Carnival Cruise Ship Late Returning to Homeport, Embarkation Delayed

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Guests eager to board Carnival Elation on Thursday, April 25, 2024 will have a few extra hours to wait as the ship is delayed in her return to Jacksonville, Florida. Because of the delay, embarkation has subsequently been revised and boarding guests have been advised to adjust their arrival time to the cruise terminal.

Carnival Elation Delayed

Carnival Elation has not been able to return to JaxPort at her scheduled arrival time, and embarking guests have been advised of the delay and asked to adjust their arrival times. Text and email notifications were sent to impacted guests alerting them to the change.

“The ship will be arriving later than scheduled and embarkation for your cruise has been revised,” the text message explained. “Please delay your terminal arrival appointment by three hours.”

The email notification has a bit more information. “The ship is experiencing an issue that is limiting its cruising speed and will be docking later than scheduled Thursday morning,” it said.

Both communications have the same details for embarkation to be delayed by three hours.

Guests choose their terminal arrival appointments in the days leading up to their sailing date, opting for the time that best suits their travel plans. This is the time when they will be checking in and verifying documentation as they board the ship.

With the delay, all guests will now be boarding the ship later than expected. For example, if a traveler had selected an 11 a.m. arrival time, they should now plan to be at the cruise terminal at 2 p.m. instead.

Carnival Elation Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The delay is not only to accommodate the ship’s late arrival, but also to ensure debarking passengers can smoothly exit the cruise terminal and leave the parking facilities before embarking guests arrive. This will help avoid overcrowding that could cause further delays.

Despite the delay, all travelers must be onboard Carnival Elation no later than 5:30 p.m. so the ship can depart JaxPort. That departure time has been pushed back to accommodate the ship’s late arrival, as the vessel was originally scheduled to depart Jacksonville at 3:30 p.m.

Why the Delay?

Various reasons could cause such a delay, such as heavy fog that limits visibility as the ship navigates up the St. Johns River, propulsion difficulties that impact the ship’s maximum speed, thruster problems that may limit maneuverability, or tidal conditions that require schedule adjustment for safer sailing.

On February 1, 2024, Carnival Elation was delayed for three hours for an unspecified technical issue, which had the same impact on embarkation as today’s delay. In mid-March, the ship was delayed again, this time for heavy fog.

The email notification today does indicate a technical issue. Furthermore, guests onboard have indicated some mechanical problems.

“Our technicians are working on the repairs,” the email said. “It may be necessary to revise our itinerary. We’ll provide more details at embarkation.”

Carnival Elation Cruise Ship
Carnival Elation Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Becky Osborne)

Carnival Elation will be sailing a 4-night Bahamas itinerary, visiting Freeport and Nassau before returning to Jacksonville on Monday, April 29. It is possible that one or both port visits might be adjusted, or one port call could even be cancelled to accommodate a slower sailing speed.

The 71,909-gross-ton, Fantasy-class Carnival Elation is one of the oldest ships in Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet and has been welcoming guests since 1998. The ship has been upgraded and refit several times in her long service life, and is a popular ship for travelers who prefer a smaller, more intimate cruise experience instead of the more recent, much larger ships.

Read Also: All Carnival Cruise Ships By Age – Newest to Oldest

Carnival Elation can host 2,190 passengers at double occupancy, and up to 2,697 guests when fully booked with all berths filled. The ship is the only vessel currently homeported from Jacksonville, Florida, and offers 4- and 5-night Bahamas cruises.

In July 2025, the ship is scheduled to be one of the first to visit the new Celebration Key, Carnival Cruise Line’s private destination on Grand Bahama island that will offer a distinctly Bahamian ambience along with Carnival’s characteristic fun.

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