Carnival Cruise Line has announced the final phase of its operational restart, with several homeport changes, ship redeployments, and the last of the vessels to restart.
By March 2022, the cruise line will have restarted sailings in all 10 of its year-round United States homeports, and when the Alaska cruise season opens in May, all of Carnival’s fleet will be back to service, bringing Fun Ship getaways to eager passengers.
With the last two Fantasy-class vessels, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Ecstasy, leaving the Fun Ship fleet, several ship redeployments have been necessary to cover popular homeports and itineraries in the coming weeks and months.
Beginning in early March, four ships will orchestrate a series of moves worthy of a synchronized sailing competition as the remaining U.S. homeports return to service, resulting in new homeports for some ships and new seasonal service for others.
Carnival Elation will move from Port Canaveral to Jacksonville, Florida, effective April 23 to October 22.
Carnival Freedom will move from Miami to Port Canaveral to pick up the itineraries formerly assigned to Carnival Elation, effective April 21 through October 15. This includes 4-day sailings to the Bahamas, with calls in Nassau and Princess Cays, plus 5-day Eastern Caribbean cruises, with calls in Amber Cove and Grand Turk.
Carnival Spirit, which is currently sailing from Jacksonville with 4- and 5-day Bahamas itineraries, will take over several sailings previously assigned to Carnival Freedom beginning in April, including the April 17, 2022 16-day Carnival Journeys cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal to Seattle.
That one-way sailing includes four ports of call: Santa Marta and Cartagena in Colombia, Puntarenas in Costa Rica, and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Once in Seattle, the ship will sail to Alaska from May through September.
Carnival Splendor will also reposition to Seattle and operate Alaska sailings currently assigned to Carnival Freedom. This is due to the ship’s Australia sailings being canceled for the time being as the Australian government continues to refine plans for regional sailings to restart. Those cancellations were announced earlier this month, but it was not known at the time where Carnival Splendor would be calling home.
Carnival is notifying booked guests and travel advisors about these changes, which will result in the transfer of reservations to the new ship assignments. Impacted guests will not have access to their booking for up to two weeks as Carnival completes the process to move their bookings to the new ships and provide equivalent accommodations.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through this process. We are excited to have every Carnival Cruise Line ship in the fleet sailing again by May and to be back in all 10 of our year-round U.S. homeports,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are also continuing to make plans for a return to guest operations in Australia upon completion of our Alaska season.”
Different compensation options may be available to impacted guests if they do not wish to sail on different ships or with altered accommodations if necessary. Those details, if applicable, have not yet been released.
According to a letter emailed to booked guests for some of the impacted sailings, “Any onboard credit currently on your reservation will be automatically transferred to your new booking,” and “All pre-purchased items such as Fly2Fun air, shore excursions, Carnival Vacation Protection, gratuities, beverage and Wi-Fi packages, and Fun Shop items will automatically transfer.”
Guests should also be aware that “Approved and pending vaccine exemptions will follow the booking to the new ship. If you have a pending exemption request, the transfer of your booking is not a confirmation of your request.” It would be best for guests to follow up on those requests as soon as possible when bookings have been transferred.
Some of the redeployed ships will also have minor itinerary changes, and guests on those sailings will be notified of the specific modifications to their individual voyages.
All U.S. Homeports Sailing Again
Carnival Cruise Line sails from 10 U.S. homeports year-round: Baltimore, Jacksonville, Mobile, Tampa, New Orleans, Charleston, Los Angeles, Galveston, Miami, and Port Canaveral. Five additional homeports – San Diego, New York, San Francisco, Norfolk, and Seattle – operate seasonal itineraries.
With these ship redeployments, all of the year-round homeports are set for sailings again, and the seasonal homeports will come online as their traditional sailing seasons permit. This is encouraging news for the ongoing restart of cruise operations, and brings Carnival cruising back in full force for guests eager for an oceangoing getaway on their favorite Fun Ships.