Carnival just extended its sailing pause

Five cruise lines—Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Azamara Club Cruises—have returned for the 2014-2015 seasons, carrying an estimated 200,000 passengers. Mazatlan received more than 300,000 travelers in 2013, when cruising was nearly nonexistent. Photo: Mazatlán Tourist Board

Bad news for any eager cruisegoers: cruise lines are continuing to extend cruising suspensions into 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The cruising industry initially saw a quiet period after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted and extended its no-sail order as the coronavirus pandemic began surging in 2020. But after months of waiting, in October, the CDC replaced its mandatory sailing pause with a “framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” a list of rigorous requirements needed for cruise lines to continue operating again by November.

Despite this order, updates to it in April and May, and the impending debut of several cruise ships over the next few years, the return of cruising to US waters still remains in limbo. Presently, many major cruise lines with plans to resume sailing this summer will only be departing from international ports instead of US waters due to these CDC restrictions.

Norwegian Cruises

norwegian epic cruise ship
Norwegian Cruises. Randy Brooke/WireImage/Getty Images

On a suspended sailings update on December 29, 2020Norwegian hit the pause button on all of its cruises that were set to sail through March. However, on January 19, the cruise line pushed this sail date back one month through April.

Almost a month later, Norwegian canceled all of its cruises through May. But on March 16, the cruise line announced it would be suspending all trips through June 30, including cruises on its Oceania and Regent Seven Seas lines.

On April 6, Norwegian announced it would halt sailings on eight ships – the Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Escape, Getaway, Sky, Spirit, Star, and Sun – through August 31. Sailings on the Norwegian Epic and Pearl were also put on hold through September 1 and November 7, respectively.

However, sailings aboard the Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Jade, and Norwegian Gem are set to resume in July as fully vaccinated cruises in Europe and the Caribbean.

Princess Cruises

A fishing boat sails past the Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess cruise ship as it docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city, Philippines, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess cruise ship docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city Reuters

Princess Cruises originally paused its trips through March, according to a notice posted on November 20, 2020, but announced on January 6 that it would be extending this pause through May 14.

The cruise line had also paused all sailings through November 1 that were set to be longer than seven days going to and from US ports, and any trips sailing to and from Japan through June 25, according to the November notice.

“We continue to prepare our ships for our return to service and we are eager to see our guests back on board to create summertime memories,” Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president, said in a statement.

However, on March 9, the cruise line again updated its suspensions list with different timelines for different cruises. For example, cruises from Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Rome have been halted through the end of June, while European cruises originally set to sail to and from Southhampton, England have been paused through September 25. You can view the updated sailing timelines on Princess Cruises’ website.

When the cruise line resumes sailing, several ships – including the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess – will have Princess’ MedallionClass Experience. This “experience” includes new health protocols and contactless features.

Carnival Cruises

carnival cruise
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy cruise ship is docked at the Port of Jacksonville amid the coronavirus outbreak on March 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

A full list of suspended sailing dates per ship is available on Carnival’s website. In a January 6 news releaseCarnival cruises announced it would resume sailing after March 31 with several ships remaining docked even further into the future.

“We are sorry to disappoint our guests, as we can see from our booking activity that there is clearly a pent-up demand for cruising on Carnival,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement on the news release.

However, 16 days later, Carnival updated this statement and hit the pause button on all trips through April 30. On February 24, the cruise line pushed its no-sail timeline even further back through May.

According to a December press release, Carnival has set up dry docks for the Carnival Magic, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Valor, therefore halting any of the ships’ embarkments through September 24, May 31, and September 11, respectively. However, on January 25, Carnival announced its plans to suspend these three ships even further until November.

The January 25 release also included announcements related to several other ships and trips. One notable sailing freeze in the update includes trips out of San Diego. Seasonal service trips and planned sailings through April 2023 out of San Diego have now been suspended, and seven of these sailings to Hawaii have been moved to Long Beach, California instead.

Source: Business insider

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