Cruise News Update: October 8, 2022

Your cruise news update with the major stories from the past week, including from Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian and MSC Cruises.

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In this week’s cruise news update, we have coverage from Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises. The latest developments on new policy changes for misbehaving passengers, protocols, and exciting deployments.

Cruise News Update

Here we are with all kinds of cruise news from the past week across the major cruise lines. We have a mixture of stories today, including the largest-ever MSC Cruises deployment in the U.S. with five ships, new entertainment offerings on Carnival’s upcoming Carnival Celebration, Norwegian Cruise Line leads the way and drops all requirements, carnival resumes operations down under, and Carnival adds a fine in the hope to deter misbehaving passengers.

Five MSC Cruises to Sail from the U.S.

We start with MSC Cruises, which has pledged the line’s biggest season ever sailing from U.S. homeports, with five amazing vessels to set sail from various U.S. cities in the 2023-2024 winter season.

First to arrive will be the newest ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, MSC Seascape, which will debut in Miami on December 11, 2022. MSC Seascape will offer 7-night Western and Eastern Caribbean voyages from Miami, visiting some of the most popular ports of call in the region.

The Fantasia-class MSC Divina will offer 3-11 night sailings from Miami during the 2023-2024 winter season. MSC Magnifica, a smaller, Musica-class vessel, will offer shorter 3-4 night itineraries, also from Miami.

MSC Cruise Ship in Miami
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

MSC Seashore, sister ship to MSC Seascape, will be homeported from Port Canaveral from mid-November 2023, offering cruises from 2-7 nights. Finally, MSC Meraviglia, the first ship in the line’s popular Meraviglia class, will be based from New York from April 2023, offering 5-11 night sailings to Bermuda or The Bahamas, Florida, and Mexico.

Together the five ships can offer getaways for 19,600 guests per sailing based on double occupancy, or nearly 25,000 guests if all five vessels were fully booked.

New Entertainment to Debut on Carnival Celebration

Great anticipation has been building for many different features of the upcoming Carnival Celebration, the cruise line’s second Excel-class vessel.

From new neighborhood zone themes to the nostalgia showcase of the Golden Jubilee venue to new exclusive cocktails to the largest retail selection in the fleet, Carnival Celebration will have much to offer.

Now, Carnival Cruise Line has announced brilliant new entertainment offerings for the brilliant new ship.

Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Jouni Niskakoski / Shutterstock

New Playlist Production shows include “The Most Magnificent Circus” – an energetic and diverse story celebrating self-discovery and acceptance. “Color My World” will be an artistic love story blending street jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, and ballet dance with the best songs from indie rock and pop.

Even more amazing entertainment is scheduled to debut on Carnival Celebration as the ship settles in to service. Coming in December is “Visual Symphony” – a high-tech visual masterpiece using the ship’s LED screens. In May, “Carnival Rio” will debut onboard, which will be a vibrant Brazilian extravaganza parade.

There is so much to look forward to on the new Carnival cruise ship, which will debut from Miami, Florida on November 21 from the newly upgraded Terminal F.

Norwegian Cruise Line Drops All Protocols

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced the end of all COVID-related requirements from Tuesday, October 4, 2022. Now, the cruise line will welcome all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, without the need for any pre-cruise testing.

This update to the cruise line’s protocols is now more in line with global health and safety requirements, as many popular cruise destinations have eased their protocols in recent months, including some of the strictest holdouts for testing and vaccination requirements.

Norwegian Cruise Line Ship
Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

For example, Barbados, St. Kitts, and Grand Cayman have all recently relaxed their entry requirements, permitting more travelers to easily visit those destinations without additional testing or paperwork. Similarly, Canada removed all its travel protocols from October 1.

This will be a welcome move for guests eager to set sail at a time when proctored tests are becoming more challenging to find, as many testing locations have limited their hours or closed completely because of less demand for testing results.

While the cruise line has now relaxed all its pandemic-related health and safety protocols, any requirements for specific destinations that may remain must be adhered to and will be enforced for impacted cruises.

Carnival Cruise Line Resumes from Australia

The Carnival Splendor was welcomed into Sydney Harbor with great fanfare on September 30, 2022, ready to begin her first Down Under sailings since she left the market during the pandemic lockdown.

The special occasion, which was the conclusion of the vessel’s 23-night transpacific repositioning cruise from Alaska, is the first time a cruise ship has arrived in Australia with international passengers since early 2020.

As she was ready to set sail on Saturday, October 1, the cruise line had a special ribbon cutting to welcome guests back onboard.

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The ship departed Sydney that evening on a 4-night roundtrip sailing, with two days at sea and a visit to Moreton Island in Queensland on the itinerary. Carnival Splendor returned to Sydney on Wednesday, October 5.

The 113,300-gross-ton vessel will now offer several different itineraries for guests to enjoy, ranging from 3-11 nights and visiting a variety of exciting ports of call in Australia, New Zealand, and more, depending on the sailing date and exact itinerary.

Carnival Splendor, which entered the Fun Ship fleet in 2008, can host as many as 3,012 guests at double occupancy and up to 3,948 passengers when fully booked. Sydney is the ship’s designated year-round homeport for at least through mid-2024.

Carnival Adds a Fine for Misbehaving Passengers

In recent weeks, Carnival Cruise Line has amended and updated its Code of Conduct policy to clarify what types of behaviors are unacceptable, and why it is important to maintain a safe, respectful atmosphere for all guests to enjoy.

The initial changes and clarification to the policy were in response to several altercations on board different ships, including an incident aboard Carnival Magic sailing from New York in late June, as well as a second altercation aboard Carnival Elation sailing from Jacksonville in early July.

Now, the cruise line has quietly added costs to that policy, with the possibility of a $500 fine and other associated costs guests may bear if they violate the Code of Conduct.

Carnival Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Debbie Ann Powell / Shutterstock

So carnival now says that any violation of its Code of Conduct may result in a fine of $500 and reimbursement of expenses incurred by Carnival as a result of the detainment or disembarkation.

There is no clarification of how much the related expenses for detaining a guest during a cruise or debarking guests before the cruise ends may be, but such costs could be substantial.

It is important to note that the fine is not automatic, but “may” be applied to guests who disregard the cruise line’s code of conduct with rude behavior, physical violence, curfew violations, and other poor actions.

The cruise line also recently implemented a fleetwide youth curfew for guests age 17 and younger if not accompanied by an adult in their traveling party. Young passengers must be out of a ship’s public areas by 1 a.m. This change was implemented in early September 2022.

More Cruise Headlines

It sure was another busy week of cruise news, and of course, Cruise Hive has got all the coverage. Other stories include a massive new cruise port development in the Bahamas, Carnival Cruise Line guests noticing that something is missing on ships, cruise line extending its “Heroes Sail Free” program, cruise lines ditching the mask mandate for crew members, Bermuda removing all requirements, and so much more!

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