Carnival Cruise Line’s Third Excel-Class Vessel Now Delayed

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Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests that the upcoming Carnival Jubilee, slated to debut October 30, 2023, will now be delayed for nearly two months. This comes due to shipyard delays and supply chain logistics that have slowed construction and will make it impossible to meet the October deadline.

Carnival Jubilee Delayed

The third in the largest ship class for Carnival Cruise Line and sister ship to Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, Carnival Jubilee will now not debut as planned in October 2023.

Delays at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and forced the cruise line to set back the ship’s maiden voyage, which was to have been a transatlantic sailing from Southampton to Galveston, as well as cancel six additional sailings from the ship’s Texas homeport.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship
Rendering Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

“This is disappointing news, but with the notification from the shipyard, we are advising our guests as quickly as we can,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

The impacted sailings are all voyages from October 30, 2023, through and including the December 16, 2023 sailing – all of these sailings are now canceled.

The cruise line is reaching out to travel advisors and guests booked on the now-canceled sailings with additional details and options.

“We appreciate their understanding as we work to deliver another spectacular ship that will provide a vacation experience our guests deserve and will absolutely love,” Duffy said.

Compensation Offered

Impacted guests who are now having their sailings canceled will receive a full refund of the cruise fare, all taxes, fees, and port expenses, as well as all pre-paid onboard purchases, such as shore tours or drink packages. These refunds will automatically be processed to guests’ original form of payment, but may take up to three weeks to process through individual banks.

As additional compensation, guests will receive a 25% future cruise credit (FCC) based on their cruise fare, valid for any voyage open for sale. The new cruise must be booked by December 15, 2023.

Carnival Jubilee Cruise Ship
Rendering Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

If guests rebook that new sailing with the new FCC by February 10, 2023, they will also receive an additional $100 (USD) per person in onboard credit for that new cruise.

“Once again, we are truly sorry for the disruption to your travel plans and are grateful for your understanding,” the email said. “We have been working hard to make this a great ship and we promise you it will be.”

New Maiden Voyage

Because of the delay, Carnival Jubilee‘s maiden voyage will now be sailing from Galveston on December 23, 2023. Further details of that sailing are not yet available.

From Galveston, the ship will be offering 7-night, Saturday departure, roundtrip sailings that visit Roatan, Honduras as well as Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

Carnival Jubilee will remain homeported from Galveston through at least April 2025. The 182,800-gross ton ship will be able to welcome 5,347 guests at double occupancy, and as many as 6,631 guests when fully booked.

Why the Delay?

Much of the cruise industry has been plagued with supply chain problems that have delayed materials essential for ship construction and finishing. Similarly, supplies to outfit the ship may also be delayed, meaning a ship is unable to sail as planned because it cannot provide proper service for all guests.

“Global supply chain logistics and other matters make it clear that additional time is required so that the ship can give our guests the vacation experience they expect,” the letter to Carnival Jubilee guests states.

Carnival Jubilee Keel Laying
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

While neither the shipyard nor the cruise line have detailed exactly what materials or supplies are causing the delays, consider this: If something as simple as linens are unavailable – no towels, for example – the cruise ship could not service guests.

Fluctuations in the global economy, as well as labor issues and staffing can also have similar impacts on cruise ship deliveries.

Other Ships Delayed

Carnival Cruise Line is certainly not the only company impacted by a variety of factors delaying new ship deliveries.

Just recently, Silversea Cruises, part of the Royal Caribbean Group, announced delays for Silver Nova, which was to have welcomed guests in July 2023 but is now delayed by approximately one month.

Cunard Line’s upcoming Queen Anne has also been delayed for several months, and will not welcome guests until May 2024 instead of January 2024.

Earlier this year, Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wish was also delayed, with 12 voyages canceled.

Virgin Voyages’ new ship, Resilient Lady, has also been delayed until May 2023, rather than the original debut date of August 2022. Resilient Lady was just delivered to Virgin Voyages this week.

It must be noted that Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, where Carnival Jubilee is under construction, is not the only shipyard experiencing these problems.

Silver Nova is also under construction at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, the same shipyard that built Disney Wish. Queen Anne, however, is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, and Resilient Lady was built by Fincantieri at their Sestri Ponente shipyard near Genoa, Italy.

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