It was a significant update from Carnival Cruise Line on Thursday morning with further details on the next ships waiting to restart operations and protocols extended through March 2022, including an update for Camp Ocean and exemptions.
Carnival Cruise Ship Restart Update
So far, the cruise line already has more than half the fleet back in service, with the most recent vessel back in service being the Carnival Valor, which restarted from New Orleans earlier in November 2021. November 14 will also be a big day with Carnival Legend starting to sail from Baltimore and Carnival Pride kickstarting Carnival cruises from Tampa.
Carnival now plans to have its entire U.S. fleet sailing by the end of March 2022. The cruise line is making some changes for ships that are still waiting to resume operations.
Carnival Ecstasy‘s March 3 departure is cancelled out of Jacksonville and the ship will now resume operations on March 7.
The departures on March 3 and 7 for Carnival Paradise out of Tampa are also cancelled with the ship now restarting on March 12, 2021. Both vessels will still be sailing before the end of March 2022. Carnival Sensation will also be sailing from Mobile from March 5, 2021.
You can read the last ship restart update from Carnival which was announced in October 2021.
The other two impacted ships are based in Australia, a country that still does not have a clear path to allow the cruise industry to restart. Carnival Splendor sailings are now cancelled through March 4, 2021, and Carnival Spirit sailings are cancelled through March 6, 2022.
Carnival Opens Exemptions for 2022
Carnival Cruise Line has now decided to extend its vaccinated sailings through March 2022. It does mean that protocols are to remain in place to keep guests protected across the fleet, including beyond the end of the CDC Conditional Sailing Order on January 15, 2022.
However, the cruise line is making some changes for unvaccinated guests concerning exemptions. Carnival had previously closed exemption requests for sailings in 2022 but has now reopened the option for sailings through March 31, 2022.
The cruise line says, “Vaccine exemptions for cruises to the Caribbean will be limited to a very small number of children under 12, and teens and adults with a medical condition who can provide written confirmation from their medical provider that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.”
This applies only to Carnival cruises from Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Alabama. For California sailings, the cruise line says, “Vaccine exemptions for ships departing from Long Beach, California will be accepted for children under 12 and as required by U.S. federal law (in accommodation of medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs).”
Exemptions depend on the capacity of an individual ship and to make sure the number of unvaccinated guests doesn’t go over the maximum number. Exemptions will be approved very near to the sailing date, which could cause issues for guests. The situation remains fluid and many aspects also depend on the ports that ships visit. Those who are accepted as an exemption also have to follow specific pre-cruise and onboard requirements different than guests who are fully vaccinated.
Camp Ocean is Coming Back!
With Carnival Cruise Line making updates to its protocols that will run through March 2022, there is some good news for those waiting for Camp Ocean to be reopened across the fleet.
Now that authorities in the US have approved vaccines for children aged 5-11, Carnival is finally reopening Camp Ocean. However, the program will only be allowed for kids who are fully vaccinated starting on sailings from December 10, 2021, and with modifications in place.
Guests on any impacted sailings are being sent a letter with further details, including options on refunds. The major update announced by Carnival Cruise Line follows Royal Caribbean, which has also extended its protocols through March 2022.