Coming towards the busiest time of the year for cruise lines worldwide, there is undoubtedly enough happening these days at Carnival Cruise Line. The cruise line had to pull Carnival Horizon from service, one vessel made her service return, and one sailed on her maiden voyage; kids are allowed back into Camp Ocean, and it took a little longer before Grand Turk welcomed back the first Carnival cruise ship.
We look at what’s been happening in the past weeks and provide you with all the news you need to know about Carnival Cruise Line.
It was quite a surprise for many that Carnival Cruise Line pulled Carnival Horizon from service a few weeks ago. Citing propulsion problems that caused the vessel to lose a significant cruising speed, the cruise line quickly took action.
The cruise line said, “We want to make you aware that Carnival Horizon is experiencing an issue affecting its maximum cruising speed. Our technical team has completed a full assessment of the issue and has determined the ship will need to be taken to dry dock to complete the necessary work.”
The vessel is currently on her way to dry dock sailing in the Atlantic Ocean, her final destination being the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Sicily. The ship is expected to be out of service through January 22; however, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunshine, which are coming back to service earlier than expected, will be picking up the cruises from Horizon.
Two More Carnival Cruise Ships Return to Service
The slow and steady return to service for Carnival Cruise Line continued this week as two cruise ships returned to service. Carnival Radiance officially sailed on her maiden voyage from Long Beach in California. Carnival Conquest sailed from the world’s cruise capital, PortMiami in Florida.
Carnival Conquest‘s return to operations took no less than 21 months after she completed her last cruise just before the pause in operations that saw the entire cruise industry halted for more than a year and a half. The ship offers a range of three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas and will continue to do so through 2022.
In the meantime, Carnival Radiance sailed on her official maiden voyage after the vessel received an extensive make-over and total renovation of all areas onboard. Radiance will operate 3- and 4-day cruises from Long Beach for the foreseeable future. However, before she departed on her first voyage, there was a christening ceremony to take part in for the new ship in the Carnival fleet.
This week featured the second christening of a cruise ship for Carnival in just a few weeks. After Mardi Gras in Cape Canaveral, it was the turn for Carnival Radiance. The vessel received a $200 million make-over, transforming the ship from Carnival Victory to Carnival Radiance.
Dr. Lucille O’Neal, the mother of Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal, had the honor of acting as godmother to the new vessel. During a fun-filled ceremony attended by Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, and Shaquille O’Neal; Dr. Lucille O’Neal poured champagne over the ship’s bell, officially naming the ship.
“What a special evening it was to celebrate the debut of Carnival Radiance with my son by my side in what truly felt like a “We Are Family” event,” said Lucille. “It has been such a pleasure to be included in these exciting festivities, so I can only imagine how incredible it will be for guests to sail aboard this spectacular ship – they’re going to love it.”
Camp Ocean is Back!
Cruise ships might have been sailing for many months now, that doesn’t mean that all activities onboard have been running as they have pre-pandemic. One such activity that had been sorely missing from Carnival’s ships was Camp Ocean.
With COVID-19 vaccines now approved for the 5-11-years age bracket, Carnival believed the time was right to open the popular kids club for vaccinated kids only. Parents will be happy to know that the kids can play games, craft projects, team sports, music, trivia, and more in a colorful, kid-friendly facility once again, while parents have time for some vital relaxation on the pool deck.
Onboard Carnival’s ships, the following kids’ clubs are now open for business: Camp Ocean, for kids aged 5-11 years old. Circle “C,” which provides a gathering space and activities for ages 12-14, and Club O2, the place to hang out for teens ages 15-17. Unfortunately, Camp Ocean is not available for kids younger than five years old.
Carnival Finally Returns to Grand Turk
Although the island’s officials seemed all set for Carnival’s ships to return to Grand Turk, the preparations took longer than expected to welcome thousands of cruise ship visitors.
As Cruise Hive reported only a few weeks ago, Grand Turk & Caicos officials announced that Mardi Gras would visit on December 7, 2021. However, that call was removed from itineraries, as were calls for other Carnival Corporation cruise ships.
The reason? According to the brand ambassador, John Heald, the island still needed further work before it saw fit to send its ships here again:
“The port has been closed for two years. There are many checks that need to be done including dredging, making sure that the infrastructure is as you would expect and that the beaches etc are ready for thousands of people to have fun. And we also have to listen and adhere to the Covid policies of all the places we sail to and that in itself is an important undertaking.”
The good news is that the first Carnival cruise ship returned to the island on December 15. Carnival Freedom made her visit to the delight of cruiser guests.
In fact, the company recently pledged a massive $73 million investment for the island group, which includes $25 million in upgrades to the current cruise center.
Next Carnival Cruise Ship to Return to Service
There are currently 17 Carnival cruise ships now back in service offering fun-filled vacations from US homeports. There are still five more ships waiting to resume sailings in the US and two ships from Australia.
Carnival Liberty is making a comeback earlier than expected to take on guests who were booked on the cancelled Carnival Horizon sailings from Miami. The ship will restart from Miami on December 19, 2021. The vessel will then officially resume from Port Canaveral on February 11, 2022.
Carnival Sunshine is also coming into service earlier than first scheduled to take on guests from the cancelled Carnival Horizon sailings. The ship will begin sailing from Fort Lauderdale in Florida on December 19, 2021. Carnival Sunshine will also operate cruises from Miami from December 26, 2021, and will then finally begin regular sailings from Charleston on January 13, 2022.
Carnival Sensation will resume service from Mobile on March 5, 2022, Carnival Ecstasy will resume from Jacksonville on March 7, 2022, and Carnival Paradise will restart cruises from Tampa on March 12, 2022. The entire US fleet will be back sailing before the end of March 2022.
The two Carnival cruise ships based out of Australia are to remain on hold even longer. Carnival Splendor cruises are cancelled through April 8, 2022, and Carnival Spirit sailings are cancelled through April 10, 2022.