Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that Carnival Pride will sail a shortened 6-night itinerary following the completion of its propulsion repairs, and that new cruise will end as previously scheduled in Dover, UK on Sunday, July 30. This is welcome news for guests who have opted to remain onboard the vessel or waiting in the hopes that some sailing would be possible, rather than a complete cruise cancellation.
Carnival Pride to Sail Shorter Itinerary
The original cruise Carnival Pride was scheduled to sail was to have begun on Friday, July 21, from Dover, UK. The 9-night itinerary had planned calls in Edinburg, Kirkwall, and Stornoway in Scotland; Belfast in Northern Ireland, Holyhead in Wales, and Cork in Ireland, before returning to Dover.
Now, guests have been informed that the ship will instead sail an abbreviated, 6-night itinerary calling on Belfast, Holyhead, and Cork, with two days at sea.
While this change is dramatic, it is a far cry from cancelling the sailing entirely, which was initially feared until the repairs to the ship could be assessed, technical experts brought onboard, and the repairs completed. The time for the ship – now docked in Kiel, Germany as it undergoes repairs – to transit back to Dover also had to be considered.
“We anticipate completing the repairs and getting the ship back to Dover Monday morning,” the email read. “We are happy to share that we will be able to operate a cruise with an abbreviated itinerary departing from Dover Monday, July 24, and returning as originally planned on Sunday, July 30.”
Much of the confusion around this sailing has been due to the large number of back-to-back cruisers already onboard Carnival Pride, as well as guests who had already arrived in Europe prior to joining the July 21 departure. Those guests’ travel plans needed significant accommodation, and while a number of guests have opted to simply cancel their cruise, others have chosen to wait out the repairs in the hopes of setting sail.
Further Compensation Before Embarkation
At this point, guests still have several options. Any passenger who does elect to take the cruise will receive a prorated 3-day refund of their cruise fare, including taxes, fees, missed shore tours, and pre-paid packages such as drinks, Wi-Fi, or gratuities. All guests on the shortened sailing will also receive a $500 (USD) onboard credit per stateroom.
Guests who have already arrived in Europe will receive an additional reimbursement for hotel accommodations and meals for Sunday, July 30 (having already received that compensation for Friday and Saturday), to hold them over until boarding the ship on Monday.
Any travelers who have not yet departed for Europe are still eligible for the offer for hotel and food reimbursement for Sunday, as well as reimbursement for flight change fees if such flights may be rebooked. Carnival does acknowledge that doing so may be difficult at this late notice during the busy summer travel season, but still wanted to make the offer.
Guests who do not set sail will still receive a full, 100% refund of their cruise fare, a 100% future cruise credit (FCC) as previously offered. The FCC must be redeemed by July 31, 2024, and can be used on any Carnival Cruise Line sailing.
Guests Must Call to Cancel
In previous communications, Carnival Cruise Line had indicated that all guests who had not yet departed for Europe before Carnival Pride developed the propulsion difficulty would be automatically refunded for their cruise.
This has changed, however, in light of the revised itinerary. All guests who want to cancel are asked to call the cruise line or their travel agent no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2023 to confirm cancellation and refund processing. This will help clarify how many passengers will be onboard the 6-night cruise as well as expedite refund processing for those who forgo the sailing.
Carnival Pride Repairs
Carnival Pride developed propulsion issues that impacted the ship’s maximum cruising speed on Tuesday evening, July 18. Because of the nature of those issues, the ship returned to Kiel, Germany for emergency repairs, cancelling the last port of call planned for the current 12-night cruise.
As repairs have been underway, guests onboard were initially permitted to leave the ship to explore Kiel (which they had already visited earlier in the sailing). The ship has now been moved to a cargo port to accommodate other scheduled vessels, however, and guests must remain onboard unless they are cancelling their cruise plans and opting to leave for home.
The 88,500-gross ton, Spirit-class vessel can host 2,124 guests at double occupancy, and as many as 2,610 passengers when fully booked. Carnival has not confirmed how many guests are onboard nor how many have opted to leave the ship, but summer sailing seasons are generally popular and ships often sail full during these months.