Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to passengers booked on the next cruise for Carnival Liberty to alert them to a delay for the ship, which will subsequently delay the December 2 debarkation and embarkation for several hours.
The ship is now en route to Port Canaveral, but is not expected to arrive until early afternoon, rather than the planned arrival that would have been early in the morning.
Carnival Liberty Delayed
Carnival Cruise Line emailed guests booked on the next sailing of Carnival Liberty on Thursday, December 1, 2022, letting them know that their embarkation the next day would be delayed.
“Our Fleet Operations Center in Miami has been actively monitoring the weather in the Bimini area,” the email read. “Unfavorable conditions are making it difficult for the ship to safely depart. This could impact the scheduled arrival time into Port Canaveral and your embarkation tomorrow.”
The Conquest-class Carnival Liberty was visiting Bimini in The Bahamas on Thursday as part of a 4-night cruise, with a scheduled departure time of 5 p.m.
High winds, however, compromised the ship’s ability to safely depart Bimini on time, and the ship remained in port until the winds died down sufficiently.
At the time of Carnival Liberty‘s scheduled departure, winds in Bimini were recorded at 15 miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour) from the north-northeast, with gusts as high as 25 mph (40 kph).
With those wind speeds and direction, large cruise ships – such as the 14-deck Carnival Liberty – could be pushed off course while navigating, which risks running aground on sandbars or other submerged obstacles. High winds can also cause difficulties for pilot guides and navigating around other nearby watercraft.
In March 2022, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape ran aground while departing Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, which resulted in damage to the cruise ship and five canceled cruises.
Ship Now Underway
Carnival Liberty was able to leave Bimini at approximately 7 a.m., and is currently en route to Port Canaveral. The ship is moving at top speed, 23 knots (26 mph / 43 kph), with an anticipated arrival of 3:30 p.m.
Port Canaveral is roughly 200 miles (322 km) from Bimini, though the ship’s actual travel route is slightly longer to remain in safely navigable channels. At top speed, the trip between the ports would generally take 7-8 hours, plus extra time for the cruise ship to dock.
Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests suggesting they sign up for text alerts to ensure they are aware of updated times for today’s embarkation.
For guests leaving Carnival Liberty later than anticipated, it is best to reach out to airlines if necessary to arrange for later flights.
Carnival Liberty‘s next cruise is a 3-night roundtrip weekend sailing to The Bahamas, calling on Nassau on Saturday, December 3 and spending Sunday as a day at sea before returning to Port Canaveral on Monday, December 5.
There has been no announcement about any further delays or itinerary changes, but it is possible the day at sea and port visit to Nassau may be switched to ensure adequate travel time and time in port, depending on what other ships may be visiting the port on either day.
All types of weather, from hurricanes and major storms to high winds and heavy fog, can impact a cruise ship’s navigation and cause delays or diversions to any itinerary.
Guests booked on any cruise should always allow for the possibility of such delays in their pre- and post-cruise travel plans, and stay in close communication with their cruise line for updates as their sailing date approaches.