy while waiting to embark.

“You don’t necessarily have that airport-style seating, because we’re not an airline,” Torres de Navarro said. “We are not in the business of transportation; we are in the business of vacations.”

Long Beach Welcomes Carnival Splendor

Last but not least in today’s West Coast cruise news, Long Beach also celebrated Carnival Splendor joining Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration in its new home port. Splendor will sail the 7-day cruises to Mexico and longer-length cruises to Alaska and Hawaii, while Imagination and Inspiration sail the 3- and 4-day cruises to Ensenada and Catalina Island. The 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor is currently the largest ship based year-round in Southern California. Its presence here will provide a 40% capacity increase for its itineraries. Together, these three ships carry approximately 600,000 guests per year from Southern California on more than 250 cruises.

Photos via Carnival Cruise Line

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Carnival Cruise Ship Returns to Service

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Carnival Cruise Line is back to sailing year-round from San Juan, Puerto Rico as the Carnival Fascination just completed a multi-million dollar dry dock in Freeport, Bahamas.

On its San Juan-based program, Carnival Fascination departs every Sunday on week-long voyages visiting five destinations: St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, each of which is home to world-class beaches, centuries-old historical sites, unique and exciting shoreside experiences and array of shopping and dining opportunities.

Fun Ship Enhancements Received

Guy’s Burger Joint. Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines

  • Guy’s Burger Joint: a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
  • RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.
  • BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool.
  • Cherry on Top:  The “sweetest spot on board,” Cherry on Top is the gateway to the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun-and-fanciful gifts, just-because novelties, colorful custom apparel and more.
  • Alchemy Bar: a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” that’s the go-to spot for guests seeking a unique experience with mixologists who “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients or guests’ own custom-created cocktails.
  • Bonsai Sushi Express:  the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual, convenient yet equally tasty offshoot featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.

“We’re delighted that the Carnival Fascination has returned to year-round sailing from San Juan better than ever with a wide range of great new dining, beverage and retail options for our guests to enjoy,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line who noted that prior to the dry dock the ship was chartered by FEMA to house relief workers in St. Croix.

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Sneak Peek of Carnival Horizon [PHOTOS]

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Christmas came early for cruise fans, and Carnival Cruise Line’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, played Santa when he posted pics to his Facebook page of the upcoming Carnival Horizon. Want a sneak peek of one of 2018’s most highly anticipated ships? Take a look at these photos taken by Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri.

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse

Carnival Horizon

If you’re familiar with Carnival Vista, Magic, or Breeze, the Pig and Anchor Smokehouse, you know exactly why this restaurant is so popular. The latest extension of Carnival’s partnership with celebrity chef Guy Fieri will, on Carnival Horizon, be located on deck 5. And while on other ships it has been an outdoor venue, here it has been moved inside… although there will be plenty of outdoor seating only steps away.

Pig & Anchor — which also has a brewhouse and will essentially replace the RedFrog Pub on this ship — will serve a limited free lunch menu, and then a for-fee dinner menu. (Never fear, there will still be a Guy’s Burger Joint, located up on deck 10!)

Lido Deck Marketplace

Carnival Horizon

Let’s face it, at some point, you’re going to be visiting the buffet. They could put a thousand different restaurants on the ship, and at some point we’d wind up wandering into the buffet “just to see what they have.” So why not take a look at where we’ll be doing our grazing? The area is shaping up nicely, with brand new chairs, tables, and railings.

Bonsai Sushi and Teppanyaki

Carnival has had great success with the Bonsai Sushi restaurant, so it makes sense that with Horizon, they’ll take things to the next level by adding Teppanyaki, with chefs putting on a show while preparing some delicious food. Looking for a fun night for your family or friends? Gathering around the flat-top grill to watch these chefs do their thing is a guaranteed good time.

Carnival Horizon

 

Dr. Seuss WaterWorks Aqua Park

Carnival Horizon

The waterpark on Carnival Horizon is also coming together nicely. The Cat in the Hat slide will be enclosed and run more than 450 feet. And get those cameras ready, because the entrance to the slide will actually be a giant replica of the iconic red-and-white hat worn by everyone’s favorite trouble-making feline. (The slide itself will also be red and white, so it should be pretty easy to spot!)

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The Fun Things slide is after named after those infamous troublemakers, Thing 1 and Thing 2! An enclosed body slide, this one will distinguish itself with a polka dot-motif and offer 213 feet of slippery fun.

Aft Main Dining Room

Carnival Horizon

The two-floor main dining room, located on the back of the ship and stretching across decks 3 and 4, is starting to come together. There will also be a second, single-story dining room at the front of the ship on deck 3. Carnival will use one of the dining rooms for traditional dining, and the other for Your Time dining.

JavaBlue Cafe

Carnival Horizon

The coffee shop located just outside of Ocean Plaza on deck five is starting to come to life with coffee machines, coolers and a seating area. This is where you can get your specialty coffees (with a splash of your favorite liquor, if you so choose), milkshakes and huge slices of cake. (One of the nice things about Carnival’s Cheers! package is that coffees and milkshakes are included!)

Carnival Horizon

On Carnival Vista, the check-in station for Your Time Dining is just to the right of the coffee bar, so there’s no reason to think it would be different here.

Pixels Photo Gallery

Carnival Horizon

Just like on sister ship Vista, Horizon will have the Pixels digital photo gallery on deck five. It will feature the facial recognition technology which automatically puts photographs into the portfolio of a passenger, thereby cutting down on the massive waste created by printing out hundreds if not thousands of photos, most of which will not be purchased.

Casino

Carnival Horizon

If you feel your money burning a hole in your pocket, it’s probably because of these pictures from the under-construction casino… complete with a few slot machines already in place! Like on Vista, this one will feature a smaller version of the lobby’s Dreamscape LED. (Many people have commented that the one in the casino is actually more vibrant because of the darker atmosphere, so it’s definitely worth swinging by to check it out!)

One thing to note is that similar to Vista, Horizon will have an aquarium-like view up to (or down from, depending on your perspective) deck 5. The glass partition keeps the smoke from going directly up to deck five, which is a good thing, given that there are several dining venues (including the steakhouse and Bonsai Sushi/Teppanyaki) are located there.

What do you think of these first images from the Carnival Horizon? Are you excited to sail on the line’s newest ship? 

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Passengers On The “Cruise From Hell” Want Full Refund

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In the wake of 23 passengers being removed from the Carnival Legend for having allegedly taken part in numerous fights, some cruisers are asking that Carnival Cruise Line compensate them for what’s been dubbed as the “cruise from hell.” And while Carnival has offered all of the passengers a 25 percent credit toward a future cruise, many feel that’s simply not enough.

His Proposal Was Interrupted!

The Daily Telegraph reported the story of Michael Barsoum, who’d planned to propose to his girlfriend, Mary, during the 10-day cruise. Instead, his big plans were waylaid by the rampaging family who turned the lives of many passengers upside down. Rather than pop the question, he found himself trying to help innocent people who were being caught up in the wave of violence perpetrated by a disruptive family.

“Women and children were getting pulled into the fights,” Barsoum explained. “I was punched in the face trying to protect my fiance.”

With his big, romantic moment “ruined forever,” he is among those asking for compensation. “I want my money back,” he said. “I want a complete refund.”

Further Details Emerging

(Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Friday, 23 passengers — most if not all of whom are reportedly members of an extended family — left the ship. Most were forcibly removed, although a few chose to disembark when their family members were removed. Although both Carnival and the police are investigating the incident, no one was charged.

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As late as Sunday evening, new details were still emerging from various sources. Passenger Lisa Bolitho told the Australian Associated Press that in response to repeated complaints about the violent family, “The captain said, ‘What do you want me to do about it… throw them overboard?”

After several skirmishes broke out, including one on the pool deck, the Washington Post reports that “a massive brawl broke out in the ship’s nightclub.” And while it was not clear who provoked the fight, Carnival went on the record to say that the aggressive family group “physically attacked other guests.”

Still other reports claim that security guards brandished broken bottles at the aggressive passengers and tried to prevent others from shooting video of the various incidents. Several videos appear to show security guards taking violent action against passengers. “The actions seen on the video by our security team are not in line with our Carnival values and policies,” a spokeswoman told the Washington Post. “We are conducting a full investigation and will take appropriate corrective action as necessary.”

Should Carnival offer passengers a full refund? 

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