Last month Cruise Hive reported that three Carnival Cruise ships would be further delayed than initially planned. We take a look at when each of the ships is currently set to return to service once the dry dock is completed along with what is being done to each ship.
The plan is for Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Valor to return to service later in 2021. This is partly due to delayed dry docks and the planned gradual, phased-in return of ships into service. Two more vessels will be undergoing dry docks this year, although they are scheduled to sail before those take place, these are Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Liberty.
What are the planned changes the ships will be undergoing, what additions will we be likely to see once the vessels return to service, and which cruises can we take on them?
From Carnival Victory to Carnival Radiance
By far the most significant change Carnival Cruise Line has undertaken since Carnival Triumph became Carnival Sunrise comes with Carnival Radiance’s arrival.
The ship will be seeing such major works that instead of calling it a simple dry dock refurbishment, Carnival cruise line has decided to give Carnival Victory a whole new name. So can we expect a new ship? If we look at the proposed plans, it certainly seems so.
The vessel will have many of the same dining venues that have been revealed for hotly anticipated Mardi Gras. This includes the Big Chicken restaurant, the new dining venue created by Carnival CFO Shaquille O’Neal, Bonsai Sushi, a full-service Asian restaurant offering a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls, and other delicacies from the Far East, and many more.
The ship is currently still in Cadiz, Spain, waiting for most works to start in earnest. The vessel’s first cruise is scheduled on the Carnival website as a 4-day voyage from Los Angeles to Baja, Mexico, with stops at Catalina Island and Ensenada.
At the moment Carnival has announced that the newly transformed vessel will complete dry dock at the end of April. Cruises are set to return in May 2021 but in a limited way.
After having undergone her major dry dock in 2016, which saw the ship being transformed to the Fun Ship 2.0 concept, with additional concepts added like Cucina del Capitano, SeaDogs, Guy’s Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse, and Pizzeria del Capitano, the vessel will now undergo general maintenance works in Freeport in the Bahamas.
Originally slated to start cruising early this year, the start dates for Carnival Magic have now been pushed back to September 29, 2021.
The vessel will be calling in ports in the dutch Caribbean like Bonaire and Aruba, as well as Grand Turk, and three days at sea. Carnival Magic is currently showing as homeporting in Port Canaveral, Florida.
Carnival Paradise will also be undergoing general maintenance works in Freeport, in the Bahamas. Carnival Paradise underwent the Fun Ship 2.0 program in 2018, where Carnival WaterWorks, Guy’s Burger Joint, Cherry On Top, RedFrog Rum Bar, and more were added.
Carnival Paradise is currently scheduled to homeport in Tampa, Florida, where she will be sailing on a 5-day Western Caribbean cruise to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Whether the call in Grand Cayman will happen is, as yet, unknown. She is currently set to resume cruises on June 5, 2021.
Carnival Valor will be dry-docking in Cadiz, Spain. Although Valor has undergone the Fun Ships 2.0 program, she didn’t receive the full package due to limited deck space.
Nonetheless, the ship is known among the Carnival Conquest class for its unique decor and theming. And certainly worth a try as it boasts classic Carnival fun like the RedFrog Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar. Guy’s Burger Joint, and the Alchemy Bar.
She is currently set to complete her dry dock before sailings resume September 16, 2021. Carnival Valor will be homeported in New Orleans and sailing on a 5-day Western Caribbean Cruise that includes Cozumel, Yucatan, and several fun days at sea.
Carnival Liberty & Carnival Sunshine
Both Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunshine will be undergoing dry docks this year, although they are scheduled to set sail before that.
Carnival Liberty will homeport in Cape Canaveral and sail on her first post-pandemic voyage on April 2, on a 3-day voyage to the Bahamas. She will be going for a general maintenance dry dock from September 17, 2021, until October 21, 2021.
Carnival Sunshine will homeport in Charleston, and sail on April 3 on a 5-day voyage to the Bahamas. After completing her season she will be going for dry dock from October 11, 2021, until November 17, 2021.
Carnival Spirit, which has her home base in Australia is also scheduled for a dry dock in Q1, or Q2 of this year, although details are currently unknown on exact dates and sailings due to the fluid situation Down Under.
Still Very Fluid
Although there is plenty to look forward to with newly updated ships and features, the situation remains very fluid. Carnival Cruise Line has currently suspended operations through March 2021 with select ships not returning to service until April at the earliest.
Who knows if there will be further cancelations, a lot depends on the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and how the new Biden administration will impact the industry.
Main Photo Credit: BARCOS POR CADIZ