The Carnival cruise news everyone was pretty much expecting is now a reality, with the cruise line extending its suspension through June 30, 2021. This comes as the cruise industry is fighting for survival and feels mistreated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Carnival Cruise Line Cancels Sailings
The Miami-based cruise line has decided to extend its hold on U.S. operations through June 30, 2021. This now means that the first cruises won’t resume until July at the very earliest.
Carnival’s new Mardi Gras cruise ship will also have to wait even longer until her much-anticipated debut out of the new Port Canaveral Terminal 3. The vessel’s maiden voyage is now scheduled to depart on an eastern Caribbean voyage on July 3, 2021.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said:
“We know that this is very disappointing to our guests who continue to be eager to sail, and we remain committed to working with the Administration and the CDC to find a workable solution that best serves the interest of public health. We are asking that the cruise industry be treated on par with the approach being taken with other travel and tourism sectors, as well as U.S. society at large.”
It seriously puts into question if Carnival Cruise Line made the right choice by staying committed to U.S. ports and not finding alternative solutions outside the country. The new round of cancellations impacts most of the fleet.
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The new round of cancellations will be hugely disappointing for guests hoping that their June voyage would go ahead. The cruise line is notifying all guests about their compensation options and why their voyage will no longer occur. In the letter, Carnival states:
“While we were hoping to resume service as early as June 2021, the information released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not provide the clarity we need to proceed. Consequently, we must notify you that we have extended our pause through June 30, 2021. Regrettably, this means your cruise has been cancelled and we sincerely apologize for this disappointing new”
Guests can choose from a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) plus onboard credit or a full refund. Carnival also provides further flexibility by extending final payment deadlines for all July sailings to May 31, 2021. Guests can also choose to cancel their voyage without penalty.
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Carnival May Change its Approach
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy has also said that the cruise line may have to change its approach to resume operations which have been on hold for more than a year:
“While we have not made plans to move Carnival Cruise Line ships outside of our U.S. homeports, we may have no choice but to do so in order to resume our operations which have been on ‘pause’ for over a year. We appreciate the continued patience and support from our loyal guests, travel advisors and business partners as we work on a return-to-service solution.”
She had already said that Carnival is America’s cruise line and remained committed to U.S. ports. However, with the CDC not budging by lifting its Conditional Sailing Order, Carnival could be forced to follow Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line by shifting ships to new homeports outside the United States.
This news follows Disney Cruise Line, which has also announced on the same day that cruises in the U.S. are to remain on hold through June.