Carnival Cruise Line has decided to alter cruise itineraries while two countries in the Caribbean work through their coronavirus policies regarding cruise ship visits.
Carnival Ships Cancel Calls
To make sure guests continue to be able to enjoy time ashore and not experience any delays at Caribbean ports Carnival ships have canceled their visits to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. This comes after both nations recently denied the MSC Meraviglia over fears of the coronavirus even though there were no cases of COVID-19 onboard.
Cruise Hive received the following statement from Carnival Cruise Line regarding the changes:
We are implementing some itinerary changes on voyages scheduled to call on Grand Cayman and Jamaica this week. A number of Caribbean destinations continue to work through their policies with regards to cruise ship visits. And while we are following all U.S. CDC and World Health Organization screening protocols and guidelines, we want to avoid any possibility of a visit to a destination where there is uncertainty or we risk being turned away.
To be clear, there is no health situation on board to trigger this concern, but we are making this change to avoid even the possibility of a disruption. We understand some guests will be disappointed and trust they will understand that this decision is being made to protect their vacation and maximize their experience with us.
Carnival Freedom Changes
Passengers on the current 7-day cruise out of Galveston, Texas received a letter onboard that the vessel will no longer be making its scheduled visits to Montego Bay in Jamaica on March 4 and George Town, Grand Cayman on March 5.
The reason is related to both of those cruise destinations working through their policies in relation to cruise ship visits and procedures. To make sure guests still have a fun-filled vacation the Carnival Freedom will now be calling at Key West in Florida on March 3, Belize on March 5 and the call at Cozumel will remain the same on March 6. The Carnival cruise ship will arrive back at the Port of Galveston as normal on March 8.
Carnival Horizon Changes
The Vista-class ship which is currently sailing 6-day western Caribbean cruise has also been impacted by Jamaica and Grand Cayman dealing with cruise ship policy changes. Carnival Horizon was originally scheduled to call at Ocho Rios, Jamaica on March 3, George Town in Grand Cayman on March 4 and then Cozumel in Mexico on March 5.
The ship has now shifted to an eastern Caribbean cruise with calls at Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.
Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador also posted the following statement:
Protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation with respect to COVID-19 and travel advisories.
Our medical experts are coordinating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and have we implemented enhanced screening, prevention and control measures for our ships, guests and crew. We are also contacting our guests prior to departure to make sure they are aware of any restrictions or changes to itineraries.
Since the travel restrictions have gone into place, all of Carnival Cruise Line’s ships have been cleared to sail multiple times and there have been no operational cancellations.
Since there are no identified public health issues specifically related to our operations, our ticketing and cancellation policies remain in place.
And of course the crew will be there to make sure provide the fun you have been looking forward to so much.
Even though there are coronavirus fears spreading across the cruise industry it is important to note that no Carnival cruise ship has any cases of the virus. The cruise line has already implemented strict health measures to protect guests and crew and continues to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
This also comes after the Carnival Fascination was refused to call at St. Lucia as the island was not prepared to deal with testing for the virus. The Carnival ship headed to Barbados where a test later confirmed that a crew member did not have COVID-19. You can read more about that right here.