Cruise News Catch-Up: Carnival Ship Breaks, Cancellations, and Something Unexpected

Let's catch up with our weekly round-up of cruise news, including the Carnival ship that broke down, cancellations, and something unexpected.

It’s time once again for the weekly round-up of the top cruise stories from Cruise Hive, where you’ll find all of the cruise news coverage you don’t want to miss from Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Disney Cruise Line.

Cruise News Update

Cruise Hive has you covered with all of the exciting developments in the world of cruising, and in this week’s round-up, we’ve got Carnival Cruise Line adding new menu items across its fleet, Princess Cruises canceling a 2024 Japan voyage, Norwegian Dawn arriving early at a port in England, Carnival Pride’s propulsion problem impacting her next sailing, a sneak peek at the ship Disney Cruise Line is renovating, and a video showing a questionable enchilada served onboard Carnival Sunshine going viral.

New Menu Items Expanding Fleet Wide at Carnival Cruise Line

Foodies booked to sail aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships in the coming weeks and months have reason to celebrate, after the line announced it would expand its newly-revealed enhanced menus to all ships fleet-wide.

New culinary treats had been introduced in recent weeks aboard Carnival Dream, and include some special dishes created by the line’s Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse, also a celebrity chef, cookbook author, and TV personality.

The new menus are being phased in gradually, and the first ship, after Carnival Dream, to offer the cuisine choices is Carnival Conquest, which added the new items in time for her July 17 departure on a Western Caribbean itinerary.

Carnival's Emeril Lagasse and Chefs
Carnival’s Emeril Lagasse and Chefs

Later this month, Carnival Horizon will present the new menus to guests, followed by the August introduction of the cuisine choices onboard Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Vista, Carnival Radiance, and Mardi Gras. By early 2024, all of the line’s ships will offer the new menu, which features a rotation of some 60 new dishes.

Highlights of the new menu items include “Emeril Selects” options, which are curated by Lagasse and offer “Beef Carpaccio” “Coffee Glazed Roast Duck” and “BBQ Salmon,” among others.

Charter Prompts Line to Cancel Japan Cruise

Another cruise line has canceled a voyage in favor of a full-ship charter, disappointing guests who were looking forward to a Japan cruise in 2024.

Princess Cruises told guests booked on a 19-day “Southern Islands & Sea of Japan” voyage on Diamond Princess, due to depart on May 16, 2024, that the sailing is canceled and offered two options. Guests can receive a full refund of all monies paid, or they can opt for a similar itinerary departing on June 22, 2024, also on the 2,670-guest Diamond Princess.

Diamond Princess Cruise Ship
Diamond Princess Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: HIROSHI H / Shutterstock)

The alternate sailing is one day shorter, and the itinerary does not include four ports scheduled on the canceled cruise, including Aomori, Sakata, Toyama, and Sakaiminato, all in Japan. Two new ports are on the alternate itinerary, however – Kagoshima and Akita.

The June voyage operates roundtrip from Tokyo, the same embarkation and debarkation port as the canceled cruise. Full-ship charters that result in the cancelation of scheduled cruises are not uncommon.

In May 2023, for example, Norwegian Cruise Line canceled nearly all of the Norwegian Spirit’s Alaska cruises in 2024. Initially, the line gave no reason for the cancellation, but a month later revealed the ship would be chartered to a Taiwanese tour company for cruises in Asia.

Cruise Ship’s Early Arrival a Boon to Local Economy

What a difference a day makes. Local businesses around the Port of Portland, in southwest England, reaped the benefits of unexpected revenue when Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn arrived a day before her scheduled call.

The surprise arrival, which was due to inclement weather elsewhere, brought cruise guests into the port and then into the shops, restaurants, and pubs nearby, allowing the local economy to enjoy a business boost.

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Ship in Portland
Norwegian Dawn Cruise Ship in Portland (Photo Courtesy: Portland Port)

The Dawn-class ship that entered service in 2002 regularly calls at Portland on summer season itineraries that explore the British Isles and Ireland, plus France and Belgium. Portland is a jumping-off point for inland excursions to Stonehenge, for example, and to other popular destinations, given its location on the country’s famed Jurassic Coast.

When the 2,340-guest Norwegian Dawn pulled into port early, port officials quickly organized its free shuttle bus services and transported about half of the cruise guests into the nearby beach town of Weymouth, where stores and eateries eagerly welcomed them.

The port in 2023 is having a good season, with cruise-related revenues expected to inject around $13 million into the local economy.

After Repairs, Carnival Pride to Sail Shorter Cruise

A propulsion issue that affected the maximum cruising speed of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Pride landed the ship at the German port of Kiel for repairs, but the line announced that the problem is being corrected and the ship’s next sailing will operate, albeit three days late.

Booked guests had expected to depart from Dover, UK, on July 21, but the mechanical problem will delay the start of the sailing to July 24. The original 9-night itinerary has been cut back to 6 nights, with calls at Belfast and Cork, Ireland, and Holyhead, Wales, with two days at sea.

Carnival Pride Cruise Ship
Carnival Pride Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Mario Hagen / Shutterstock)

Three calls in Scotland, to Edinburgh, Kirkwall, and Stornoway, were cancelled, plus the revamped itinerary had to accommodate the voyage from the repair dock in Kiel to Dover.

The delay was especially complicated because many guests had arrived in Europe to join the ship, and an unknown number of guests who had booked back-to-back voyages were already onboard the ship. Those onboard while the ship is in the repair dock must remain on the ship, which has a capacity for 2,124 guests.

The cruise line offered various forms of compensation, such as refunds to those who decided to opt out of the sailing, and hotel reimbursements for those who had arrived before embarkation. All guests on the shortened cruise will receive a $500 onboard credit per stateroom. Carnival Pride entered service in 2001.

Industry Gets Unofficial Peek at New Disney Cruise Line Ship

Cruise watchers got a sneak peek at a ship Disney Cruise Line is renovating at a Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The cruise line has kept the ship under wraps since buying the vessel, Global Dream, from bankrupt Genting Hong Kong in the fall of 2022.

It was a German news outlet that obtained photos of the ship when workers at the yard opened the construction hall gates for a breath of fresh air, and enabled a glimpse of the vessel. Some 380 shipyard workers are involved in the refit.

New Disney Cruise Ship
New Disney Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Ostsee Zeitung)

Disney Cruise Line has revealed very little about the revamp of Global Dream, other than to say the ship will be deployed to Singapore in 2025. The line has hinted that the renovated ship will offer more restaurants and family areas. The 208,000-gross-ton ship is expected to accommodate 6,000 guests.

From Singapore, it is likely the new Disney ship could sail to destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, or India.

Meyer Werft shipyards also built the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wish. The company is currently constructing two more ships for the cruise line, Disney Treasure, due to debut in 2024, and another unnamed sister ship scheduled to launch in 2025.

Video of Carnival Sunshine Enchilada Goes Viral

A short video clip showing a not-so-appetizing enchilada served to a guest aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Sunshine went viral on TikTok, putting the cruise line into a kind of cheesy spotlight.

The clip zooms in and out of the Mexican dish and shows what appear to be slices of processed cheese melted on top of the lightly-burnt enchilada. A light green sauce it was sitting in doesn’t look like a gourmet embellishment either, with one commenter calling it a “puddle of Gatorade.”

It seems likely that the entree was served in the ship’s main dining room, considering that the clip shows a Carnival bread and butter dish typically used in that venue. The video, at last count, had 1.3 million views and more than 90,000 likes.

It isn’t clear when the video was taken; the ship is currently sailing a 5-night Bahamas cruise to Nassau and Half Moon Cay. Given the presentation of the entree filmed in the video, it is good to know that Carnival Cruise Line is in the process of updating its menus (see news brief above).

More Cruise Headlines

Now that you’re up to date on the top cruise news stories of the week, Cruise Hive has even more coverage to offer, including Explora Journeys taking delivery of its first ship, a new Mediterranean itinerary from MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line guests missing out on a port call in Iceland, Regent Seven Seas Cruises revealing the godmother of its newest ship, and a special booking offer from Margaritaville at Sea.

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