Carnival Ship Expected to Return Home Late After Urgent Airlift

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The Dutch Coast Guard was involved in the rescue of a guest from the Carnival Celebration earlier today, August 18. The guest had suffered a medical emergency after the Excel-class vessel had left the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curacao. 

Due to the delay that the operation has caused, Carnival Celebration will possibly be arriving late in Miami for the following cruise.

Guest Disembarked by Helicopter from Carnival Celebration

Carnival Cruise Line has put out an urgent embarkation message for guests booked on the Carnival Celebration sailing departing August 20.

The ship could be returning back to Miami late, following a medical debark by helicopter on August 18. The medical emergency onboard Carnival Celebration prompted a speedy rescue operation involving the Dutch Coast Guard. 

Carnival Celebration had just completed a visit to the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba on August 15, Bonaire on August 16, and Curacao on August 17. She was making her way to Miami when the incident occurred onboard.

Although the cruise ship has resumed her course back to her homeport of Miami, the 183,521 gross tons vessel will likely arrive in Miami later than scheduled. Typically, arrival would be early, around 8:00 AM.

The late arrival could affect her subsequent cruise, a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, and guests sailing onboard who might need to re-arrange their flights.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, posted a message on his Facebook account detailing the rescue operation: “Early this morning, Carnival Celebration deviated course to disembark a guest who needed urgent medical care ashore. As a result, the ship will return to Miami later than scheduled, and embarkation for your cruise will be revised.”

“Of course, we must say a huge thank you to the medical team on the ship for all their diligence and care and consideration. We wish the guest a full and speedy recovery,” Heald added.

Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship
Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

Heald continued by saying that the cruise line will monitor Carnival Celebration’s progress throughout the day, and provide further updates by 4:00 PM Eastern Time.

The seven-day cruise sailing to the eastern Caribbean on August 20 will call on Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Guests booked onboard the August 20 sailing will need to keep in close contact with Carnival Cruise Line, to be kept informed about any possible delays to their embarkation time on Sunday.

Several Helicopter Rescues in the Past Months

The rescue of a guest onboard Carnival Celebration by the Coast Guard by helicopter is something we’ve seen more often in recent months. 

On April 29, 2023, we saw the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in action. They faced treacherous conditions to airlift a guest from Carnival Dream.

US Coast Guard Plane
US Coast Guard Plane (Photo Credit: CarlaVanWagoner / Shutterstock)

The severity of the situation became all too apparent when the initial rescue attempt had to be aborted; the aircrew was nearly forced into the water’s surface due to the adverse conditions. 

Undeterred, a second crew later capitalized on a brief weather respite to complete the critical medical evacuation.

Fast-forward to Friday, May 19, 2023, and the USCG was again called into action. An aircrew from Air Station Astoria was dispatched to conduct a medical evacuation from Celebrity Eclipse. The Solstice-class cruise ship was approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) off the northern Oregon coast at that time. 

Celebrity Eclipse was en route on a repositioning cruise, transitioning from Honolulu to Vancouver, when a guest onboard showed stroke-like symptoms and had to be airlifted to a medical facility ashore.

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