It’s been a busy week for Carnival Cruise Line, with many updates coming through on its operations. We take a look at all the latest developments.
The cruise line is sailing its ships with more guests than ever since it restarted operations earlier this year, two more ships will commence sailings before the end of the year, Camp Ocean is re-opening, and Carnival has extended the terminal testing option through the end of the year. Last but not least, the company is working on solving the concerns and issues many guests have experienced with its call center.
Increased Capacity Sailings
Sure, the ships are not sailing full capacity, that milestone is still some time away, but the time of half-empty Carnival cruise ships is well and truly behind us. Over the Thanksgiving period, Carnival’s ships sailed with more guests than ever since Carnival Vista was the first ship to resume operations back in July of this year.
Carnival’s Brand Ambassador John Heald had this to say during one of his online posts this week: “We sailed with more guests on each ship than we have so far, we upped the capacity a little bit as well. Certainly not sailing up full, even though we could, if we wish to sail at full capacity.”
Cruise lines have been steadily increasing capacity onboard over the last few months; while it’s not entirely clear at what percentage Carnival is operating, according to Heald, the company is sailing with higher percentages than any other company:
“We are proud to be carrying more guests than anyone else. And that’s because we have more guests who want to sail with us than any other cruise line.”
Call Center Concerns Are Being Addressed
Many Carnival guests have struggled with getting through the Carnival Help Desk. Not just that, longer wait times and technical problems have all plagued the cruise lines call centers.
Much of this has to do with the heavy increase in passengers in the last 6 months while ramping up the staff in the call centers has been lagging, according to John Heald:
“It would be wrong of me not to apologise for the problems and concerns we have had with our help desk and the technical problems and on occasion longer hold times than there should be. The beards are well aware of this and of course like so many companies they are working hard to employ more staff, train them and get back to where we were pre Covid and have the best help center in the cruise industry.”
Testing at the Terminal
Many of the questions that the help desk has had to deal with in recent weeks are how guests can get tested before their cruise during the holiday season.
While Carnival has already confirmed that the home-test provider will be available 24-7 through December, the cruise line also extended its testing at the terminal procedure as an added insurance for guests.
This testing facility is available for guests who have been unable to procure a test result before their cruise starts and can get a last-minute test before sailing. Keeping in mind that this facility should only be used as a last resort, and bookings for the tests are needed. Tests at the terminal cost $100- and are for the guests’ account.
The Restart Continues
More capacity doesn’t just mean more passengers onboard, it also means more ships sailing. Carnival has steadily been building up its vessel capacity over the last months, with two more ships to start up in December of this year. Carnival Radiance will be making its debut in California, and Carnival Conquest will start operating in Florida.
Both ships will start operations on December 13. Carnival Conquest from PortMiami on a 4-day cruise to Princess Cays and Bimini, both in the Bahamas.
Carnival Radiance will be making her long-awaited debut from Long Beach, California, with a 4-day cruise setting sail from Long Beach and heading over to Isla Catalina, and Ensenada, Mexico, with a day at sea before arriving back at the Long Beach Cruise Terminal in California.
While onboard Carnival Conquest, Carnival Radiance, or any of the other Carnival ships, kids will be able to enjoy Camp Ocean once again. From December 10, Camp Ocean will be opening up again for fully vaccinated children.
Heald said: “Camp Ocean is opening next week and we are very excited. And when I say we not just the whole company, but specifically the youth staff, those who have dedicated their lives to giving our children, your children the best of times. And remember if you’re fully vaccinated your children, they can use the camp ocean starting next weekend. And I think that is brilliant.”
All-in-all it’s been a good couple of weeks for America’s cruise line, with more ships coming online, the tweaking of guest services in the call center, Camp Ocean re-opening, and more and more guests finding their way to a fantastic cruise vacation onboard one of Carnival’s Cruise ships.