Cyclone Forces Itinerary Change for Short Carnival Cruise

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Carnival Luminosa is offering a quick, 4-night getaway cruise departing on Sunday, December 10, 2023, but just hours before embarkation guests learned that their cruise would not be going to the planned port of call.

The ship is based from Brisbane, Australia and due to the influence of Tropical Cyclone Jasper, will be unable to sail north as intended. Instead, the ship will sail south to a different destination, but guests have compensation and cancellation options.

Carnival Luminosa Itinerary Change

Carnival Luminosa is departing Brisbane, Australia on Sunday, December 10, but will not be sailing to Airlie Beach as originally scheduled.

Due to severe weather associated with Tropical Cyclone Jasper, the ship will instead visit Sydney on Tuesday, December 12 – the same day the ship was to have been in Airlie Beach.

“Carnival Luminosa, which is departing Brisbane on Sunday Dec. 10, is unable to visit scheduled port of Airlie Beach due to unfavourable weather conditions. The ship will instead visit Sydney,” a Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson told Cruise Passenger. “The safety of our guests and crew is our priority and we thank guests for their understanding.”

The ship’s departure from Brisbane, as well as the scheduled return on Thursday, December 14, is not impacted. Because of the itinerary change, all pre-paid shore tours for Airlie Beach booked through Carnival Cruise Line will be automatically refunded.

The 92,600-gross-ton Carnival Luminosa can welcome 2,260 guests aboard at double occupancy, or as many as 2,826 passengers when fully booked. Also onboard are 1,050 international crew members ready to weather the storm.

Because Airlie Beach is the only port of call scheduled for this short cruise, the change to visit Sydney instead dramatically changes the expectations for the getaway.

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Airlie Beach is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and offers a relaxed, resort-town vibe for visitors. The local population is just over 1,200 residents, ensuring a relatively quiet, intimate experience.

Sydney, on the other hand, is the capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia, with a population of 5.3 million. A diverse metropolitan area, Sydney is far more bustling and fast-paced.

Compensation Offered

Because of this dramatic change, Carnival Cruise Line is offering impacted guests significant compensation. If guests do choose to set sail to Sydney, they will receive a $100 onboard credit, and of course, all the onboard cruise experiences – dining, entertainment, spa facilities, deck parties, etc. – remain the same.

Guests could also opt for a full refund, however, if they prefer not to take the cruise to Sydney. This might be the case for passengers who are themselves residents of Sydney but had been looking forward to a quieter getaway, or for travelers who have already visited Sydney previously.

Carnival Luminosa Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

It should be noted that Carnival Cruise Line is not necessarily obligated to offer any compensation for itinerary changes due to weather, as these natural circumstances are very much outside the cruise line’s control.

Carnival Cruise Line Australia’s ticket contract (section 2a) reads: “Many factors may affect Our ability to provide any particular planned itinerary. These include weather or environmental conditions … or other unforeseen circumstances. As a result, We cannot guarantee itineraries.”

Furthermore, the contract also addresses compensation for itinerary changes (section 24b): “It may be necessary to change the itinerary due to safety, compliance with Laws, weather or … other factors outside Our control. We will not provide any compensation in connection with the revised itinerary unless Consumer Laws require otherwise.”

Tropical Cyclone Jasper Update

Tropical Cyclone Jasper has already impacted itineraries for two Royal Caribbean International ships, in addition to Carnival Luminosa. Quantum of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas have also both dramatically changed their schedules to steer clear of the storm.

Cyclone Jasper Track
Cyclone Jasper Track

Other cruise ships sailing in the Queensland or South Pacific regions may also have itinerary changes to stay safe from the storm’s rough weather in the next few days. Depending on any damage to the region, more itineraries may be impacted if ships have to arrange alternatives to ports that may be unable to reopen.

Tropical Cyclone Jasper has weakened to a Category 2 storm, but may strengthen again before making landfall in Queensland early next week. It is still too early to confidently predict the storm’s exact landfall or strength, though gale force winds and severe waves are likely along much of the northeastern Australian coast.

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