Carnival Cruise Line announces deployment changes for two ships and a delayed restart for another. The changes include Carnival Spirit being redeployed to the U.S. and Carnival Ecstasy repositioning to Mobile as Carnival Sensation will be postponed with resuming operations.
Carnival Cruise Ship Changes
The cruise line is making some changes that affect three cruise ships. Carnival Sensation, initially scheduled to resume guest operations in March 2022 out of Mobile, Alabama, has been delayed even further. The Fantasy-class vessel was finally set to resume on March 5 with a five-night voyage.
The vessel first arrived in Mobile in May 2021 after sister ship Carnival Fantasy was sold for scrap in 2020 and then Carnival Fascination was sold off too. Carnival Sensation prepared for its restart and began to vaccinate crew members. However, the ship has remained on hold since the industry-wide suspension started in March 2020.
Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John heald said, “As we continue our successful restart of guest operations in the U.S., we are making some adjustments in vessel deployments. We have delayed the restart of Carnival Sensation.”
As a result of the delayed restart for Carnival Sensation, the sister ship Carnival Ecstasy will reposition from Jacksonville to Mobile to take over Carnival Sensation itineraries. With both ships in the same class, the impact will be limited to booked guests. Carnival Ecstasy has also remained on hold and was originally scheduled to begin guest operations from Jacksonville, Florida, on March 7, 2022.
Carnival Spirit to the U.S.
It’s also been announced that due to Australia still not reopening to the cruise industry, its Australian-based vessel, Carnival Spirit, will be redeployed to the U.S.
Heald also said, “And, because of the continued uncertainty of when cruising can resume in Australia, we are bringing Carnival Spirit to the U.S. Carnival Ecstasy will reposition from Jacksonville to Mobile and sail the Carnival Sensation itineraries, effective with the planned March 5 restart. Carnival Spirit will position to Jacksonville to sail the published itineraries from that port, effective with the planned restart on March 7.”
Carnival Ecstasy shifting to Mobile, Alabama, leaves a gap for the Carnival Spirit to reposition to Jacksonville. She will be one of the largest Carnival ships deployed from the port and will begin sailing on March 7, 2022.
The Australian government has not yet provided any pathway for the cruise industry to reopen. It has resulted in multiple rounds of cancellations for two Carnival cruise ships. In the most recent extended suspension down under, Carnival Splendor sailings were canceled through may 31, 2022, and Carnival Spirit cruises were canceled through May 29, 2022.
Both vessels have been waiting in Dubai, UAE, for Australia to open back up. In November 2021, Carnival Spirit completed a minor dry dock in Dubai, where she received the new red, white and blue livery, along with other routine hotel updates. With the ship being all fresh and ready for service, it makes sense to reposition to the U.S.
Currently, Carnival Cruise Line is moving forward with its phased-in return to service with 19 vessels already back offering fun-filled vacations. Carnival Sunshine just restarted out of Charleston and Carnival Liberty resumed sailings from Port Canaveral. Still waiting to resume is the Carnival Spirit, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Paradise and Carnival Splendor.