Cruise News Update: November 20, 2021

A week full of cruise news updates as more vessels restart, along with ship itinerary changes, testing and new ships.

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With the cruise restarts well and truly in full swing, cruise lines are finally catching up on new ship naming ceremonies. We’ve got everything you need to know on that, along with all the latest cruise news across the major cruise lines, including more itinerary changes.

Cruise News Update

Here we go with just another busy week of cruise news as even more cruise ships make a return to service. So, we’ve got news about the naming ceremonies for two new cruise ships sailing out of Florida, itinerary changes for multiple Carnival cruise ships, a change in pre-cruise testing for Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean restarting from Los Angeles after more than 10 years away, and a significant milestone for Celebrity Cruises.

MSC Seashore Naming Ceremony

The new MSC flagship, MSC Seashore became the first cruise ship to celebrate its naming ceremony at a cruise line private island. After arriving in Miami on November 14 for the first time and after completing her inaugural Mediterranean sailings, MSC Seashore departed on a special two-night voyage.

MSC Seashore at Ocean Cay
Photo Credit: Conrad Schutt

The sailing visited MSC’s private island of Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, where godmother Sophia Loren christened the vessel. It’s the 16th ship in the fleet that Loren has named, with MSC Cruises having a total of 10 more ships on order or under construction; no doubt there will be plenty more to name.

MSC Seashore will commence guest operations on November 20 from PortMiami in Florida. She will be sailing a range of different cruises, including five-night to regular seven-night itineraries and even longer 16-night options. The Seaside EVO class ship is 169,400 gross tons and has a guest capacity of 5,877 along with 1,648 crew members.

Odyssey of the Seas Naming Ceremony

Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas was finally christened during a naming ceremony on board the ship in Fort Lauderdale on November 13. The Quantum-Ultra class ship was christened by godmother Erin brown, the first Bahamian to be a godmother to a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Brown is a paratriathlete and competed in the Paralympic Game qualifiers.

Odyssey of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Odyssey of the Seas already started sailing from Flordia on July 31, but due to several delays due to the pandemic, only in November, the ship was officially named during a special two-night voyage that also included a call to the cruise line’s private island of Perfect Day at CocoCay.

The vessel is sailing on 6-night and 8-night cruises to the eastern, western, and southern Caribbean, as well as CocoCay in the Bahamas. In April 2022, Odyssey of the Seas will be based in Rome, Italy, for Meditteranean cruises.

Carnival Cruise Itinerary Changes

Carnival Cruise Line has informed guests and travel agents of multiple itinerary changes that impact four vessels. For Carnival Sunshine out of the Port of Charleston, 12 sailings have been altered. The ship is set to resume cruise operations from the port on January 13, 2022.

Carnival Cruise Line Ships
Photo Credit: SeregaSibTravel / Shutterstock.com

Carnival Breeze, which restarted cruises out of Galveston, Texas in the summer, has eight sailings that are altered. Carnival Liberty, which will resume cruises from port Canaveral on February 11, 2022, has a total of four sailings revised. Carnival Ecstasy also has six sailings that are changed for departures out of Jacksonville.

The cruise line did not say the reason for the changes in the communication that was sent out.

Carnival Vista Homeport Change

With the future Carnival Jubilee cruise ship being based out of Galveston, Texas in 2023, it does mean that another Carnival cruise ship will have to make way. Carnival Vista, which is currently sailing year-round from the Port of Galveston will shift to Port Canaveral in Florida in November 2023.

Carnival Vista Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: SeregaSibTravel / Shutterstock.com

The final cruise from Galveston will be a six-day Western Caribbean itinerary including a call at Costa Maya, Belize, and Cozumel, with a return to home for the final time on November 10, 2023. From Port Canaveral, Carnival Vista will operate five-, six and eight-day itineraries to the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Norwegian Cruise Line Pre-Cruise Testing

Norwegian Cruise Line informed guests on November 15 of a change for pre-cruise testing, which will go into effect on sailings from January 17, 2022. Guests will no longer have to go through two tests before their cruise as the testing at the terminal during embarkation will no longer be a requirement. Guests will only have to do their test at home.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ship
Photo Credit: hbw_pictures / Shutterstock.com

The reason for the change is to make the check-in process more streamlined. It also brings NCL in line with other cruise lines that only require guests to undergo one test. However, guests will still have to show a negative test result taken within two days before departure and an extra day for international passengers.

The good news is that the pre-cruise testing at the terminal is not going away, and if guests cannot prove a negative test result at embarkation, they can use the option from Norwegian Cruise Line. Pre-cruise testing at the terminal will cost $99 per person.

Royal Caribbean Begins Cruises from LA

Royal Caribbean returned to Los Angeles after more than a decade away! Navigator of the Seas restarted its operations and departed the Port of Los Angeles with guests onboard on November 19. The first guest sailing follows a special two-night voyage where invited guests could preview Royal Caribbean’s new offering from California.

Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Joe Hendrickson / Shutterstock.com

The ship is now sailing its highly anticipated year-round season of three-night weekend to four- and five-night weekday cruises to Catalina Island, California, and the Mexican Riviera. Port visits include Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. There is also the option to combine into a longer week-long voyage with visits to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, Mexico.

Major Milestone for Fourth Edge-Class Cruise Ship

The first steel was cut on November 17, 2021 at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, for Celebrity Ascent, the fourth ship for the Edge class of ships from Celebrity Cruises. The monumental ceremony included company executives signing the ceremonial first cut of steel, a tradition for new ship construction as the physical building of a ship begins, moving beyond the planning and development phases.

Celebrity Ascent Steel Cutting
Photo Courtesy: Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Ascent is slated to debut in early 2023, when she will join the Edge Series alongside her sister ships Celebrity ApexCelebrity Edge, and Celebrity Beyond. The future vessel is set to be approximately 140,600 gross tons with a guest capacity of more than 3,000.

The Edge-class ships are rising to new heights with luxury and innovation, and include such features as The Retreat, a luxurious set of suites with unparalleled amenities and exclusive spaces. The ships have the ultimate in refined details, including private plunge pools, the Magic Carpet floating multiuse space, nature-inspired wellness spas, and so much more.

More Cruise Headlines

So those were just a handful of the cruise stories from the week, we’ve got even more over on cruisehive.com including the godmother announced for the Carnival Radiance, MSC Seascape reached a major construction milestone and was floated out, Disney Cruise Line requires vaccinations for ages 5 and above, cancellations for the Carnival Sunrise due to a scheduled maintenance and Carnival Cruise Line restarted operations from Port Tampa Bay in Florida.

Carnival Vista Docked at Port of Galveston

Feel free to discuss this topic and all things cruise at our new boards. A place where readers can ask questions, help their fellow cruisers and general cruise discussions on cruise lines and ports.

And if you like, feel free to cast your vote in the 2021 Cruise Ship Awards covering a range of categories, including best cruise ship and best cruise line.

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