Cruise news update: October 9, 2021

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There’s a lot to catch up on on this week’s cruise news, but it’s not all good as some Carnival ships have been put on hold for even longer. However, across the industry there are still cruise lines resuming operations, including Virgin Voyages.

Cruise update

It starts with another busy week of Cruise news across all major cruise lines, and another Carnival cruise ship resumes operations today from the cruise capital of the world. We also have news on Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages and Princess Cruises. You can watch the full cruise update in the video below:

Carnival Freedom resumes cruising

Carnival freedom resumes operations from Miami, Florida on October 9th and the ship becomes the 12th ship in the fleet to do so. The ship’s first return voyage will be an 8-day voyage to the Eastern Caribbean, including calls to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan and finally Amber Cove. The long-awaited cruise on the Carnival freedom will also have three days at sea with a return to Maimi, the cruise capital of the world, on October 17th.

Photo credit: Carnival Cruise Line

The ship joins Carnival horizon who resumed cruises from Miami in July and Carnival sunrise which was resumed in August. Sister ship, Carnival conquest will also resume departures from Miami on December 13, 2021.

Virgin Voyages begins cruising from Miami

We’ve all been talking about Virgin Voyages for years, but it’s only now that the cruise line has actually been able to start operating out of PortMiami. The first ship built for the cruise line Scarlet Lady finally started cruises from the port on October 6th.

Cruise ship Scarlet Lady in Miami
Courtesy photo: Virgin Voyages

After the ship’s summer stays in Great Britain, Scarlet Lady now sails Caribbean routes for four and five nights. The ship will offer a variety of cruises in the coming months. Four-night Bahamas cruises will call at Nassau and Bimini, and other cruises include five-night Riviera Maya cruises to Cozumel, Maya Sol cruises to Costa Maya, and Dominican cruises to Puerto Plata.

As most will already know, Virgin Voyages is adult-only and currently guests must be fully vaccinated to cruise. The ship is 110,000 gross tons and can accommodate 2,770 passengers and 1,160 crew members.

More carnival cancellations

As expected, Carnival Cruise Line has released an update on ships is to be restarted in 2022 as Carnival pushes the resumption of operations. Additional time will be needed to get the entire fleet back into operation, so that a total of five ships should remain on hold until 2022.

Carnival sun will now resume cruises from Charleston on January 13, 2022, starting with a four-day Bahamas route. Carnival freedom, which recently received its new livery, will resume on February 11, 2022 in Port Canaveral.

Carnival cruise ships
Photo credit: Russell Otway

Three more ships will resume in 2022, including the Carnival ecstasy from Jacksonville, Carnival paradise from Tampa, and Carnival sensation from Mobil. The trips for all three ships of the Fantasy class will be canceled until February 2022.

There’s also an update on the two Carnival cruise lines stationed out of Australia. It is not yet known when the cruise industry will reopen Down Under. Carnival splendor Cruises from Sydney will be canceled until February 7, 2022 and Carnival spirit Cruises from Brisbane will be canceled until February 20, 2022.

Royal Caribbean updates the main benefits

If you’ve ever booked a cruise with Royal Caribbean, you’ve likely seen the extra extras to buy before you set sail. Think of the tour, drink packages, and an optional program called the Key.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Photo credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com

The program that guests can purchase access to during the booking process received some updates. One of the most important changes is that guests will receive free room service and 25% off food on board for the duration of the cruise. Guests with key access will have priority access to the terminal on the 1st day within the booked arrival time, previously this was a priority check-in before the pandemic. On the day of disembarkation, a special “Grab and Go” breakfast package and choice of departure is available; this used to be an à la carte breakfast.

The key was introduced a few years ago and can be viewed as a Fastpass with some additional benefits. For a daily fee that you have to pay per person. The cost can range from $ 19.99 to $ 37.99 per person per day.

MSC Seashore naming ceremony

The MSC flagship, MSC Seashore will have its christening ceremony on the private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve of the shipping company in the Bahamas. Sophia Loren is best known for her acting work, but also makes history in other areas. The actress calls her 16th MSC cruise ship, MSC Seashore, on November 18, 2021.

MSC Seashore cruise ship
Courtesy photo: MSC Cruises

MSC Seashore will set off from Miami on November 17th for a one-time christening drive. Festivities are held on board the ship and ashore; The ship will stay overnight in the Bahamas while guests enjoy a gala dinner celebrating the newest ship in the MSC fleet. The MSC Seashore will then begin its regular cruises on November 20th.

The new ship will sail its first 7-night cruise from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Ocean Cay Marine Reserve before returning to Miami.

MSC’s flagship is the first ship in the Seaside EVO class, a further development of the other two ships in the Seaside class. MSC sea and MSC sea view. MSC Seashore has a guest capacity of 4,540 and is over 170,000 gross tons.

Carnival expanded protocols

Have fun. Be sure to have Carnival Cruise Line health logs on board and prior to boarding will remain in place until the new year. Guests wishing to sail aboard a Carnival cruise ship must be vaccinated for cruises by February 2022.

This means that all guests over 12 years of age on board must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before departure. The shipping company has also confirmed that guests who need oxygen for medical reasons will not be allowed to sail and will not be allowed to sail until March 2022.

Carnival Dream cruise ship
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

Carnival Cruise Line is unlikely to make any cruise exemption requests in 2022. The rationale is that the cruise line expects the FDA to approve vaccinations for children ages 5-11 soon and that children can be vaccinated before the holiday season.

Until December 31, 2021, children under the age of twelve will only be exempted from vaccinations to a limited extent on Caribbean cruises.

Make sure to review all of the cruise company’s logs whenever you have an upcoming cruise and keep in mind that they are constantly changing. Therefore, always check the official communications from the cruise line.

Majestic Princess Sails from LA

Princess Cruises has taken another significant step towards bringing its fleet back into operation Majestic princess becomes the second in the fleet to begin departures from Los Angeles, California.

After completing a part-season in Alaska, the ship welcomed guests to the Port of Los Angeles on October 6 to begin 14 round-trip voyages by the end of the year. Itineraries include calls to the Mexican Riviera, California Coast, and West Coast from three to ten days.

Princess Cruises has been sailing from Los Angeles since 1965 and is the leading cruise company on the West Coast. The cruise line contributed $ 594 million to the Los Angeles economy in 2019 and is an integral part of the cruise industry with over 700 ship visits to LA over the past decade.

The Royal class ship is 143,700 gross tons and was first put into service in March 2017. The ship has a guest capacity of 3,560 along with 1,346 international crew members.

More headlines

So that’s just some of the top cruise news of the week, we’ve got more including MSC Cruises approved to resume operations from two other countries, a Major rebranding for Costa Cruises, iconic funnel removed from the former cruise ship Carnival, Carnival freedom gets new paintwork, Start of construction for second MSC luxury cruise ship and many more.

Cruise news update


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