Daily Cruise News Update: March 7, 2022

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It’s a busy start to the week as Carnival Cruise Line officially celebrates its 50th birthday with the cruise ship meetup at sea. There is also news from Wonder of the Seas’ maiden voyage, Canada protocols for cruise ships, and Carnival Spirit restarting operations from Florida. Keep checking for even more developments as they come in through the day.

Canada Details Restart of Cruising and Protocols

Through Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Transport Canada released the long-awaited new health and safety guidelines for cruise ships today, March 7. 

As expected, the measures introduced by Transport Canada essentially mirror those implemented in the United States by the CDC. However, there are some exceptions. Guests wanting to take a cruise that departs from a Canadian port, or one that has a Canadian port as a port of call included, will need to take a PCR test within 72 hours before they board. 

CLIA in Canada reacted positively to the new Transport Canada health measures that make cruising possible again.

“With today’s announcement, cruise lines are preparing for a full schedule of sailings this year from April to November, with itineraries that will include ports and destinations on both Canadian coasts. Many months of work have led to this announcement by Transport Canada, and we are delighted to be coming back.”

Read the full report here.

Holland America Line All Clear for Alaska!

For the first time in two years, cruise ships are welcome once again in Canada. The country had banned all cruise ships from Canadian ports during the pandemic. Despite the cruise ban ending on November 1, 2021, the lack of health guidelines effectively prolonged that ban.

It does mean that major cruise lines that operate in the region such as Holland America Line can operate a full season.

Holland America Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Holland America Line

Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line: “The completion of this guidance by Transport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Public Health Agency of Canada, and port officials will allow us to sail our Alaska and Canada/New England seasons as planned. This is a positive step for everyone who loves to travel to these regions and for all of the businesses in Canada that we support through tourism.

The Seattle-based cruise line says it plans to operate several ships in Canada in the coming months, both on the east coast, exploring Alaska, and the west coast, exploring New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

Read the full report here.

Sprinkler Malfunction on Wonder of the Seas

During the Wonder of the Seas maiden voyage which departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 4, there was a slight malfunction to the surprise of the crew and guests. On Sunday afternoon at around 12-1:00 PM, the sprinkler system malfunction occurred causing them to release water on the Promenade, on deck 5.

It was not a major issue but caused a surprise when it looked like it was raining along the promenade! The area was cordoned off and nearby fire doors closed to contain the slippery floor. Later in the day the issue was all resolved and cleared up.

It’s common for some issues to occur onboard a new cruise ship, especially one as big as Wonder of the Seas, the world’s largest. The ship has already completed its first port of call in Labadee, Haiti on Sunday, March 6 and the next call will be at San Juan, Puerto Rico today, March 7.

Read the full report here.

Oceania Cruises Sets Dingle Day Booking Record

Oceania Cruises has set a new single-day booking record, with reservations for its 2024 Around the World in 180 Days voyage selling out within 30 minutes when bookings opened on March 2. Additional new reservations on the same day led to a nearly 12% increase over the cruise line’s previous record, which had been set in September 2021.

Oceania Insignia
Photo Credit: Ovidiu Curic / Shutterstock

The 2024 Around the World in 180 Days sailing will set sail from Los Angeles, California, on January 14, 2024, aboard Insignia, a Regatta-class ship that can accommodate 698 passengers at double occupancy, with space for up to 824 passengers when fully booked.

The 6-month cruise will visit stunning ports worldwide, from Hawaii to French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, China, Vietnam, India, Egypt, Greece, Spain, France, Iceland, and so much more, before arriving in New York City on July 12.

Read the full report here.

Carnival Cruise Line Ship Meetup

It’s a big day today (March 7) as Carnival Cruise Line officially celebrates its 50th birthday with a Carnival ship meetup. Seven vessels will meet in the Western Caribbean between Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, including  Carnival Breeze, Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Glory, Mardi Gras, Carnival Pride, Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Vista.

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

The ships will meet up at sea offering guests a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity and special events onboard each of the ships. Each “Sailabration” voyage starts from the terminals, which are decked out with 50th birthday banners and signage.

A wide range of social onboard to commemorate the 50th birthday such as specially curated dining menu, Carnival Birthday Beer, deck parties with guests being encouraged to wear the Carnival colors of red, white and blue, and lots more.

Carnival Spirit Resumes from Jacksonville, Florida

Carnival Spirit is setting sail this afternoon on its Sailabration voyage, a 5-day itinerary to The Bahamas that will include a once-in-a-lifetime meetup between six Carnival ships in The Bahamas on March 9 to celebrate Carnival Cruise Line’s 50th birthday.

Carnival Spirit will be joined by Carnival ConquestCarnival FreedomCarnival LegendCarnival Liberty, and Carnival Sunshine, and the meetup will be at sea between Eleuthera and Nassau.

Carnival Spirit Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

This return to sailing will be marked by celebrations at the port as well, including a ceremony attended by Carnival Cruise Line Vice President of Guest Operations Sarah Beth Reno and JaxPort Chair Wendy Hamilton to welcome the first guests on board.

Now that she has restarted sailing, Carnival Spirit will be offering 4- and 5-night cruises to The Bahamas. The 4-night cruises will call on Freeport and Nassau, while the 5-night cruises will visit Nassau and Princess Cays or Nassau and Bimini, depending on the sailing date.

Read the full report here.

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