Carnival Cruise Ship Forced to Cancel Port of Call Due to Protests

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Reports from San Juan, Puerto Rico, show that Carnival Magic has been forced to cancel a port call to the city due to demonstrations in the port area. Initial reports stated that Carnival Magic’s call was due to the cancelation of an excursion operator’s service. However, local tourism officials were quick to deny that. 

It’s not the first time cruise ships have been forced away from San Juan. In 2019, protests against a former governor caused cruise ships to divert from the island in search of more friendly options. 

Carnival Magic Cancels Puerto Rico Call

Carnival Magic has been unable to make a call to the city of San Juan in Puerto Rico today due to protests against an energy company. The demonstrations are scheduled to take place in the old part of San Juan today, the same area where cruise ships dock and a popular area for cruise ship guests to walk around. 

The Port Authority confirmed the canceled stop today, Thursday, August 25. A spokesperson for the agency said that the cancelation was due to the fact that local tour and excursion operators had canceled their services for the vessel.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico

However, that news was quickly dismissed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Alliance spokesperson José Poupal. He rejected the information, claiming that the cancellation is directly tied to the demonstration called for today in Old San Juan, with the intention of protesting against LUMA Energy, the company in charge of the electrical grid on the island.

“Carnival was diverted by the protest against LUMA, so don’t blame the tour operators,” said Poupal to local newspaper El Nuevo Día.

The news will be a blow for those same tour operators. They were at the forefront of getting the cruise industry up and running again during the pandemic. Any canceled call from a cruise liner will mean a significant financial setback. 

No News On Replacement Port

Carnival Magic, which sails from her homeport of New York City, was scheduled to arrive in San Juan at 2 PM today and depart again at 11 PM. The plan for today for the 3,650 guests onboard the vessel is unclear.

Carnival Magic Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Mariusz Lopusiewicz / Shutterstock

So far, Carnival Cruise Line has not made any public announcements if the 128,048 gross tons Carnival Magic will be spending the day at sea or if the cruise line will replace the port call with a different, nearby port, given the late notice of the cancelation. The fact the vessel would not be due in San Juan until 2 PM, a day at sea would be more likely.

Carnival Magic is scheduled to be sailing to Philipsburg, St. Maarten, on August 26, followed by calls to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; and Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. Carnival Magic is due back in New York City on August 31.

Carnival Magic operates a series of cruises from New York City through September 24 with various destinations. The current Caribbean cruise is the last one for the vessel down south. In the coming weeks, the ship will sail three cruises to Bermuda and two voyages to Canada. 

The voyages to Canada will be visiting Saint John, New Brunswick; Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Halifax, Nova Scotia, before returning to New York City. From October 1, Carnival Magic will be sailing from Norfolk, Virginia, to the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Bermuda. 

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