In a continuing return to pre-pandemic normalcy, Carnival Cruise Line has brought back another guest favorite activity that was temporarily discontinued. As of September 6, 2022, the afternoon tea event will be available fleet-wide on every cruise.
More Events and Venues Available
The return of afternoon tea time is the latest in a growing list of onboard events that are able to begin again as health and safety protocols are adjusted and crew staffing shortages are resolved.
Many such events, including the Captain’s Cocktail Party, Seuss at Sea Breakfast, Chef’s Table dining, VIFP past passenger parties, and more were initially discontinued to facilitate social distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols, and were unable to be returned quickly due to staff shortages as cruising restarted.
Slowly, Carnival Cruise Line has brought back many of these popular events.
The VIP parties for platinum and diamond-level passengers, for example, began to be held again as of June 24, 2022, on cruises of 5 nights and longer. The events are no longer held on shorter sailings, an adjustment that was made several years ago, long before the cruise industry shutdown.
The elite Chef’s Table dining experience restarted fleetwide from June 30, more children’s programs resumed onboard in late July, and the Cucina del Capitano specialty Italian restaurant, found onboard nine vessels in the Carnival fleet, reopened from August 6, 2022.
As more events return, eager guests can enjoy more of their onboard favorites with every Carnival cruise.
What Is Afternoon Tea?
The afternoon tea event onboard Carnival ships is a special gathering to socialize and enjoy unique tea blends and flavors. Several tea options are available, and tasty finger sandwiches, pastries and other light refreshments are also served, including the ever-popular scones and clotted cream.
The options available at the tea party are typically exclusive and not available elsewhere on the ship or at any other time except afternoon tea.
As of September 6, 2022, this engaging event will now be available once again onboard all Carnival cruise ships, the cruise line’s brand ambassador, John Heald, announced on his Facebook page.
The exact time, location, and offerings at each afternoon tea will vary for different vessels. The event is free to all passengers and is suitable for all ages.
Guests can also enjoy a more limited selection of teas available 24 hours a day from the beverage stations on each ship’s Lido deck, with more exclusive and unique teas available from onboard coffee shops for a nominal fee.
Still to Return
While the resumption of afternoon tea is a welcome sign that more and more events are returning to cruise ships, several highlights are still missing from daily schedules.
Still to return is the quirky Suess at Sea specialty breakfast popular with families, as well as past guest benefits like priority boarding for diamond and platinum-level guests. The decadent Chocolate Extravaganza dessert buffet has not yet resumed either, nor has the exclusive Behind the Fun onboard tour. All of these options are still planned to be offered in the near future.
Not every pre-pandemic option will be returning, however. Carnival Cruise Line has announced some minor but permanent cutbacks to dining options, such as no longer having a 24-hour pizzeria and slightly trimming hours for some other dining events and venues.
Similarly, the popular but sometimes questionable Hairy Chest Contest will not be returning to Carnival Cruise Line’s pool deck festivities, but is being replaced by more family-friendly options and poolside games.