Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests aboard nine different sailings – three for Carnival Dream and six for Carnival Sunshine – with news of itinerary changes that include swapped ports, modified port times, and changes of port orders, but nothing has been said about why such changes are being made.
As the earliest impacted sailings are in November, booked guests have plenty of time to adjust their travel plans if preferred.
Itineraries Changed on Two Ships
A total of nine cruises with dates ranging from November 2023 through November 2024 are being altered, with sailings on both Carnival Dream and Carnival Sunshine affected.
For the applicable dates, Carnival Dream is sailing from Galveston, Texas, while Carnival Sunshine is homeported from Charleston, South Carolina.
Carnival Dream Itinerary Changes
Three 2023 sailings are being changed for the 128,250-gross ton Carnival Dream, one in November and two in December. All three impacted cruises are 8-night Eastern Caribbean voyages, and all are scheduled to call first on Key West, Florida, followed by Freeport in The Bahamas. All three cruises also have a call in Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas.
It is the third port of call that is being impacted, however, in the following ways (listed by 2023 departure date):
- November 4 – Princess Cays is being replaced with Half Moon Cay
- December 22 – Half Moon Cay is being replaced with Princess Cays
- December 30 – Half Moon Cay also replaced with Princess Cays
Port times for the altered visits are also being slightly adjusted, though not significantly.
Both Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay are private island destinations developed by Carnival Corporation for use by any of their vessels, and both offer a variety of watersports, beach activities, and other options for guests to enjoy.
Carnival Dream can welcome 3,646 guests, and is home to more than 1,300 international crew members who seek to provide excellent service on every sailing.
Carnival Sunshine Itinerary Changes
A total of six sailings for the 102,853-gross ton Carnival Sunshine are being adjusted, though somewhat more dramatically than the changes made for Carnival Dream.
Depending on the sailing date, private islands are being swapped, port times modified, and port orders reversed. The impacted cruises are all 5-night cruises to The Bahamas, with changes as follows (listed by departure date):
- November 6, 2023 – Port order reversed, Half Moon Cay replaced with Bimini
- November 11, 2023 – Port order reversed
- February 3, 2024 – Port order reversed and Half Moon Cay replaced with Princess Cays
- March 25, 2024 – Half Moon Cay replaced with Freeport
- June 8, 2024 – Port order reversed, visiting Princess Cays instead of Half Moon Cay
- November 9, 2024 – Replacing Princess Cays with Bimini
The port times are being “slightly” modified for all the adjusted sailings.
Carnival Sunshine is the first in her modified “Sunshine” class, having originally been Carnival Destiny before a massive refit in 2013 that gave her a completely new look and ultimately, a new name. The ship can welcome 3,000 guests for amazing, fun-filled vacations.
Why the Changes?
The itinerary change notice sent to affected guests gives no explanation about why these cruises have been adjusted, but it is not unusual for cruise lines to modify itineraries somewhat as schedules are refined in the months before sailing.
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As the earliest modified cruise is still more than eight months away, booked guests have plenty of time to make adjustments to their travel plans or even change their sailing if they prefer.
“Thank you for your understanding,” the email reads. “We look forward to welcoming you aboard for a FUN and memorable cruise.”
It is possible that the cruise line is simply seeking to balance schedules in order to ensure the best possible experience for guests, especially at private islands where exclusive visits are often preferred to minimize crowding.
Port maintenance may also be a factor in the changes, though this is unlikely as the changes are so minor and visits to all the affected ports of call are continuing.