Carnival plans limited resumption of North American cruises

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Carnival Cruise Line says it has advised guests and travel agents that it plans to phase in a resumption in its North American service this summer, beginning on August 1 with a total of eight ships from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston. In connection with this plan, its pause in operations will be extended in all other North American and Australian markets through August 31.

The news comes within days of the Federal Maritime Commission announcing the launch of a fact finding inquiry aimed at identifying commercial solutions to COVID-19-related issues that interfere with the operation of the cruise industry (see story)

The key elements of Carnival’s plan include:

  • All North American cruises from June 27 to July 31 will be canceled.
  • Beginning August 1, Carnival plan to resume cruises on the following ships:
  • Galveston: Carnival Dream, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista
  • Miami: Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sensation
  • Port Canaveral: Carnival Breeze and Carnival Elation.

All other North American and Australian homeport cruises will be canceled through August 31.

All Carnival Spirit Alaskan cruises from Seattle will be canceled, as well as the Carnival Spirit Vancouver-Honolulu cruise on September 25 and the Honolulu-Brisbane transpacific cruise on October 6.

All Carnival Splendor cruises in Australia from June 19 to August 31 will be canceled.

Impacted guests and their travel advisors are being notified by email, including options for a combined future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC) package, or a full refund. Booked guests can make their selection online, alleviating the need to contact Carnival’s customer service center, which is still operating in a work-from-home status due to locally-imposed office closures in South Florida.

Carnival says it is committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation.

“We are taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests,” says the cruise line. “We will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve. We appreciate the understanding and support of our guests and travel agent partners and look forward to welcoming them on board as the environment for travel and tourism improves.”

Carnival Cruise Line later followed its announcement with an update emphasizing that there will be a further delay of operations for most of its fleet until August 31.

Carnival said that this is its current plan, contingent on a number of factors.

“Any resumption of cruise operations – whenever that may be – is fully dependent on our continued efforts in cooperation with federal, state, local and international government officials,” said Carnival. “In our continued support of public health efforts, any return to service will also include whatever enhanced operational protocols and social gathering guidelines that are in place at the time of the resumption of cruise operations. We are committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation and will continue to keep our guests, travel agent partners and other stakeholders informed”.

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