We’ve got you covered on all the major headlines in this week’s cruise news update as cruise lines announce further cancellations and requirements begin to ease.
Cruise News Update
It was just another busy week across the cruise industry and we’ve got some significant cruise news updates that may not only impact your upcoming cruise, but could even be the start of further easing on cruise ship requirements.
There’s coverage on cancellations from Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, developments from Carnival Cruise Line, and an additional ship that is joining the fleet along with the cruise line adjusting its protocols. There is even news on a cruise ship restarting in Australia and one cruise line becoming the first to drop its pre-cruise testing requirement.
In This Article…
Costa Luminosa to Carnival Cruise Line
And one of the most unexpected stories is that the 92,600 gross ton Costa Luminosa, currently part of the Costa Cruises fleet, will soon become Carnival Luminosa and move to join Carnival Cruise Line. Carnival Luminosa will arrive to join the cruise line in November 2022, just prior to the debut of the line’s newest Excel-class vessel, Carnival Celebration.
After this delivery, Carnival Luminosa will operate seasonally from October through April from Brisbane, Australia, then reposition to Seattle to sail Alaska itineraries from May through September, before returning to Brisbane for the Southern Hemisphere summer season in 2023.
Because of the fleet change, Costa Luminosa‘s sailings from September forward will be canceled and Costa Cruises will be informing impacted guests of their options and alternatives. many might be thinking about what is going on with the Costa Magica, which was originally set to be transferred from Costa to Carnival. Well, that ship will now remain part of the Costa Cruises fleet.
Luminosa is a sister ship to the four other popular Spirit-class ships that already sail for Carnival: Carnival Spirit, Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride, and Carnival Miracle. Carnival Luminosa will be younger than all her classmates, having been christened in 2009.
Prior to joining the Carnival fleet, Costa Luminosa will be upgraded and rebranded in the familiar Fun Ship style, as well as take on a full Carnival Cruise Line crew.
Due to time constraints and shipyard schedules, however, the ship will not have all the popular Fun 2.0 branded spaces popular with Carnival cruisers.
Minor Carnival Protocol Adjustment
And we continue with Carnival Cruise Line as it has made just a minor adjustment to its Have Fun. Be Safe protocols on June 15, which could of course be very important for some cruisers.
As different travel restrictions and guidelines continue to be slowly eased in different regions, the cruise line is now permitting guests who are medically unable to be vaccinated to set sail without presenting a doctor’s note at embarkation to stipulate to their medical exemption.
Carnival says that while protocols continue to evolve guests are no longer required to provide a doctor’s note at embarkation on cruises going to the Caribbean.
This is just a small step, but does help with pre-cruise planning for those guests who cannot medically be vaccinated, as they no longer need to provide a letter from their doctor to be allowed to sail.
It is important to know that all other requirements do remain. This means that unvaccinated guests will still need to file for an exemption for their specific sailing, as well as complete all the required testing for their cruise.
Norwegian Viva Debut Delayed
Norwegian Cruise Line has done it again and delayed the debut of another new cruise ship. NCL has already delayed to the debut of the Norwegian Prima, but has now also delayed her sister ship the Norwegian Viva, which is currently under construction in Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy.
The ship’s inaugural June 15, 2023, and June 24, 2023 sailings have been canceled. The cruise line says that the reason for the delay is due to global supply chain constraints impacting industries worldwide and the related downstream construction delays at the shipyard.
The canceled sailings were both planned to be 9-night voyages, the first sailing from Lisbon, Portugal to Rome, Italy, calling on various ports in Spain, France, and Italy along the way.
The June 24 voyage was one-way from Rome, Italy to Trieste, Italy, calling on a number of popular Italian ports as well as destinations in Croatia, Slovenia, and Greece as well.
Norwegian Viva‘s first passenger sailing will now be a previously scheduled July 3, 2023 departure from Trieste, Italy to Athens, Greece. Once completed, the ship will be 142,500 gross tons and have a guest capacity of 3,215 at double occupancy.
Coral Princess Resumes Operations
The Coral Princess welcomed her first guests onboard in Brisbane since the global pause in operations. Sailing from the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal on June 16, the vessel is only the second cruise ship to set sail from an Australian port.
For the previous nine days, the ship has been preparing for her voyage, taking on provisions and ensuring that the vessel is ready for the strict COVID measures in Australia. She welcomed the first guests, including two that are staying on board for the next two years! If only we could do that too!
Jessica and Marty Ansen, a couple from Brisbane, embarked on two years of back-to-back cruising. The Ansens have already cruised 31 times with Princess and spent 1,173 days at sea. From Coral Princess’ departure until August 2024, the couple will sail on an incredible 53 different cruises, including two world cruises.
Coral Princess will offer guests a wide variety of cruises between July and August from the new cruise terminal. These range in length from 3-day short seacations to longer 12-day cruises along the Australian coastline.
The 91,627 gross tons Coral Princess, which has a capacity for 1970 guests, will have a short break from Brisbane between August and November. During that time the cruise ship will sail a 28-night circumnavigation of Australia. She returns to Brisbane in November, ready for the Australian summer cruise season.
Princess Cruises Cancellations
Princess Cruises is informing guests of cancellations that impact two ships. Princess Cruises has canceled the Baltic season for Regal Princess from April 9, 2023, through September 3, 2023. Royal Princess cruises in Asia are also no longer taking place from September 5, 2023, through October 10, 2023.
Regal Princess was scheduled to begin her season in the Baltic out of Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 24 after repositioning from Fort Lauderdale in Florida on April 9. However, the cruise line has now decided to cancel Regal Princess’ season through September 5, 2023, until the vessel begins sailings from New York.
In total, 18 itineraries are canceled, including those that can be combined into longer sailings. These cover the transatlantic voyage from the U.S. to Denmark, Baltic sailings, and return transatlantic voyage from Europe.
When it comes to Royal Princess, the cancellations impact multiple sailings. There are six sailings canceled, including those that are combinable. The cruises include departures out of Hong Kong, Brisbane and Sydney.
Princess Cruises said that the Royal Princess cancellations were due to recent deployment changes. The line did not go into further detail. So, the cruises impacted are from September 5, 2023, through October 10, 2023.
Viking Cruises Ends Pre-Cruise Testing
In accordance with the decision of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to end the mandate for pre-flight testing for travelers entering the United States, Viking Cruises has also ended its fleetwide pre-cruise testing mandate as of June 10, 2022.
So it means Viking Cruises no longer requires a pre-cruise test unless one is required by a destination. Also, select ocean voyages on the Viking Orion and expedition voyages on the Viking Octantis in the United States and Canada will continue to require a pre-departure test.
Viking is the first cruise line to drop the testing, and the big question is, will other cruise lines follow? Do remember that lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are following the CDC for their US departures, so any decision would have to be with guidance from them.
More Cruise Headlines
There is even more cruise coverage on Cruise Hive, including positive numbers at the Nassau Cruise Port, a popular item being removed from the Carnival Ecstasy, Costa Cruises christening its new LNG-powered flagship, Carnival Cruise Line resuming operations out of New York City, impressive charter numbers from Royal Caribbean, new dining details on MSC World Europa and so much more.