Carnival Provides Update on Embarkation at Temporary Port

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Carnival Cruise Line issued a guest advisory showing revised embarkation times for those booked on Carnival Legend’s next cruise.

The ship, which was homeported in Baltimore before this week’s tragic bridge collapse, is temporarily based in Norfolk, which has caused schedule changes and ground transportation challenges for some booked guests.

Carnival Legend Pushes Back Boarding Times

Carnival Cruise Line has alerted guests booked on Carnival Legend’s March 31, 2024 departure that embarkation times have been pushed back by two hours. This is to allow sufficient time for guests to travel to the ship’s new, temporary homeport of Norfolk, which is about 230 miles south of Baltimore and a 4-hour drive, depending on traffic.

On March 27, 2024, the cruise line announced that Carnival Legend would operate from Norfolk, since the Port of Baltimore has been closed since March 26, 2024, when the cargo ship Dali lost power and rammed the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to fully collapse. The tragedy has caused the deaths of six people and shut down the fifth-largest port on the US East Coast.

Carnival Legend’s current sailing departed Baltimore on March 24, 2024, and will now conclude in Norfolk rather than Baltimore. The cruise line is providing buses to transport guests on that sailing back to Baltimore.

The embarkation advisory regarding the ship’s March 31, 2024 departure includes the new embarkation times as well as the address of the Norfolk terminal and information about parking, for those guests who intend to drive themselves to the new embarkation port.

The line also will provide limited bus service for guests who need assistance. The revised embarkation schedule shows a delay of two hours for each 30-minute time slot.

Carnival Legend Cruise Ship
Carnival Legend Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Wangkun Jia)

For instance, guests who were to embark between noon and 12:30 p.m. now will embark between 2 and 2:30 p.m.; those scheduled to embark between 12:30 and 1 p.m. will now board the ship between 2:30 and 3 p.m., etc. All guests must be aboard the ship in Norfolk by 7:30 p.m.

We are making arrangements for a limited number of buses to transport guests who need assistance with transportation between Baltimore and Norfolk. Shuttle service will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. and the final shuttle will depart Baltimore at 2:30 p.m.,Colleen Oliverio, vice president of guest services for Carnival Cruise Line, wrote in the guest advisory.

Read Also: Carnival Ships by Size: Biggest to Smallest

She added that transportation will also be available from Norfolk to Baltimore at the conclusion of the sailing. The advisory requested booked guests complete a survey indicating their interest in bus transportation. The survey was due back to the cruise line by 5 p.m. on March 28 so that an appropriate number of shuttle buses could be arranged.

The advisory included a welcome bit of news for guests — a $100 onboard credit per stateroom to assuage cruisers’ frustration with the changes.

Norfolk Cruise Terminal
Photo Credit: Kyle J Little / Shutterstock

We know this is an unexpected change of plans and we appreciate your understanding. The entire Carnival Legend team is looking forward to welcoming you aboard for a fun and memorable cruise,Oliverio added.

The March 31, 2024, cruise aboard Carnival Legend is a 7-day Eastern Caribbean voyage with port calls at Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; and Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.

Royal Caribbean Ship Also Impacted by Port Closure

Carnival Cruise Line is not the only brand coping with the fallout at the Port of Baltimore. Royal Caribbean has one ship based at the port, the 2,416-guest Vision of the Seas, which left the port on March 23, 2024, on a 12-night Caribbean sailing. The cruise was due to return to Baltimore on April 4, 2024, but will instead conclude in Norfolk.

Also, Royal Caribbean has switched Vision of the Seas’ homeport to Norfolk, temporarily. Cruisers planning to sail on the ship’s next two 8-night Bahamas cruises, departing on April 4 and April 12, will embark and debark in Norfolk.

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