Carnival Adjusts Homeport Arrival Time for West Coast Ship

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Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to booked guests on 13 different sailings of the new Carnival Firenze to alert them to itinerary changes. While the ship’s overall itineraries are not altered, she will now be returning to her homeport of Long Beach, California later than originally planned.

This could have a dramatic impact on travelers’ post-cruise arrangements, particularly if flights are necessary, and may likewise impact embarkation for the next cruises.

“We have made an adjustment to the itinerary for your cruise – return time to Long Beach will now be 9:00 a.m. (PT),” the email notification read.

Carnival Firenze Cruise Ship Docked in Long Beach
Carnival Firenze Cruise Ship Docked in Long Beach

The affected sailing dates in 2024 are the ship’s August 24 and 31 departures, every cruise in September and October, and the November 2 departure. In 2025, two additional 2025 cruises will have the same delay – the March 25 and April 7 sailings.

On each now-changed cruise, Carnival Firenze was originally scheduled to return to Long Beach at 8 a.m. While the change is only one hour later, this could still cause difficulties for travelers who may have arranged for early flights from Long Beach, Los Angeles, or other regional airports.

It should also be noted that the ship’s return time to the port does not account for the time necessary for customs and immigration inspection at the end of each sailing. It is possible guests may not begin debarking Carnival Firenze until 10 a.m. or later on the impacted dates.

No explanation has been given about the change of return times, but there could be many reasons. Seasonal changes in tides, port operational needs, or harbor operations could all be a factor in slight changes to a cruise ship’s arrival and departure times.

The change might also be related to local sailing speed restrictions during whale migration seasons, in an effort to safeguard marine wildlife. The announcement of these changes comes just days after MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia inadvertently impacted an endangered sei whale, bringing the deceased animal into New York.

Carnival Firenze in Long Beach, California
Carnival Firenze in Long Beach, California

Despite the slight delay for Carnival Firenze to return to her homeport on these 13 sailings, there is no indication that the overall itineraries will be adjusted. Times in ports are as yet unaffected, though further adjustments could be made in the weeks and months leading up to each impacted cruise.

Carnival Firenze just joined the Carnival fleet with her official re-naming ceremony on April 24, following her extensive conversion from Costa Firenze into the newest Italian-style Carnival ship.

Will Embarkation Be Adjusted?

With the ship slightly delayed returning to her Long Beach homeport on these sailings, it is possible that embarkation for the following cruises may also be pushed back on the same days. This could be necessary to accommodate debarkation to avoid overcrowding in the cruise terminal or parking facilities.

Guests booked on impacted cruises will be contacted if there needs to be any change to their embarkation arrival appointment times.

Carnival Firenze is homeported year-round from Long Beach, offering several itinerary options from 3-7 nights long. Depending on the sailing date and cruise length, the ship visits top Baja Mexico and Mexican Riviera ports such as Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán.

Read Also: When is the Best Time to Cruise the Mexican Riviera?

Select departures may feature a visit to Santa Catalina Island, California as well, depending on scheduling and port availability.

Also homeported from Long Beach are two other Carnival ships – Carnival Panorama and Carnival Radiance. At this time, there is no indication that those ships have similarly delayed returns to the port, but guests booked on any sailings should always stay in close contact with their cruise line in case of itinerary alterations.

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