Carnival Cruise Itinerary Changed for Unscheduled Maintenance

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Guests setting sail on the January 29, 2023 departure of Carnival Splendor in Australia will not have quite the same cruise as originally planned.

Carnival Cruise Line has notified guests of an itinerary adjustment, including a canceled port of call, switching the order of ports, and some time changes to arrival and departure times. Compensation is being provided to all guests onboard.

Itinerary Change for Carnival Splendor

The January 29, 2023 cruise for Carnival Splendor, an 11-night South Pacific sailing roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, will not be exactly the same cruise as initially planned.

Carnival Cruise Line has emailed guests about multiple updates to the itinerary. “To conduct some unscheduled maintenance, we have had to adjust the itinerary for your cruise,” the email reads.

The cruise was originally scheduled to visit two Vanuatu destinations – Port Vila on Friday, February 3 and Mystery Island on Saturday, February 4. Those two port days have now been swapped, and Mystery Island will be on Friday, while Port Vila will be on Saturday. A second call to Mystery Island, planned for Sunday, February 5, has been canceled and will now be a day at sea.

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Gerry H / Shutterstock

The email also notes that “slightly modified” arrival and departure times will apply for both ports of call, but does not clarify the exact times in port.

No other changes to ports of call have been announced at this time, and the ship is also scheduled to visit two destinations in New Caledonia – Noumea and Lifou Island on Wednesday, February 1 and Tuesday, February 2, respectively.

Compensation Offered

To compensate for the loss of the second visit to Mystery Island, Carnival is giving all guests onboard a $50 (AU – approximately $35 USD) onboard credit, with a maximum of $100 AU ($71 USD) per stateroom.

Onboard credits can be used for drink purchases, spa treatments, specialty dining, souvenir photos, gift shop purchases, and more. “Enjoy something special on us during this cruise,” the email reads.

Carnival Splendor weighs in at 113,300 gross tons and can welcome 3,012 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 3,734 passengers when fully booked. The ship – the only vessel in Carnival Cruise Line’s Splendor class – is homeported from Sydney year-round.

What Maintenance?

The nature of the “unscheduled maintenance” has not been disclosed, but it will take place when the ship is anchored approximately 12 miles off the coast of Bundaberg on Tuesday, February 7. Onboard activities and operations will not be impacted.

“It is possible you may see some divers in the water, as it is routine maintenance that can only be conducted when the ship is anchored at sea,” the email explains.

Because the email describes the maintenance as occurring “on the exterior sides and bottom of the ship” it is possible the work could be scraping the hull to remove undesirable growth that can be considered “biofouling” in different ports of call. This growth can include algae, barnacles, sea grasses, and other materials.

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Affendy Soeto / Shutterstock

Several cruise ships have been refused entry to New Zealand in recent weeks due to such growth, including the Cunard ship Queen Elizabeth as well as Coral Princess, Viking Orion, and Regent Seven Seas Explorer. The country is very strict about these regulations to protect its delicate marine environments.

Carnival Splendor is scheduled to visit New Zealand on its February 13, 2023 departure, a 10-day cruise that will visit four different ports of call in New Zealand. If the ship is not considered clean enough to comply with the country’s regulations, that sailing might have to be dramatically altered or cancelled altogether.

It is possible that the February 9 departure – a 4-night roundtrip visit to Moreton Island – might also see some similar maintenance on the ship’s hull just to ensure the vessel is in compliance with New Zealand’s regulations.

Guests booked on upcoming sailings of Carnival Splendor, or any vessel sailing in Australia or New Zealand, should stay in close contact with their cruise line about possible itinerary updates.

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