Carnival Cruise Line has reached a significant milestone since it first resumed cruise operation in the summer of 2021. The cruise line has welcomed two million guests, as it’s the first major cruise line to have its entire fleet back in service.
Major Milestone for Carnival
It’s been a long and difficult recovery for the cruise industry since operations were first suspended in March 2020. Carnival Cruise Line was finally able to begin its gradual resumption of guest operations in July 2021 and, since then, has been pushing forward with more ships restarting operations.
The entire fleet has been sailing since early May 2022, and now Carnival has celebrated another major milestone. Two million guests have now sailed with the cruise line since the restart, and this was reached with a family setting sail from Port Canaveral aboard the Carnival Freedom.
“We are so pleased to have sailed two million guests since our restart, providing much-needed vacations featuring our signature fun to an array of destinations in the Caribbean, The Bahamas, the Mexican Riviera, Alaska and Europe,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“All the while, providing an economic boost to those destinations and providing our crew members with opportunities to support their families.”
Carnival celebrated their two millionth guest on May 19 as the Gibbs family – Daniel and Kristi with son Mason and grandmother Theresa Campbell – from Ocala, Florida were boarding the Carnival Freedom in Port Canaveral.
The lucky family was welcomed by Captain Mario Imbimbo, Hotel Director, Cruise Director, and team members as they stepped on board the Conquest-class vessel. The family will be enjoying a four-night voyage on the Carnival Freedom, including calls at Nassau and Princess Cays, both in the Bahamas.
In addition to the two million guest milestone, Carnival Cruise Line has also revealed some positive numbers. Guests have taken more than 1.3 million shore excursions, which is impressive despite tighter restrictions during the resumption.
The cruise line has also sold two million of its branded items in the gift ships fleetwide, including 150,000 exclusive items for its 50th Birthday.
Sailing from 13 US Homeports
The first Carnival cruise ship to resume operations since March 2020 was the Carnival Vista. The vessel resumed out of Galveston, Texas, on July 3, 2021. At the time, protocols were tight, and the cruise line was sailing at a much lower capacity compared to now.
Since the Carnival Vista, 22 additional ships have returned to service from 13 US homeports. Carnival Splendor was the final ship to resume when she set sail from Seattle, Washington, on May 2, 2022.
During the resumption of cruises, Carnival has dealt with some significant hurdles, such as dealing with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) complicated requirements, redeploying Carnival Spirit and Splendor to the US after Australia remained closed to cruises, and dealing with the ever-changing protocols to make sure guests and crew remain safe.
More recently, Carnival has been dealing with crew shortage issues and has been forced to close and reduce some services. However, this is expected to be temporary as the cruise line works on returning to some normality later in the year.
There have been some good aspects too, with Mardi Gras being welcomed to the fleet in began sailing for the first time on July 31, its largest-ever deployment in Alaska, Carnival Miracle being the first in the fleet to sail out of San Francisco, Carnival Magic being the largest-ever cruise ship to homeport in Norfolk and of course the cruise line celebrating its 50th Birthday with memorable events and ship meetups at sea.
The next major step will be when Carnival restarts from its 14th homeport of New York City in June with the Carnival Magic. The cruise line will also shift its focus even further by restarting operations in Australia with the Carnival Splendor in October 2022. The cruise line will then welcome its second Excel-class ship to the fleet, Carnival Celebration, in November 2022.