Cruise News Update: March 26, 2022

More itinerary changes this past week as two cruise ships are being repaired, along with coverage across the major cruise lines in another cruise news update.

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More itinerary changes this past week as two cruise ships are being repaired, along with coverage across the major cruise lines in another cruise news update.

Cruise News Update

Time to get your weekly cruise news update and it has been a mixture with developments on two cruise ships needing repairs, cruise ships finally making a return to Grand Cayman, the final journey for another Fantasy-class vessel, another sailing canceled for Norwegian Escape, and a new Miami-themed zone for Carnival’s upcoming new mega-ship.

Cruise Ships Return to Grand Cayman

It has been a long wait, but finally, cruise ships have started to return to Grand Cayman in the western Caribbean after two years. The Disney Magic became the first cruise ship to return on March 21, 2022.

Guests received a warm welcome as they went ashore via tender boats. Disney Magic visited with approximately 2,500 passengers onboard. The Disney cruise ship visited Grand Cayman as part of a five-day cruise that departed PortMiami, Florida, on March 19.

Carnival Paradise and Carnival Sunrise had the honor and are the first of several Carnival Cruise ships visiting the island in the next few weeks. The two vessels anchored at Grand Caymon on March 23.

Carnival Cruise Ships in Grand Cayman
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Glory visited the Cayman Islands on March 24. On April 6, there will be three Carnival cruise ships in port simultaneously; Carnival Vista, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Sunrise. Carnival Pride will visit on April 8 and 12 and Carnival Horizon on April 13.

Celebrity Cruises will bring four of its ships to the Cayman Islands in the next month. Celebrity Edge on April 1 & 13, Celebrity Equinox on April 17, Celebrity Apex visited on March 24 and will call again on April 7, and Celebrity Reflection on March 30.

Ships from Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, and Princess Cruises are also scheduled. Following Cayman Island’s government decision to lift the ban on cruise ships, a total of 21 ships will visit from Monday, March 21, through April 17. At that point, the next phase for restarting cruise ship traffic will begin.

Third Carnival Escape Cruise Canceled

More guests have now been impacted due to Norwegian Escape running aground while departing Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic on March 14, 2022. The cruise line informed guests that their March 26 departure from Port Canaveral has been canceled.

The reason given by NCL was due to repairs taking longer than expected. The March 26 voyage was originally scheduled to be a 7-day Caribbean itinerary, and Puerto Plata was to be the first port of call on the voyage, following a day at sea.

Norwegian Escape in Port Canaveral
Photo Credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

Other calls included St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Tortola in the U.K. Virgin Islands, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in The Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay. The itinerary was also to have included a total of two days at sea.

While the cruise line has not provided an update on the extent of the damage to Norwegian Escape, the ship was evaluated after it was freed from the sandbar and remained docked in Puerto Plata as guests were returned home. The grounding and damage have already resulted in the cancellation of the March 12 and 19 sailings.

Norwegian Getaway to Port Canaveral

While Norwegian Getaway will still sail a limited number of Baltic itineraries this spring, the bulk of her European itineraries have been canceled and the ship will be redeployed to Port Canaveral, Florida in mid-June instead.

This follows after the cruise line already opted to remove St. Petersburg, Russia, from its Baltic sailings immediately following the start of the situation in Eastern Europe in February. Norwegian Cruise Line was the first major cruise line to make such sweeping itinerary changes, but other cruise lines have followed suit. Then, on March 15, the line opted to remove Norwegian Getaway from the region entirely.

Norwegian Getaway Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Wojciech Wrzesien / Shutterstock

Now we know the ship will officially depart Europe on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, leaving from Copenhagen, Denmark, on her way to her summer homeport. The 13-day itinerary will end in Port Canaveral on June 27.

Norwegian Getaway will now offer a variety of Caribbean itineraries through the summer months, ranging from 5-10 days depending on the sailing date. The ship will continue to offer previously scheduled Caribbean sailings into November, before she repositions to New York for the winter, where she will offer Bermuda and Caribbean sailings.

Carnival Sensation Departs for Scrapyard

The news of Carnival Sensation‘s retirement first broke in early February when it was announced that the vessel would not restart passenger operations. The ship had previously been scheduled to begin cruising from Mobile, Alabama, on March 7, 2022, but those sailings were reassigned to Carnival Ecstasy.

At first, Carnival Sensation was simply delayed, but it was soon confirmed that the ship would not return to service. The vessel was listed for sale and quickly sold for scrap.

Carnival Sensation departed from her holding position in The Bahamas on March 18, and is currently sailing across the Atlantic Ocean for the final time. She is scheduled to arrive in Aliaga ship-breaking facility in Turkey, on April 4, 2022.

Carnival Sensation Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Michael Rosebrock / Shutterstock.com

While the ship has not hosted passengers since the industry-wide pandemic shutdown began more than two years ago, Carnival Sensation has still served the cruise line well in recent months. Instead of sailing commercial voyages, the ship has been used to house crew members transitioning in and out of quarantine and isolation periods.

Carnival Sensation first entered service in 1993 as the third of the Fantasy-class vessels. The ship is 70,367 gross tons and has a guest capacity of 2,052, with 920 crew members.

Carnival Glory Repairs

The cruise line is planning some repairs to the Carnival Glory on the upcoming voyage that departs New Orleans on Sunday, March 27, 2022. A letter was sent to guests informing them that repair work would commence on Sunday on the ship’s docking machinery.

Due to work taking place through the cruise, the scheduled call to Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan in Honduras on Wednesday, March 30, has been canceled. The port will be replaced with Progreso, Mexico, on March 29.

Carnival Glory in New Orleans
Photo Credit: Port NOLA

No further details on the repair work were detailed in the letter, but Progreso would be the obvious choice for repairs on a Conquest-class vessel.

Located in Progreso is a repair facility by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, the same company which built the Carnival Glory in 2003. The pier in Progreso is also significantly larger than at Mahogany Bay.

There are no other changes to the seven-day western Caribbean itinerary, which also includes three sea days, along with a scheduled call in Belize on March 31 and then Cozumel, Mexico on April 1. Carnival Glory will return to its homeport in New Orleans on April 3.

New Carnival Celebration Themed Zone

Carnival Cruise Line has revealed new details about a distinctive themed zone to be unveiled aboard the upcoming Excel-class Carnival Celebration. The new zone will pay homage to the cruise line’s headquarters, the ship’s primary homeport, and where Carnival Cruise Line began – Miami.

The Miami-themed neighborhood is to be called “820 Biscayne” – after the address of Carnival’s original headquarters – and will celebrate the culture, architectural styles, and flavors of the home city where the line was founded in 1972.

Carnival Celebration Themed Zone
Rendering Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The zone will include the same features as sister ship Mardi Gras’ La Piazza zone, including the popular Rudi’s Seagrill and Cucina del Capitano specialty restaurants, though their layouts and decor will be reimagined with a tropical, Miami vibe. Similarly, the ship’s 24-hour pizzeria and the deli eatery will also have more colorful and themed appearances. Bar 820 will also offer Miami-themed drinks.

Carnival Celebration is currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and will debut in Miami in November 2022.

More Cruise Headlines

it was just another busy week of cruise news! We’ve got even more interesting coverage, including a Royal Caribbean cruise ship returning to the U.S. after 10 years, a new venue revealed for Disney Wish, Tornado getting very near to a cruise ship in New Orleans, three Royal Caribbean ships to sail in Australia in the 2023-24 season, relaxed rules from the CDC and lots more.

Cruise News Update

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