Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy has made an important visit to crew members on board the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship. It’s also the first time Duffy has visited a ship since cruise operations were first suspended over a year ago in March 2020.
Meeting the Carnival Sunshine Crew in Miami
Despite Carnival Cruise Line being in total shutdown, crew members aboard the Carnival Sunshine cruise ship had the chance to enjoy a visit from Christine Duffy, the president of Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line. It was also the first Duffy had visited a Carnival cruise ship since the suspension on operations first began back in March 2020.
“Ship visits are one of the favorite parts of my job and it was really wonderful seeing and interacting with the Carnival Sunshine team who were excellent hosts. Hopefully this is the first of many ship visits and a clear indication that we’re on the road back to restarting operations.”
The vessel was docked at Terminal E in PortMiami on Wednesday with no passengers onboard. Duffy spent time onboard meeting with senior officers and toured the ship with Captain Leonardo Contarino, Chief Engineer Dinko Biskupovic, and Hotel Director Steve Scandale.
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Captain Contarino, said:
“The crew truly enjoyed seeing Christine in person – it was a most welcome moment for all. More than anything, we can’t wait to begin service again to provide our guests with wonderful vacation memories.”
At the moment the ship does not have its full complement of the crew but she still took time to meet with those crew members who are on board to keep essential services maintained and preparing for when the cruise line does eventually restart operations.
Photos of Duffy Visit
Carnival released photos of the visit from various locations on the Carnival Sunshine including the bridge, engineering, lido deck, and on the I-95, often a hive of activity when cruise ships are in full operation.
Visit Comes During a Difficult Time
The visit to the Carnival Sunshine comes during a difficult time for Carnival Cruise Line. The cruise line has not been sailing ships for over a year and has been heavily impacted by the global pandemic.
The CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order is in place which is stopping cruise lines from resuming operations in the U.S. Duffy has already been vocal and urged the order to be lifted by the CDC.
Duffy has repeated said that Carnival is “America’s Cruise Line” and has so far, not decided to shift vessels away to alternative homeports outside the U.S. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have already started moving shift away, and NCL has canceled the majority of U.S. departures through summer.
If the CDC does not lift the order soon, Carnival Cruise Line may be forced to start moving ships away, including vessels like the Carnival Sunshine, which she visited. The hope is that the situation can be resolved to allow cruising by July 4, 2021. We’ve already reported on a lawsuit from the state of Florida to get cruises restarted immediately.
No matter what, the visit by the Carnival Cruise Line president is a much-needed morale boost and keeps the crew members going during these uncertain times. Carnival Cruise Line has currently suspended operations through June 30, 2021, and the earliest departures from the U.S. are set for July.