Cruise News Update: July 9, 2022

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It’s time to catch up on all the major developments from the past week with another cruise news update. There is coverage on the largest cruise lines in the world, including itinerary changes, cancellations, and a positive step forward in pre-cruise testing.

Cruise News Update

In this week’s cruise news update we’ve got the latest developments across the major cruise lines, including a positive step in easing requirements with Norwegian Cruise Line dropping pre-cruise testing.

There have also been some engine issues with two cruise ships, the adjustment of Baltic itineraries for two Celebrity cruise ships, and anticipation growing for an additional ship to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet.

MSC Seaside Engine Problem

The MSC Seaside cruise ship is suffering from an engine issue resulting in the vessel being unable to reach its maximum cruising speed. The cruise line is informing guests that MSC Seaside will undergo a dry dock to resolve the problem.

The cruise line confirmed in a letter to guests that an electrical issue impacted the engines of the MSC Seaside prior to arriving in Genoa, Italy, on July 2, 2022.

MSC Seaside is still sailing its current voyage, which includes multiple debarkation ports with adjusted arrival and departure times due to the cruising speed.

MSC Seaside Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: byvalet / Shutterstock

By still sailing, guests can still debark at their required port despite a slight change to the itinerary. The July 4 sailing includes stops in Palermo, Ibiza, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa and Civitavecchia.

Once the July 4 cruise ends as scheduled on July 11, 2022, MSC Seaside will be taken out of service for an immediate dry dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo for repair.

The 153,516 gross ton ship will remain at the Italian shipyard until July 18, 2022. From July 19, MSC Seaside will return to service as usual with the engine issue repaired.

Celebrity Cruises Changes Baltic Itineraries

As regional tensions continue to be a concern for travelers and tourists, Celebrity Cruises has decided to remove calls to St. Petersburg, Russia, from its 2023 Baltic sailing itineraries.

In an email sent to travel partners, Celebrity Cruises has announced removing St. Petersburg from itineraries next year.

Celebrity Apex Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

Two Celebrity Cruises vessels are impacted by this change – the 122,210-gross ton, Solstice-class Celebrity Silhouette and the 130,818-gross ton, Edge-class Celebrity Apex. Both ships will have four itineraries changed to remove St. Petersburg.

The cruises are not being canceled, and the cruise line is working to provide an alternative port of call for travelers to enjoy.

  • Celebrity Silhouette – May 13, June 5, July 1, and July 24 departures
  • Celebrity Apex – May 25, June 25, July 19, and August 21 departures

If travelers prefer to cancel their 2023 cruises, they will receive a full refund of all monies paid, including non-refundable fees, but they must request the refund no later than July 19, 2022.

As the impacted sailings are not canceled, guests can still remain on Celebrity Silhouette or Celebrity Apex to enjoy amazing ports of call, even if one of them will not be St. Petersburg. Depending on the sailing, the ships will still be visiting outstanding destinations like Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, and more.

NCL Drops Pre-Cruise Testing

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced on July 6, 2022, that it will drop pre-cruise testing requirements for all its brands beginning August 1, 2022. The corporation oversees Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The announcement does not impact all sailings, however. Cruise departures from all homeports in the United States, Canada, Greece, and Bermuda must still follow pre-cruise testing protocols. This is a huge step in returning cruising to pre-pandemic conditions and easing travel restrictions.

Norwegian Cruise Line Funnel
Photo Credit: zkolra / Shutterstock

This does mean, that Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises embarking at many European homeports will no longer require pre-cruise tests.

In August, Norwegian Cruise Line has voyages setting sail from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Southampton, Reykjavik, Rome, Stockholm, and Venice.

This tremendous step will lighten the restrictions on travelers as it can be more difficult to find testing centers in the limited time frames just before a cruise, and at-home tests are not always an option. This does not mean that other health and safety protocols are being relaxed.

Norwegian Cruise Line said it “continues to strongly recommend all guests be up to date on vaccination protocols and test at their convenience prior to travel.” The company also clarified that its SailSAFE health and safety program will continue and be adapted as necessary, and each cruise brand will continue to adhere to all local restrictions and guidelines at ports of call.

Quantum of the Seas Engine Update

Royal Caribbean International has provided guests with an update on the engine issues with the Quantum of the Seas. Although the problems are not safety-related, the cruise line announced last week that it would be changing itineraries.

As the vessel cannot reach its maximum speed, Royal Caribbean has decided to skip sailing through Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier.

Quantum, of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Venturelli Luca / Shutterstock

While disappointing, it does mean that guests do not miss out on any time in port. Impacted guests were already informed that the sailings departing on August 1, August 8, and August 15 had been adjusted.

The issue seems to be that one engine requires repairs while another will soon need scheduled maintenance. Royal Caribbean said Quantum has four engines. One requires some repair and there’s a delay in receiving the parts needed due to supply chain issues.

Additionally. Another engine is scheduled for routine maintenance soon, which means a reduction in the overall speed during these sailings.

Carnival Luminosa Latest

Anticipation grows for the Carnival Luminosa, which transfers from sister line Costa Cruises in just a few months. Carnival Cruise Line has started the build-up to the new addition to the fleet by launching a new dedicated page and releasing a first-look rendering of what she will look like when sailing for Carnival.

By looking at the newly released render of Carnival Luminosa, the iconic whale tail funnel that all other ships in the fleet feature will not be added. The funnel will remain unchanged but still be painted with red, white and blue carnival colors.

Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship
Render Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The new dedicated page allows guests to sign-up and be the first to know about newly released Carnival Luminosa itineraries and promotions. That page is now active and comes just ahead of when the cruise line will officially release the ship’s itineraries, based out of Australia.

What we already know about Carnival Luminosa itineraries is that the ship will operate seasonally from October 2022 through April 2023 out of Brisbane, Australia.

The vessel will reposition to offer cruises out of Seattle, Washington, sailing to Alaska from May 2023 through September 2023 before heading back for deployment out of Brisbane for the Winter season.

Carnival confirmed in June that Costa Luminosa will join the Carnival fleet in September 2022 and will begin operations down under in November 2022 following a modest refurbishment.

The ship first entered service in 2009 for Costa Cruises at 92,720 gross tons and a guest capacity of 2,826.

More Cruise Headlines

There is even more coverage across the cruise industry, including another altercation between guests on a Carnival cruise ship, two next-generation hydrogen-powered cruise ships to be constructed for MSC-owned Explora Journeys, a former Genting vessel arrives in India for scrapping, a new stateroom experience by Princess Cruises and so much more. It was just another busy week of cruise news!

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