Cruise News Update: Royal Caribbean Cancels, Carnival Policy, NCL

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Stay on top of the cruise news with Cruise Hive, the leader in cruise industry coverage. This week’s update includes coverage of Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean.

Cruise News Update

Let’s dive into this week’s cruise news update, with Cruise Hive’s coverage of major stories, including a TikTok influencer who shares how to secure a cruise cabin, Carnival Cruise Line still trying to explain its mobility scooter policy, MSC Cruises choosing Falmouth as its new Jamaica port call, P&O Cruises cancelling cruises due to a dry dock delay, Norwegian Cruise Line advising guests bound for Mexico ports to bring a passport, and Royal Caribbean cancelling all calls to Labadee in light of civil unrest in Haiti.

TikTok Influencer Capitalizes on Cabin Safety

A travel influencer on TikTok continues to attract huge numbers of followers and page views with her ideas on how to stay safe while cruising. Victoria, who posts as @victorias.way, gears her safety advice to women and solo travelers, but her tips can be helpful to anyone.

With 155.8K followers, her videos focus mainly on safety inside a cruise cabin, since all cruise ships have surveillance cameras and professional security guards onboard. Among her most viewed videos is one posted on February 17, 2024, which has so far garnered nearly 29 million views.

Cruise Passenger Cabin Safety
Cruise Passenger Cabin Safety (Credit: @victorias.way / fitzcrittle)

In the video, which was filmed on a Royal Caribbean ship, the influencer details how she secures her cabin before going to sleep. She makes sure the door is locked, after putting out the Do Not Disturb sign, then closes the peephole and creates a back-up lock using closet hangers and towels.

But that’s not all. She also activates a wireless security camera, places a piece of furniture against the door, and installs a doorstop alarm. Many viewers appreciate her safety tips while others suggest they are too drastic and could impact exiting her cabin in an emergency.

In a twist of fate, Victoria appears to have been sailing onboard Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas when one of the ship’s cabin stewards was arrested for allegedly hiding cameras inside guest rooms. The worker was taken into custody when the ship returned to her home port on March 3, 2024.

Cruise Line Still Grappling With Scooter Issue

Carnival Cruise Line continued to clarify its policy regarding mobility scooters onboard its ships, after many guests apparently misinterpreted the line’s rules. 

Earlier this month, the cruise line said it would more strictly enforce certain rules, including making sure guests’ scooters fit through the doorways of the cabins they booked.

It was an email announcement to guests booked in accessible cabins aboard Mardi Gras that started the controversy. Under the line’s policy, scooters will be measured at check-in, and if the device will not fit through the door of the booked cabin, it will not be allowed onboard. (If that happens, the guest has the option of renting a smaller scooter from a vendor at the cruise terminal.)

Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

Some guests took the enforcement announcement to mean that only collapsible scooters would be allowed on board, and others thought it meant that no scooters would be allowed at all. That’s when Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald took to social media to attempt to clarify the policy.

The problem, he pointed out, is that some scooter users tend to store them outside their cabins. This can lead to problems if an evacuation is ordered, and affects the cleaning staff’s ability to easily access staterooms and corridors.

Heald, who had received some 4,500 comments on the issue, also said that scooters could be left outside a cabin for two or three minutes, if a guest just needed to get something from inside the stateroom.

MSC Cruises Switches Jamaica Port Call to Falmouth

MSC Cruises’ MSC Seascape will call at Falmouth, Jamaica, rather than Ocho Rios, Jamaica, until a damaged dock at Ocho Rios is repaired. The 4,540-guest ship home ports in Miami and sails Caribbean and Bahamas cruises, some of which call at Jamaica.

Berth 2 at Ocho Rios was closed for repairs after it partially collapsed during bad weather on February 6, 2024. Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Magic was docked there when the incident occurred. Without Berth 2 operational, it is possible that not all scheduled cruise ships will be able to dock on busy days.

MSC Cruise Ship in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
MSC Cruise Ship in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (Photo Credit: byvalet)

To avoid the problem, MSC Seascape will instead call at Falmouth, a port about 40 miles to the west. The port opened in 2011 and was built in partnership with Royal Caribbean. It features dining and shopping venues, and public buildings that date back to the 18th century.

Booked guests will be updated about any changes to shore excursions, although the impacts of the altered itinerary are expected to be minimal.

Other cruise lines that call at Ocho Rios include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, TUI Cruises, and Princess Cruises. No other cruise line has announced a similar port swap.

New Dry Dock Date Forces Cancellation of Two Cruises

P&O Cruises cancelled two sailings aboard Iona, both departing in October 2025, and will instead dry dock the ship for a refurbishment. The dry dock originally was planned for March 2025, however, shipyard delays pushed back the schedule, causing the line to nix two cruises.

The cruise line, a Carnival Corporation brand, emailed the bad news to guests booked on the ship’s October 4 and October 18, 2025 voyages.

P&O Iona Cruise Ship
P&O Iona Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Peter Titmuss)

The 5,200-guest Excellence-class ship was to depart October 4, 2025 on a 14-night roundtrip voyage from Southampton, England, to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands. Her October 18, 2025 sailing, also roundtrip from Southampton, was a 7-night cruise to Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, Holland; and Zeebrugge, Belgium.

Guests booked on both impacted cruises will receive refunds and a £100 per person onboard credit if they rebook another P&O Cruises’ sailing. Following the dry dock, Iona is slated to operate a 7-night sailing, also from Southampton, calling at Bilbao, La Coruna, and Vigo, Spain, and Cherbourg, France.

NCL Says Bring Your Passport to Mexico

Norwegian Cruise Line is strongly urging guests booked on its cruises that call at Mexican ports to bring a valid passport with them on the sailing, for a variety of reasons.

In an email, the cruise line advised that, even if a cruise operates roundtrip from a US port, it’s important that all guests have a passport and take it with them if they leave the ship on shore excursions.

There is no requirement for US citizens to have a passport when cruising to Mexico, but certain situations could crop up where a passport is necessary. For instance, if a cruiser returns late from an excursion and his ship has already left the dock, he will need a passport in order to travel to the next port to rejoin the ship, even if that port also is in Mexico.

The cruise line also pointed out that if a guest misses his ship’s departure from a US port and wishes to join the ship at a foreign port, a passport will be required to travel to the port call by air. And then there are emergency situations where the lack of a passport can present multiple problems.

The notice came after some high-profile passport problems made headlines. In one case, two cruisers on a Carnival Cruise Line ship were injured during an excursion in Cozumel, Mexico, and were temporarily stranded there without passports in 2023.

Royal Caribbean Cancels All Calls to Labadee

Royal Caribbean temporarily suspended port calls to Labadee, its private destination on the north coast of Haiti, due to the civil unrest and gang activity that has thrown the island nation into turmoil.

The cruise line earlier had cancelled several types of shore excursions that typically depart from Labadee, instead keeping guests within the gated compound. However, just days after announcing those cancellations the line went a step further and suspended port calls across the fleet.

A statement from the cruise line said port calls to Labadee were suspended for seven days, with continued suspension on a rolling basis “with three days advance notification to our guests” sailing on impacted voyages.

Royal Caribbean Ship in Labadee
Royal Caribbean Ship in Labadee (Photo Credit: Solarisys)

Several ships were immediately affected by the decision, including Oasis of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Adventure of the Seas, as each was scheduled to call at the private destination on March 14, 15, and 17, respectively.

Itineraries were adjusted to provide an extra day at sea, with more time in other ports of call where possible. Also, more activities, games, and entertainment are being added to onboard schedules.

Royal Caribbean considers the suspension temporary and is continuing to monitor and evaluate the situation. The Labadee destination is about 130 miles away from the beleaguered capital city of Port-au-Prince.

More Cruise Headlines

Those were some of the top cruise news stories Cruise Hive covered in the past week, but there are more you won’t want to miss out on. Check out more of our stories, including Royal Caribbean’s new multi-year agreement with its spa operator, MSC Cruises rolling out new Mediterranean sailings for 2025, an Australian business tycoon reviving his plan to build Titanic II, Carnival Cruise Line issuing important notices to guests booked on an upcoming repositioning cruise to Seattle, and Royal Caribbean adding a new perk for top-tier loyalty club members.

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