Carnival Cruise Line has been finalizing travel plans for guests onboard Carnival Pride, now that the ship will remain in Kiel, Germany for emergency repairs.
The phased debarkation is considering what guests’ onward travel plans are, how charter flights have been arranged, which airports guests must reach, and how to get guests on to the cruise terminal in Dover, UK as necessary.
Travel Plans Underway for Carnival Pride Guests
The more than 2,000 passengers aboard Carnival Pride are finally learning and beginning to use travel plans from the now-needing-repair cruise ship.
Different options have been made available, depending on whether guests wished to return home immediately, want to stay onboard until their original flights in the next few days, or had planned to be back-to-back guests on the next, now-cancelled, cruise.
Carnival Pride is remaining in Kiel, Germany for unscheduled repairs to the propulsion system. The ship developed propulsion issues that reduced cruising speed on Tuesday evening, and rather than continuing on the original 12-night sailing, the last port of call – Gothenburg, Sweden – was cancelled. The ship then returned to Kiel for assessment and repair.
As the scope of the repairs and the need for special parts and expertise was determined, Carnival Cruise Line opted to cancel the ship’s next sailing – a 9-night European cruise visiting ports throughout the UK and Ireland.
Many guests already onboard, however, had planned back-to-back sailings and now need adjusted travel plans, as well as changes for travelers planning to join the ship on Friday, July 21.
Now, some of those travel plans have been finalized, and guests on early flights are already on their way home. Other travelers have opted to remain onboard Carnival Pride while docked in Kiel, awaiting repairs and what may be a shortened sailing for the next cruise.
Some guests are being accommodated on a charter flight and will have special immigration processing prior to debarking the ship on Friday. Hotel rooms and shuttles between the hotel and necessary airports for different flights have all been arranged.
A shuttle back to the Dover cruise terminal is also arranged, which will be necessary for travelers who drove their own vehicles to the cruise port.
When Will Carnival Pride Get Underway?
New difficulties have arisen, however, as Carnival Pride‘s Hotel Director, Alina Chefneux, explained in a notification to guests on Thursday, July 20.
“Obviously, the Port of Kiel did not anticipate our visit, or that we would be staying this long,” Chefneux explained. “Local officials have been very accommodating to support us, as we work to take care of all of you.”
Because additional cruise ships are scheduled to visit Kiel in the next few days, Carnival Pride must now move to a cargo dock, and guests will no longer be able to debark to explore the local area.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Europa, Costa Cruises’ Costa Firenze (the same ship destined to become Carnival Firenze in 2024), AIDA Criuses’ AIDAnova, MSC Cruises’ MSC Euribia, and other ships are all calling on Kiel over the weekend.
“For the next several days, only guests who must debark to transit to the airport will be allowed to disembark the ship. Immigration officials are making special arrangements to handle those guests, but cannot do so for large numbers of guests,” Chefneux said.
This information may not be welcome for passengers who have opted to remain onboard Carnival Pride and now find themselves without any opportunity to get off the ship.
Guests onboard have reported the crew members doing excellent work to provide superior service and extra activities, but it could quickly become tedious depending on the time needed for the repair work.
The wording of “several days” is also concerning, as it may indicate the repairs to the vessel could last longer than anticipated. Any shortened cruise for the next sailing may be very short indeed, perhaps only with 1-2 ports of call, rather than the six ports on the original itinerary.
The letter to guests did note that special technicians have already joined the ship to confirm repair plans, and the necessary parts are on the way so repairs can be made promptly.
Carnival Pride is scheduled to remain homeported from Dover, UK, through mid-September, before repositioning to Rome (Civitavecchia) to offer a short series of Mediterranean sailings. In late October, the ship will reposition to Tampa, Florida to spend the winter offering Western Caribbean and Panama Canal itineraries.