As the cruise industry continues to be at a standstill in Australia, Carnival Cruise Line has decided to remove its last remaining ship from the region for the time being, and Carnival Splendor is heading to North American waters instead. This means more Australia sailings have been canceled, and speculation is high about where the ship may be homeported next.
Carnival Splendor Returning to North America
In an email to booked guests on February 4, Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests that its Concordia-class Carnival Splendor will temporarily relocate to North America. The letter states…
“Given the uncertainty of when cruising will resume in Australia, we are repositioning Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor to temporarily operate in North America and extending our pause in Australian departures.”
The repositioning of Carnival Spirit was announced earlier this week, and that ship has already departed Dubai, where she was waiting for redeployment orders, and is now heading to Jacksonville, Florida, to restart sailings on March 5, 2022. Carnival Spirit is replacing Carnival Ecstasy at that port, which is moving to Mobile, Alabama to complete her final voyages before leaving the Carnival fleet entirely in October.
It is not yet known where Carnival Splendor may be situated as a homeport. The announcement letter only indicates the ship will be positioned in North America, but no specific homeport is named. Those details will likely be forthcoming soon as new itineraries will be planned.
More Australia Sailings Canceled
With both Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor now leaving Australia, additional sailings have to be canceled in that region. According to Carnival Cruise Line’s travel advisory website, Carnival Spirit‘s cruises have been canceled through and including October 5, 2023, and now Carnival Splendor‘s Australia sailings are canceled through and including September 26, 2022.
No cruise ships have resumed operations in Australia since the industry-wide shutdown began in March 2020.
Compensation Offered – And Can Be Used on U.S. Sailings
Guests affected by these cancelations are being offered an Enhanced Value option for Future Cruise Credit (FCC). If guests choose to accept the FCC for their canceled booking, they will receive 100% of their fare as an FCC, plus additional onboard credit that can be used on a future cruise.
The amount of the onboard credit will vary based on the length of the canceled cruise. Guests on sailings six nights or longer will receive AUD $900 (approximately $630 USD) per stateroom of onboard credit for a new cruise if booked by July 31, 2022 for sailing by March 31, 2024. For cruises of five nights or shorter, the onboard credit will be AUD $450 (approximately $315 USD).
Because there will be no Carnival sailings in Australia at least for several more months, Carnival Cruise Line ambassador John Heald clarified on his Facebook page that onboard credit can be used for cruises setting sail from the United States.
“First of all let me apologize for this cancellation, obviously we were desperate to hear good news from the Australian government but sadly it doesn’t look like it’s coming to pass any time soon,” Heald said. “If you book a cruise with us in the United States you can still use your onboard credit. I hope this helps and once again my apologies and I really really hope to see you soon.”
If guests prefer not to rebook, they can also request a full refund of their cruise fare returned to their original form of payment, but they will not receive the Enhanced Value onboard credit. Guests have until July 31, 2022, to make their choice. The Enhanced Value FCC is the default option and no action is needed on guests’ part to secure that compensation.