Your cruise news update on the biggest stories from the past week. It has been a mixture of developments with itinerary changes, cancellations, and new deployments for some ships.
Cruise News Update
If you’ve been busy this past week, you might have missed some major developments in the cruise industry, especially with all the cancellations and ship deployments.
We’ve got coverage on the Island Princess returning to service, an itinerary change for the first return voyage of the Crown Princess in Alaska, the inaugural sailing canceled for Norwegian Cruise Line’s new upcoming ship, a Holland America vessel cancels Asia cruises, a new homeport for Carnival Cruise Line on the U.S. West Coast and Royal Caribbean begins its 2022 Alaska season.
In This Article…
Island Princess Returns to Service
After a significant pause of more than two years, Island Princess resumed operations with a voyage sailing between Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles. The Coral-class cruise ship is the tenth vessel in the Princess Cruises fleet to resume operations after the global suspension.
The last voyage Island Princess sailed on was a sailing to repatriate crew members to Asia in April 2020. On April 27, she set sail to Los Angeles on a 14-day Panama Canal cruise and will end in Los Angeles on May 11.
From Los Angeles, Island Princess will be returning to Fort Lauderdale, following the same itinerary. From there, she will be repositioning to Europe on a 34-night cruise.
Two-thirds of the Princess Cruises fleet is now operational. Out of the 15 ships in the fleet, only Coral Princess, Crown Princess, Diamond Princess, Royal Princess, and Sapphire Princess remain on hold. It won’t be until September of this year that the entire fleet will be fully operational once again.
Norwegian Prima Inaugural Cruise Canceled
Norwegian Cruise Line has been forced to cancel the maiden voyage from Amsterdam, Netherlands, on August 17, 2022, for the Norwegian Prima, which is currently in the final stages of construction.
The cruise line said that the reason was due to supply chain challenges. Norwegian Pima is a new class vessel for the NCL and was scheduled to depart on an eight-night Nothern European cruise.
It now means that Norwegian Prima’s first voyage with guests will depart on September 3 from Amsterdam. The 10-night cruise will end in Copenhagen on September 13.
Norwegian Prima will have a busy inaugural season and will not remain in Europe for too long. The new ship will sail from Southampton, UK, on September 23 and spend time in New York City from October 6 and from Galveston in Texas from October 27.
Undoubtedly, guests will be disappointed with the cancellation of the much-anticipated Norwegian Prima cruise out of Amsterdam. As a result, guests will automatically receive a 100% refund back to the original form of payment.
In addition to the full refund and the return of the future cruise credit, Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a 25% discount on another cruise. The discount can be combined with all available promotions at the time.
Westerdam Sailings Canceled
Guests have been informed that Westerdam’s sailings in Asia have been canceled. A total of 11 sailings will no longer take place between September 25, 2022, through February 27, 2023.
The ship was scheduled to begin sailings in the region in October following a repositioning voyage from Seattle, Washington.
Instead of sailing in Asia, Westerdam will reposition to offer cruises in Australia and New Zealand. Depending on the original itinerary, guests will automatically be rebooked later in the year or in 2023.
There will be a $200 onboard credit for those impacted guests who want to sail Australia and New Zealand, South America, and Asia from fall 2022 through spring 2023, along with the new sailings onboard Westerdam once they are released.
The cancellations in Asia don’t impact Westerdam’s return to service in Seattle on June 12, 2022. She will be the final ship in the Holland America fleet to return to service and one of six ships sailing Alaska this summer.
Crown Princess Itinerary Change
The Crown Princess’s May 7 sailing to Alaska has been changed. The cruise line informed guests in a letter that scheduled engine maintenance has forced several changes to its scheduled ports of call.
The scheduled maintenance means that Crown Princess cannot operate at her full speed during the upcoming voyage. While Princess ensures that the safety of guests and crew is in no way compromised by the lack of speed, the maintenance does come as a surprise. The vessel will be on its first cruise in more than two years.
Crown Princess will no longer be calling at Ketchikan on Thursday, May 12. Instead, Princess Cruises has included a call to Icy Strait Point from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM on Wednesday, May 11.
The vessel will also arrive at the first port of call, Juneau, at 3:30 PM on Monday, May 9, instead of noon. The arrival to Skagway is one hour earlier, at 6:00 AM instead of 7:00 AM, due to the various changes.
The reason for the scheduled engine maintenance is unclear at this time. While vessels do need regular maintenance to keep them running effectively, it seems strange that this maintenance would happen during the first voyage after two years of downtime. Guests booked on this voyage will receive a refundable credit of $100 applied to the onboard account.
Carnival Cruise Line Begins Cruises from San Francisco
It was a historic day as Carnival Cruise Line expanded its west coast operations and began sailing from San Francisco for the first time in its 50-year history. Carnival Miracle welcomed guests onboard at the Port of San Francisco on April 28 to start a season of 19 cruises through spring and summer.
The Spirit-class cruise ship set sail on a four-day cruise to Baja Mexico. The vessel will be making a call to Ensenada in Mexico and two days at sea. The first sailing will be followed by the first of a series of 11 ten-day cruises to Alaska.
Carnival Miracle will also be sailing four- and five-day voyages to Baja Mexico. The ship’s deployment in San Francisco will end with a 15-day Carnival Journeys cruise to Hawaii, departing on September 15, 2022.
It’s not just San Francisco getting all the attention this year on the U.S. West Coast. It’s the biggest season ever for the cruise line in Alaska, with a total of three ships sailing the region. There will be a total of 49 departures from San Francisco and Seattle.
Royal Caribbean Begins Alaska Season
Radiance of the Seas is the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to sail to Alaska this summer. Three others will join the Radiance-class cruise ship in the coming weeks.
Departing from Vancouver on April 29, the first cruise is a 7-night voyage that will visit Ketchikan, Sitka, and Skagway. The ship will be sailing through the spectacular scenery in the Inside passage, including a visit to Tracy Arm Fjord.
The 2,100-guest Radiance of the Seas is no stranger to Alaska, having spent several seasons in the state. After the season in Alaska, Radiance of the Seas will be based in New Orleans, from where she will be sailing a series of four- to nine-night cruises to the Western Caribbean.
More Cruise Headlines
Those are just a handful of the cruise stories from the week, there are even more, including Carnival price increase being implemented from May 1, Disney Cruise Line reveals summer 2023 deployments, the first charcoal sauna at sea revealed for the new Prima-class ships, The Golden Jubilee venue revealed for the new Carnival Celebration cruise ship, a shortened itinerary for the Carnival Breeze, the fourth Virgin Voyages vessel to be named Brilliant Lady and a big leadership change for the Carnival Corporation.