It has been a busy week for Carnival Cruise Line, especially with all the fee changes coming from May 1. Between increasing gratuities, announcing a price hike for onboard services, sending no less than three cruise ships to Alaska, and saying goodbye to Carnival Sensation, there has been more than enough news to keep everybody talking.
The biggest news for Carnival Cruise Line itself will have been the CDC finally saying farewell to the advisory regarding cruise ship travel. The cruise line saw double-digit bookings increases over the previous seven-day averages in the same week.
Saying Farwell to Almost Three Decades Of Cruises
Carnival Sensation sailed her last voyage this week, and with that, many guests will have had some thoughts of the fun times that have been had onboard the Fantasy-class cruise ship over the last 30 years. Her career ended prematurely due to the effects of the pandemic and a shuffling of itineraries.
Due to the environmental concerns surrounding shipbreaking yards in Pakistan and India, Carnival Sensation was beached for scrapping at the Aliaga ship-breaking facility in Turkey, which has a far better reputation. Only three of the 8 Fantasy-class cruise ships remain, with Carnival Ecstasy already scheduled to be scrapped later this year.
Carnival Cruise Line has been on a mission to revive the fleet and do away with older, less efficient cruise ships. Between the start of the worldwide pause in operations and when Carnival Ecstasy leaves the fleet, the cruise line has sold and/or scrapped no less than six cruise ships.
Cruising Becomes More Expensive
Taking the family on a fun vacation while still enjoying the perks that cost extra will be a little more expensive come May 1. Carnival announced a price hike for several of its onboard services, including the WIFI, onboard specialty dining options, and drinks packages.
With Carnival Cruise Line feeling the effects of inflation, increased basic commodities, and increased oil prices, many expected prices to go up. However, with some prices going up by as much as 17%, many guests will have viewed the increase as an unpleasant surprise.
It’s not all either. Carnival Cruise Line announced it would raise gratuity prices by 0.51 cents. For Standard Staterooms, the new rate per person, per day will be $14.50. For Suites, the new rate per person, per day will be $16.50. Many will be less upset by this change; after all, the money ends up with the hardworking crew members.
More Focus On Alaska
Carnival will be sailing with three fun ships in Alaska this year. It is the single biggest deployment the cruise line has ever done in the northern state.
Carnival Miracle will be sailing from San Francisco on eleven ten-day cruises to places such as Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, and Victoria, British Columbia.
The biggest surprise will likely be for the crew members working onboard Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor. Both ships usually sail in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. This year, they will sail on 6-, 7-, and 8-day itineraries from Seattle, Washington, on what will certainly be somewhat colder weather than the crew and officers are used to.
Guests who wish to profit from the early bookings savings can do so until April 8; the bonus sale includes $100 savings per stateroom.
Huge Booking Week for Carnival Cruise Line
How much influence the CDC has on cruises we saw this week, as several cruise companies reported the strongest week of bookings ever. This includes Carnival Cruise Line, which said it saw a double-figure increase in bookings during the seven days following an announcement from the CDC it would do away with the negative travel advice it had advised for two years.
With all ships operational this summer, the news from the CDC could not have come at a better time:
“The excitement of the industry’s restart, our successful return of our entire fleet, the guest reaction to Mardi Gras, our loyal guest response to our 50th birthday this year, the support of our travel advisor partners — and of course, the amazing work of our Carnival team — have all contributed to the strong demand we are seeing, and this record-breaking booking week,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
The news from Carnival Cruise Line will be seen by many that the cruise industry is finally back. This, after more than two years where a forced pause in operations cast doubt over when cruising and if it would return to how we know it.
Carnival Glory Repairs
Guests who are booked on Carnival Glory’s April 10 sailing out of New Orleans have been informed by the cruise line of an itinerary change.
Due to the Conquest-class vessel experiencing an issue with its docking machinery, the scheduled call to Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan in Honduras has been canceled. Carnival Glory will instead replace the port with a call to Progreso, Mexico on Friday, April 15, 2022.
Repairs are set to continue through the cruise and it comes after the cruise line also changes the ship’s March 27 sailing for the same reason.
The Carnival Glory will be departing on April 10 on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise. there will still be a scheduled visit to Cozumel, Mexico, Belize, and then the addition of Progreso.