Carnival Cruise Ship Returning Late Due to Technical Issue

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Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard Carnival Elation to alert them that the ship will be late returning to Jacksonville, which will subsequently have a knock-on effect for embarkation for the next sailing. A technical issue is impacting the ship’s cruising speed, delaying the vessel by several hours.

Carnival Elation Delayed

Carnival Elation is experiencing an issue impacting her cruising speed, and therefore will be late returning to her homeport of Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday, February 1, 2024. Accordingly, this will also affect embarkation for the next cruise, which will be delayed for three hours while passengers debark the ship.

Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to travelers with notification of the delay and advice not to proceed to the cruise terminal until a final update is issued.

“The ship is experiencing an issue that is limiting its cruising speed and will be docking later than scheduled this morning. This will affect your embarkation, and our team is now revising the plans,” the notification sent early Thursday morning read.

While Carnival Elation is the only ship sailing from JaxPort on February 1, it is still necessary to delay arriving guests so the cruise terminal can be cleared of debarking passengers and parking areas can open up.

Carnival Elation Cruise Ship Overboard
Carnival Elation Cruise Ship (Photo Copyright Mellissa Mayntz / Cruise Hive)

“Since we must allow debarking guests to leave the cruise terminal before we can accommodate your arrival, please do not proceed to the cruise terminal until you receive our final update with your new terminal arrival appointment time,” the notification read.

The final update on revised embarkation plans was provided at 11 a.m., confirming the three-hour delay.

“Our engineers have resolved the issue and the ship is now in port,” the 11 a.m. notification said. “Please delay your terminal arrival appointment by 3 hours.”

This will permit adequate time for onboard guests to smoothly debark the ship and clear not only the cruise terminal but also the parking facilities, so arriving guests can be accommodated. All guests must be onboard by 5 p.m. for the ship to depart.

As compensation for the delay, all embarking guests are also being give $25 (USD) in onboard credit, “so you can enjoy lunch on us.”

Carnival Elation is the oldest ship in the Carnival fleet having debuted in March 1998, though she has been updated several times throughout her service life. The 71,909-gross-ton, Fantasy-class vessel can welcome 2,190 guests at double occupancy, or as many as 2,697 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled.

Carnival Elation recently experienced an outbreak of gastroenteritis, though this is not a factor in the ship’s delay and the outbreak was successfully mitigated with enhanced cleaning and other precautions.

Why the Delay?

The nature of the issue impacting Carnival Elation has not been disclosed. It is possible it could be a main engine issue that affects overall cruising speed, making the ship slower overall.

Carnival Elation Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

It is also possible the ship’s thrusters could be affected, which would impact her ability to safely navigate up the St. John’s River to the cruise terminal. Other electronic or computer malfunctions onboard might also impact the ship’s navigation and therefore require a slower speed.

Read Also: Most Ideal Hotels Near Jacksonville Cruise Port

The ship is returning from a 5-night sailing to the Bahamas that visited Nassau and Half Moon Cay, and is due to begin a 4-night Bahamas cruise that will visit Freeport and Nassau. There is no word yet on whether or not the next itinerary will be impacted.

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