• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
Two Cruise Ships to Leave Carnival Fleet, Others to Go Into Lay-Up, Homeport Changes and More
Ship Funnel on Carnival (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Two Cruise Ships to Leave Carnival Fleet, Others to Go Into Lay-Up, Homeport Changes and More

Two Cruise Ships to Leave Carnival Fleet, Others to Go Into Lay-Up, Homeport Changes and More
Ship Funnel on Carnival (Photo: Cruise Critic)

July 23, 2020

Chris Gray Faust
Managing Editor
By Chris Gray Faust
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(10:10 a.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Lines has announced several fleet changes, including the sale of two cruise ships and the long-term layup of two others, as well as homeport changes and the confirmation of a sister ship to the delayed Mardi Gras.
The changes are the latest to come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has suspended cruises from U.S. homeports through September 30, 2020.
"We have used this pause in operations to think carefully about our fleet and to build a plan that gives our guests new choices and upgrades to current ship offerings," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line."
Here's a breakdown of how the various changes will play out:

Fantasy-Class Ships Reduced

The Pool on Carnival Inspiration
As predicted
, Carnival's Fantasy-class -- older and smaller ships that were nonetheless popular for entry-level cruisers and veterans alike -- will be reduced when cruising resumes.
Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration have been sold, while Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will move to a long term lay-up status. The line said that there's no specific timeline identified for a return to operation for those two vessels, increasing the risk that they may not return to service.
Many Cruise Critic members had already noticed that the 1990-built Carnival Fantasy had been sailing toward Izmir, Turkey, where there is a large ship scrapping operation in nearby Aliaga. The 1996- built Carnival Inspiration had also seemed to be on the same route, according to ship tracking websites.
Nonetheless, the smaller ships -- carrying between 2,000 to 2,610 passengers -- were popular, in part because they often carried lower fares. They were also able to sail out of smaller homeports that could not accommodate the larger Carnival megaships.
In the release, Duffy acknowledged that many guests like the Fantasy-class ships, and said the line would keep the remaining four ships in the class: Carnival Ecstasy, Carnival Sensation, Carnival Elation, and Carnival Paradise.
"We will continue to invest in the four remaining Fantasy class ships that we are keeping in the fleet. We have many guests who prefer our Fantasy class ships which work so well for shorter itineraries from smaller ports that cannot accommodate our larger ships."

Mardi Gras Sister Ship Confirmed

The Roller Coaster on Carnival's Mardi Gras (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)
In a bit of good news, the line confirmed that a sister ship to its much-anticipated Mardi Gras will be built, at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. The as-yet-unnamed Excel-class ship now has a November 2022 launch date.
The ship is set to have many of the same features as Mardi Gras, including the BOLT roller coaster. It will sail out of Miami, and cruises will go on sale in the fall.
Said Duffy: "We have a great variety of ships across the Carnival Cruise Line fleet and we are thrilled to have been able to confirm a delivery date ahead of what we had anticipated for our second Excel ship, which is exciting news for guests interested in sailing from PortMiami on the sister ship to Mardi Gras!"
As an LNG-powered ship, Mardi Gras has been seen as a leap forward for Carnival. Originally slated to enter service in August 2020,
the ship is now due to launch on February
6, 2021, sailing from Port Canaveral (Orlando).

Homeports, Deployments Changed

Long Beach, California (Photo: Kit Leong/Shutterstock.com)
The fleet changes have meant that homeports and itineraries have been adjusted for several of Carnival's other ships. The shifts are outlined below.
Itineraries for Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration from Long Beach have been cancelled through Apr. 19, 2021. Carnival Panorama will continue to operate week-long cruises from Long Beach while Carnival Miracle will operate shorter itineraries from San Diego to Baja Mexico.
But Long Beach gets a boon, as Carnival Radiance will now move there directly from Europe in April 2021, after its $200 million conversion from Carnival Victory. There, it will run the short three-and-four-day Baja Mexico itineraries previously served by Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration. Passengers booked on Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration after April 22, 2021 will be re-accommodated on Carnival Radiance.
Carnival Sensation will move from Miami to Mobile and take up itineraries previously assigned to Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination. Passengers on those two ships are being re-accommodated on Carnival Sensation.
Carnival Sunrise will move from Port Everglades to Miami to take over the Carnival Sensation itineraries. For cruisers, it means that they will be a larger, renovated ship; it also shows that Carnival is dedicating a better ship to short itineraries. Passengers who had already been booked on Sunrise's itineraries from Port Everglades will be automatically moved to sailings from Miami.
Carnival Fascination itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020-2021
.
In its release, Carnival noted that this reflects a return-to-operation focus on mainland drive markets in the U.S.

Australia Pause Extended, Rebookings Ongoing

Carnival Spirit
Separately, Carnival has extended its pause of operations in Australia and has cancelled six cruises scheduled to operate between Sept. 25 and Oct. 29, 2020.
For all the affected sailings, the line said that passengers and travel agents have been notified directly about the changes, as well as the massive rebookings and cancellations that will now have to take place.
The line also highlighted that 2022 will be Carnival's 50th birthday. Carnival Sunrise, for example, has a birthday sailing scheduled for March 5, 2022, with special entertainment, at-sea ship rendezvous and onboard activities and offerings.
"With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line," Duffy said.
"With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the U.S.," Duffy said.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
UnCruise Ship Returning to Port After Passenger Tests Positive for COVID

(Updated 11: 54 a.m. EDT) -- The first U.S. cruise to set sail since the COVID-19 pandemic began has returned to Juneau after cutting short its voyage to Alaska after a passenger received notification he had tested positive for the virus.

UnCruise Adventures' Wilderness Adventurer, which left Juneau on Saturday for a weeklong cruise with 37 passengers and 30 crewmembers onboard, docked in the port city Wednesday morning, with all passengers being transferred to a local hotel where they will be placed into quarantine until doctors and state officials determine it is safe for them to leave. Crew will quarantine onboard the boat.

In announcing the news of the positive test

CLIA Further Extends Suspension of U.S. Cruises Until At Least October 31: Cruise Lines Follow Suit

(10:50 a.m. EDT) -- The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced it will be extending its voluntary suspension of U.S. cruise operations for all member lines until at least October 31, 2020.  

It is the third time that CLIA has issued a voluntary suspension of sailing notice, following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's initial "No-Sail" order that was issued in March and extended further in April and July.

CLIA member lines include some of the world's largest brands, including all Carnival Corporation & plc lines like Carnival, Holland America and Princess; Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' brands including Norwegian,

Contact Tracing, Masks, Swab Tests in Terminal Part of MSC's Return to Cruise Plan

(2:15 p.m. EDT) -- In anticipation of a limited restart of cruising later this month in the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises gave more details of their health and safety protocols Tuesday, which are shaping up to be among the most sweeping and innovative that the cruise industry has seen so far. 

Speaking on a conference call with media, MSC CEO Gianni Onorato detailed the new health and safety initiatives that are expected to roll out later this month aboard MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.

Sailings aboard the two vessels, which would initially be limited to residents of Schengen (European Union) countries, could start as early as August 15, pending the approval of the Italian government. I

Norway Suspends Cruise Ship Docking After COVID-19 Outbreak; SeaDream I Quarantined

(10:50 a.m. EDT) -- After a positive COVID-19 outbreak was detected on Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen, Norway has suspended cruise ships sailing with over 100 people from disembarking in the country's ports for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Norwegian newspapers are reporting that passengers on the luxury ship SeaDream I are at sea in quarantine, as a guest on a previous voyage tested positive for COVID-19.

Hurtigruten Case Count Grows

Accord

P&O Cruises To Take Delivery Of Iona Before Autumn; Second Ship Coming in late 2022

(3:45 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises has updated two major dates for its fleet, announcing that Iona will be arriving before autumn and its sister ship will be delivered in December 2022.

The 5,200-passener Iona, which will be the largest ship custom-built for the U.K. cruise market, was originally set to debut in May 2020. It is also the first British ship to be powered by liquified natural gas. Delivery from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has been delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The sister ship is yet unnamed and will also be built at Meyer Werft. Itineraries will go on sale in spring 2021.

P&O Cruises has voluntarily suspended operations t

New Zealand Puts the Breaks on Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble Plans

(5 p.m. EDT) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has poured cold water over the idea of a Trans-Tasman travel "bubble" between New Zealand and Australia, according to reports in the Sydney Morning Herald.

While New Zealand has managed to go over three months without a case of COVID-19 with no known source, the Australian city of Melbourne saw 760 active cases of COVID-19 with no known source on Sunday, according to the Herald.

Those increasing numbers have led Australia's second-largest city to impose lockdown restrictions for si

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Cookie Consent