Carnival Cruise Ship Completes Dry Dock, Heads Back to the US for Unexpected Sailings

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Carnival Sunshine had just completed her dry-dock in Cadiz, Spain, and is currently sailing back to the United States. Although she was looking a little worse for wear earlier this year when she entered dry-dock, she is now looking new again.

The Carnival cruise ship received the new livery during her dry dock and is now all set to welcome guests onboard again, which is happening a little sooner than anticipated. The vessel will be one of two ships to take over the cancelled itineraries of Carnival Horizon, which needs to go to dry dock to repair issues that affect her maximum sailing speed.

Carnival Sunshine Completes Much Needed Dry Dock

The Sunshine-class Carnival Sunshine entered dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, on October 21, 2021. During the time in the dock, and as seen in the photos by Barcoz Por Cadiz, she received the new red, white, and blue livery, which has already rolled out to eight Carnival cruise ships along with the new Mardi Gras. She looked like she needed it as many months without guests had left Carnival Sunshine a little rusty.

Carnival Sunshine Before Dry Dock
Carnival Sunshine Before Dry Dock (Photo Credit: Barcos Por Cadiz)

Besides the new livery, the vessel mainly underwent standard maintenance in the technical and hotel areas during dry dock. This usually includes new carpeting, tiling, and standard maintenance, which Carnival cannot do while guests are onboard.

The 102,853-gross ton vessel is now finished with dry dock and making her way across the Atlantic Ocean, where she just sailed past the island of Madeira. It’s excellent timing for Carnival Cruise Line that the vessel has now completed her dry dock.

Carnival Sunshine After Dry Dock
Carnival Sunshine After Dry Dock (Photo Credit: Barcoz Por Cadiz)

In just a few weeks she will be sailing with guests again. Carnival Sunshine had been scheduled to officially return to service from Charleston, South Carolina, on January 13, but her return is now scheduled for December 19.

Carnival Sunshine Returns Early

Carnival Sunshine is one of two cruise ships scheduled to take over the cancelled cruises from Carnival Horizon, the other vessel being Carnival Liberty. Horizon suffered issues earlier this week that affected her maximum sailing speed, and as such, needed to go for an urgent dry dock.

Carnival Sunshine will return earlier than expected from her operational pause. So far, Carnival has scheduled three cruises for her, initially scheduled for Carnival Horizon. On December 19, Sunshine will sail on a 7-Day Exotic Eastern Caribbean from Miami. Ports of call include Princess Cays in The Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI; and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.

Carnival Sunshine at Sea
Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

The second voyage sails on December 26. This 5-Day Bahamas cruise, which also sails from Miami, calls in Amber Cove and is currently also scheduled for Grand Turk. Whether this call in Grand Turk will go ahead remains to be seen. This week Carnival changed the itineraries for three Carnival ships, of which two were due in Grand Turk.

The final cruise that Carnival Sunshine is currently scheduled to sail for Carnival Horizon sails on December 31, giving guests the chance to celebrate New Year’s Eve onboard. This 8-day voyage will call in the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao before finishing the voyage in Bimini, in The Bahamas.

From January 13, 2022, the 3,002-passenger vessel will be based in her original home port of Charleston, South Carolina. From here, she will sail a series of cruises to The Bahamas and the Caribbean ranging in length from 4-10 days.

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