Departure Times Shift for Carnival Ship – For More Than Two Years

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Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard upcoming sailings for Carnival Paradise to notify them of a shift in departure times – for more than two years’ worth of future sailings.

Instead of departing from Port of Tampa, Florida at 4 p.m. as originally planned, the ship will now be setting sail 30 minutes earlier, at 3:30 p.m.

This may seem like a minor change, but it can have a significant impact on passengers who may be planning to drive to the cruise port or who have already made pre-cruise travel arrangements.

Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship in Tampa
Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship in Tampa (Photo Credit: fitzcrittle)

This can be especially true for anyone who prefers a late embarkation, perhaps due to their travel time or because of work, school, or other commitments earlier in the day before beginning their vacation.

The change will take effect for Carnival Paradise departures beginning on July 4, 2024 through and including the October 14 departure, as well as the October 24 through and including the December 28 departure. Similarly, all Carnival Paradise sailings in 2025 and 2026 – every cruise – will depart at 3:30 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.

Carnival Cruise Line is notifying guests early to ensure they have adequate time to shift their travel plans, and urges all passengers to be sure they don’t miss their final boarding time.

“So we can get the fun started, all guests must be on board no later than the final boarding time specified on the boarding pass,” the notification read.

At this time, there are no itinerary changes for Carnival Paradise other than the homeport departure time change. The ports of call and times in port have not been shifted.

Depending on the departure date and cruise length, Carnival Paradise visits top destinations such as Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Bimini, Nassau, Belize, Roatan, Key West, and Jamaica.

Beginning in August 2025, Carnival Paradise will also be adding the new Celebration Key private destination in the Bahamas to select departures, bringing eager travelers to this highly-anticipated new port of call.

Why Is the Departure Time Changing?

Carnival Cruise Line has provided no details about why the departure time for Carnival Paradise has been shifted a half hour earlier for the foreseeable future.

Typically, the final boarding time for each sailing may be 60-90 minutes before departure, depending on the size of the ship. Carnival Paradise is one of the smallest ships in Carnival’s fleet, which means she has fewer guests, crew members, and supplies to board before each cruise.

Tampa Cruise Port
Photo Credit: Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

The 71,925-gross-ton Carnival Paradise is only slightly larger (by gross tonnage) than the 71,909-gross-ton Carnival Elation, her sole remaining sister ship in the Fantasy class. Carnival Paradise can only welcome 2,124 passengers at double occupancy (2,697 when fully booked), while Carnival Elation can welcome 2,190 travelers (2,697 at full occupancy).

Read Also: Carnival Ships by Size – Biggest to Smallest

Final boarding times are determined not only by ship size, but also by the practical time necessary to first debark all guests from the prior sailing. Then, any supplies must be loaded to provision the ship and it may be necessary to refuel the vessel while incoming guests arrive.

Other port operations, as well as tide schedules, navigational challenges in the harbor, and other ships in port, can also impact departure times for individual ships. The work schedules for harbor pilots and other port staff can also affect cruise ship departures.

Fortunately, with so much notice about changes, guests setting sail on Carnival Paradise should have no trouble adjusting their pre-cruise travel plans to ensure on-time embarkation to get their trip to paradise started 30 minutes earlier.

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