Carnival Cruise Line has announced the resumption of guest operations on three more ships in September and four in October as it continues to ramp up its operations.
With this announcement, Carnival plans to return 15 of its 24 ships by October.
Carnival said it plans to continue operating all of its ships as “vaccinated cruisers” through at least October, however, exemptions for unvaccinated guests will be made on a “limited, capacity-managed basis” within 14 days of sailing as the company finalizes its count of vaccinated guests. The company’s intention is to sail voyages with at least 95% vaccinated passengers.
“The decision to sail with vaccinated voyages was a difficult one to make, and we recognize that this is disappointing for some of our guests, especially the many families with children under 12 who we love to sail with, and who love to sail with us,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “It is important to remember that this is a temporary measure given the current circumstances. In consultation with our experts and medical advisors, we have determined that this plan is in the best interest of the health and safety of our guests, crew and the destinations to which we take our ships. It is very important that we continue to maintain the trust of our destination partners so that we can provide our guests with an optimal cruise experience and navigate our itineraries.”
Carnival said unvaccinated guests, including those under 12 years of age, will be tested prior to cruise and disembarkation and tested again prior to disembarkation. Unvaccinated guests will also be charged $150 per person to cover the costs of testing, debriefing and health and safety examinations. Unvaccinated guests departing from Florida (beginning July 31) and Texas (beginning Aug. 2) will also be required to show proof of travel insurance coverage, depending on the itineraries taken and the requirements of the ports and destinations visited.
The three ships for September are Carnival Glory from New Orleans, beginning Sept. 5, Carnival Pride from Baltimore, beginning Sept. 12, and Carnival Dream from Galveston, beginning Sept. 19.
Moving into October, the four additional ships to resume will be Carnival Conquest from Miami, beginning Oct. 8, Carnival Freedom from Miami, beginning Oct. 9, Carnival Elation from Port Canaveral, beginning Oct. 11, and Carnival Sensation from Mobile, beginning Oct. 21.
“Our plan calls for successfully recovering our entire fleet by the end of the year, returning to full service – especially for the millions of families who sail with us – and recovering our business for the benefit of our guests, employees and the tens of thousands of jobs and local businesses that depend on our company,” Duffy added. “We will continue to offer exemptions to our unvaccinated guests on a limited, capacity-managed basis in the 14 days prior to sailing while we finalize the count of vaccinated guests. The more bookings we secure initially for our cruises with fully vaccinated guests, the more exemptions we will ultimately be able to offer to unvaccinated guests who have already booked and those who wish to sail.”
By the end of July, Carnival will have five ships in its resumption plan, including the inaugural sailing of the LNG-powered Mardi Gras.