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Carnival Ships Trying To Avoid Tropical Storm Erika

Posted August 29, 2015

Due to the projected path of TS Erika, Carnival has made some changes to itineraries for ships departing from Florida.

Carnival Breeze departing from PortMiami will now call on Grand Cayman on Monday, Mahogany Bay, Roatan on Wednesday, Costa Maya on Thursday and Cozumel on Friday.  Please keep in mind terminal doors will close at 3:30PM and any guests arriving after this time will not be able to board. The ship will sail shortly thereafter.

Carnival Fascination departing from Jacksonville will not be able to call on Half Moon Cay.  The ship will have an extended call in Nassau on Tuesday, September 1 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and then proceed to Freeport on Wednesday, September 2 from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Carnival Valor departing from Port Canaveral will not be able to call on Nassau. The ship will have an extended call in St. Thomas on Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM with the remainder of her itinerary as scheduled.

Carnival Glory guests sailing from Miami should keep in mind terminal doors will close at 3:30PM and any guests arriving after this time will not be able to board. The ship will sail shortly thereafter.  Her itinerary remains as scheduled.

Carnival Vista Will Call PortMiami Home - Carnival Breeze and Carnival Liberty Will Move to Galveston

posted February 12, 2015

PortMiami will be the year-round homeport for Carnival Cruise Line’s largest ship to date, the 133,500-ton Carnival Vista, when it launches six- to eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning in December 2016.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Carnival Vista will take cruising to new heights, introducing groundbreaking features such as SkyRide, a suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first water tube slide; and RedFrog Pub, including the line’s first onboard brewery.

Carnival will further bolster its leadership position in Galveston, repositioning Carnival Breeze and Carnival Liberty to Texas in 2016, joining Carnival Freedom which arrives in Galveston this Saturday. Carnival Breeze and Carnival Liberty will replace Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph, respectively, in Galveston. Details on new homeports for Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph, as well as year-round departures from San Juan, will be provided over the coming weeks.

With Carnival Breeze, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom, Galveston will be home to three of the line’s most innovative ships offering the widest array of cruise durations and itineraries to top destinations in Mexico, Belize, Isla Roatan and The Bahamas. These three ships will carry 600,000 passengers annually from Galveston – more than any other cruise operator.

“Miami and Galveston are among our most popular points of embarkation and deploying our newest, most innovative ships to these homeports speaks volumes about our confidence in growing these markets,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “These ships not only offer our guests incredible on-board experiences but also provide our valued travel agent partners with exciting new choices to market to their clients,” she added.

Additional Information and Reservations
Reservations are currently being accepted for these new deployments. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com. 
Additional information on the Carnival Vista is available atwww.carnival.com/carnivalvista with regular Twitter updates @CarnivalVista

Carnival Passengers Will Have New Port Call in 2015

Posted December 12, 2014

Amber Cove, an exciting new destination located in the heart of the Dominican Republic’s breathtaking North Coast, known as the Amber Coast, just outside the historical town of Puerto Plata – will welcome its first cruise ship when the Carnival Victory arrives on October 6, 2015, for a day-long call.

The visit by Carnival Victory is the first of 37 calls by eight different Carnival ships that will take place between October 2015 and April 2016.

Amber Cove will be a featured port on select sailings of Carnival Breeze, Carnival Glory, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Victory from Miami, Carnival Conquest from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Carnival Sunshine and Carnival Valor from Port Canaveral, Fla., and Carnival Fantasy from Charleston, S.C.

Carnival Plans to Build Port Destination in Haiti

posted August 4, 2014

Carnival Corp. plans to build a port destination in Ile de la Tortue, commonly known as Tortuga - a launching ground for piracy activities back in the 1600's.

Today, Tortuga is know for the launching for  smuggling operations but Carnival said the development would create a "tremendous economic impact" for Haitians.

New promotion from Carnival Cruise Line offers discounts for Military Personnel

posted July 2, 2014

Carnival Cruise Line is offering discounts and upgrades to active and retired personnel of the U.S. Military and Canada National Defense. Military personnel can also book up to two additional staterooms and the discounted rates.

The promotion runs from July 1 - 13, 2014, and is valid on a wide variety of three to thirteen-day departures to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Canada, New England and the Panama Canal sailing through December 31, 2014.

Carnival Freedom to Homeport from Galveston in 2015

posted April 22, 2014

Carnival Cruise Lines will add a third year-round ship in Galveston when Carnival Freedom launches a seven-day cruise schedule in February 2015, marking the first time that a cruise line has deployed three year-round ships in Texas.

Carnival’s repositioning of Carnival Freedom represents a 38 percent capacity increase for the line in Galveston, carrying more than 600,000 guests a year from that port – the most of any cruise operator.

Prior to its arrival in Galveston, Carnival Freedom will undergo a previously announced makeover that will add an array of innovative new features that are part of the line’s fleetwide Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative.

With the addition of Carnival Freedom, Carnival will offer three highly innovative and exceptional ships sailing year-round from Galveston that offer a huge variety of exciting features. Carnival Freedom will join Carnival Magic, which offers seven-day Caribbean cruises, and Carnival Triumph sailing four- and five-day departures to Mexico. Together, these three ships will operate nearly 200 four- to seven-day voyages annually from Galveston, providing consumers with an array of cruise lengths, departure days and itineraries for “Fun Ship” cruising from Texas.

New Ocean-Themed Children's Program for Carnival Cruise Lines

posted April 20, 2014

Carnival Cruise Lines today unveiled Camp Ocean – an exciting, new marine-themed children’s program coming to its fleet of 24 “Fun Ships.” Set to debut on Carnival Freedom on May 24, the expansive new program will immerse children ages 2-11 in the wonders of the sea through fun, engaging and educational experiences.

More than 200 new ocean-inspired activities will range from educational games such as Sea Creature Discovery, Marine Life Trivia, Under the Sea Mad Libs and Ocean Artifacts Memory Tray to creative arts opportunities such as Design Your Own Aquarium, Make Your Own Sailboat, Sea Salt Art, and Create a Penguin from Oreos.

Camp Ocean, which will replace the line’s existing Camp Carnival program, will welcome youngsters in with light blue and white underwater colored spaces and friendly, experienced staff. Three age-related categories will each have their own identity: children ages 2-5 will be dubbed “Penguins,” with those ages 6-8 called “Sting Rays” while 9-11 year olds will be “Sharks.”

Distinctive areas and activities have been custom-created for each of the new age designations – from miniature play igloos for the Penguins to interactive gaming stations for the Sharks. On Carnival Freedom, which begins a multi-million dollar refurbishment tomorrow, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in 2016, a new purpose-built Camp Ocean play area will include Party Reef, a common shared space that brings each of the groups together, as well as Creative Cove, a breakout room for arts and crafts activities.

“While our current children’s program consistently gets very high marks, we’ve challenged ourselves to exceed expectations with a truly dynamic and diverse program for our youngest guests,” said Mark Tamis, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest operations. “With our new highly tailored age groupings and themed activities connected to the oceans and their fascinating underwater habitats, we’re excited to invite kids to Camp Ocean to have an extra special and memorable Carnival vacation experience.”

The new Camp Ocean activities span across 11 key categories of play, including the core themes of active play, games, free play, arts and crafts and digital, coupled with additional categories such as role play, music, party time, science and discovery, social and food fun, all designed to find the ideal combination of activities catering to children’s varied interests.

Carnival Brings the Sunshine to Florida

posted April 17, 2014

 Port Canaveral’s newest ship, the totally transformed Carnival Sunshine, will depart on its inaugural voyage from the Space Coast when it sails on a special two-day cruise to The Bahamas later today.

Carnival Sunshine will then kick off a year-round schedule of five- to eight-day voyages visiting spectacular destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida beginning April 19.

Carnival Sunshine is the first ship to feature all of the line’s fantastic Fun Ship 2.0 bar, dining and entertainment innovations which were added during a massive 75-day, $155 million makeover that was the most comprehensive in the company’s history.

Carnival Sunshine continues the line’s nearly 25-year relationship with Port Canaveral while further bolstering its leadership position at the port. Including Carnival Sunshine, along with Carnival Sensation and a third year-round ship launching service next month, Carnival will carry a record 600,000 passengers annually from Port Canaveral – more than any cruise operator. Carnival’s three Port Canaveral-based ships will operate 200 three- to eight-day voyages a year visiting 18 tropical destinations throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

“Not only does Carnival Sunshine bring all of our Fun Ship 2.0 innovations to the Space Coast, it offers a lineup of cruises featuring the greatest diversity of destinations and cruise lengths ever offered from Port Canaveral,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “Central Florida is one of our fastest-growing markets and our continued growth at Port Canaveral would not be possible without the tremendous support from the Canaveral Port Authority, numerous community leaders and many highly valued travel agent partners,” he added.

Port Canaveral  is proud to homeport the latest innovative ship from Carnival Cruise Lines and we look forward to the continuation of this long-time successful partnership,” said Port Canaveral CEO John E. Walsh. “Carnival Sunshine will provide our community with expanded business opportunities and more vacation choices for both our residents and visitors.”

Carnival Sunshine will operate three different five-day eastern Caribbean sailings departing Sundays and featuring calls at Key West, Nassau, and Freeport; Nassau and Grand Turk; or Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport.

The new upgrades feature dining options like Guy Burger's Joint, Cucina del Capitano, and Ji Ji Asian Kitchen. Guests can visit the full service Bonsai Sushi, Lido Marketplace, and other choices unique to the Sunshine like the ShakeSpot. Guests can burn off the calories with new entertainment options at the high-energy Playlist Productions revues and Hasbro, the GameShow.

Port-intensive seven-day cruises depart Saturdays to the eastern Caribbean and call at Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk, while week-long western Caribbean trips depart Saturdays and call at Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan); and Costa Maya.

Two different eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises depart Fridays or Saturdays, and call at Grand Turk,  San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten; or Grand Turk St. Thomas, Tortola and St. Maarten. Eight-day southern Caribbean sailings depart Fridays or Saturdays and include Curaçao, Aruba and Grand Turk.

Pride Alters Itinerary After Electrical Problems

posted April 7, 2014

The Carnival Pride has been forced to re-arrange itineraries on its next three sailings after an electrical issue caused it to slow its speed, according to a news report from Cruise Critic.

The electrical transformer malfunction means the ship must sail more slowly, meaning the Pride will miss its ports of call in Freeport, Bahamas. The April 6 voyage will call in Charleston and the April 13 will visit only Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay.

The Pride is currently sailing from Baltimore but will embark from Tampa in the fall before returning year-round to Maryland.

Passengers received $50 onboard credit and 25 percent off a future sailing. On upcoming sailings, passengers can cancel for a full refund.

Carnival Freedom Ready for Fun Ship 2.0 Upgrades

posted March 26, 2014

Carnival Freedom will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar makeover this spring that will add the first-ever Bookville family reading venue – part of the recently launched Seuss at Sea program in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises – along with a variety of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative.

The majority of these exciting new features will be incorporated during a dry dock that will take place in Freeport, The Bahamas, from April 19 to May 3, 2014.

Following the dry dock, Carnival Freedom will resume its popular six- to eight-day Caribbean schedule from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and introduce two new five-day Caribbean options, marking the first time that a Fun Ship 2.0-equipped ship will operate a short cruise itinerary from South Florida.

“With the debut of the first-ever Dr. Seuss Bookville, along with an array of exciting dining, bar and entertainment concepts, we’re making a terrific ‘Fun Ship’ even better and creating a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories for guests of all ages,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “Incorporating these fantastic new spaces on Carnival Freedom also provides travel agents with yet another attractive ‘Fun Ship’ vacation option to market to their clients,” he added.

As part of the new Seuss at Sea program, Carnival Freedom will be the first ship to feature Bookville, a dedicated Seuss-themed play space featuring iconic décor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. The perfect place for families to relax and unwind, guests can read beloved Dr. Seuss books or stretch their imagination through family-fun activities such as arts and crafts, toys and Dr. Seuss-inspired games.

Other Seuss at Sea activities include the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends, an interactive reading event called Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, and the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade along the ship’s promenade. Bookville and other Seuss at Sea activities are scheduled to be available by the departure of May 24.

A wide range of popular Fun Ship 2.0 features will be added to Carnival Freedom this spring, as well. Here’s a look at the many new offerings:

• Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh hand-cut fries in an atmosphere that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture

• BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas that can be personalized with a variety of salsas and toppings

• EA SPORTS Bar, a sports and video game lovers’ paradise where guests can catch live sporting events, check out scores on the real-time 24/7 sports ticker, and play the latest EA SPORTS games on a 16-screen video wall

• BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a fun and festive outdoor watering hole offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool

• Alchemy Bar, a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” that’s the go-to spot for guests seeking a unique experience with mixologists who “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients or guests’ own custom-created cocktails

• RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside adaptation of the RedFrog Pub offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draft brew, ThirstyFrog Red

• Hasbro, The Game Show, where guests are part of the show through a series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the company’s iconic and popular games

• Playlist Productions, which builds upon Carnival’s reputation for high quality entertainment by combining captivating live performances and spectacular staging and special effects to create enthralling music revues produced by the top directors and choreographers in the industry

• Cherry on Top, which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more

• RedFrog Pub, where guests can enjoy the Caribbean’s best rums and beers – including, of course, Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red – while soaking up the distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West ambiance (scheduled to be completed by the departure of May 18)

• The Warehouse, a family-friendly entertainment center where the young – and the young at heart – can play a wide variety of video and arcade games and win tickets that can be redeemed for fun prizes (scheduled to be completed by the departure of June 14)

Carnival Splendor to Sail from Norfolk Virginia

posted March 23, 2014

Carnival Splendor will operate a series of two- to seven-day voyages, including a week-long cruise to Bermuda, from the Port of Norfolk in 2015.

The 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor is the newest and largest “Fun Ship” ever to operate from the historic Virginia port.

Carnival Splendor’s Norfolk program will kick off in May 2015 and will encompass a wide range of itinerary choices, including:

• A value-packed two-day cruise departing May 16, 2015

• Three, five-day Bahamas cruises calling at Nassau and Freeport, departing May 11, May 18, and October 12, 2015

• A six-day Bahamas cruise calling at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, as well as Nassau and Freeport, departing October 17, 2015

• A seven-day Bermuda cruise departing October 23, 2015 that features a three-day call in Bermuda

These voyages from Norfolk provide a wide variety of convenient and affordable cruise options featuring tropical destinations throughout The Bahamas and Bermuda where guests can relax on beautiful beaches, enjoy excellent dining, shopping and sightseeing opportunities, and visit centuries-old landmarks and attractions.

Carnival Splendor will also sail seasonally in 2015 from New York and Miami. From April to November, the ship will operate a variety four to eight- day itineraries from New York to popular ports in The Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada and Florida.

Cruises from New York to the Canadian Maritimes include four-day voyages visiting Saint John and five-day sailings calling at Saint John and Halifax. Seven-day fall foliage voyages call at Boston, Portland, Maine; Saint John and Halifax, while three different eight-day options are available: a Bahamas/Florida itinerary calling at Port Canaveral, Fla., and Freeport and Nassau; and two eastern Caribbean routes, one featuring San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk, and another visiting Grand Turk, Nassau and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.

From November 2015 through April 2016 Carnival Splendor will sail from Miami on seven-day eastern and western Caribbean cruises. Eastern Caribbean cruises will call at St Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, and Nassau, while the western Caribbean route will call at Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize, and Mahogany Bay in Isla Roatan.

Carnival Splendor will also offer special one-way eight-day exotic eastern Caribbean cruises between New York and San Juan on May 24, 2015 and June 1, 2015.

“At many Carnival Conversations travel agent events, we received feedback that consumers want choice. We are pleased to offer a variety of itineraries based on this feedback,” said Joni Rein, Carnival’s vice president of worldwide sales.

Reservations are currently being accepted for all of Carnival Splendor’s sailings from Norfolk, New York, Miami and San Juan.

New 'Seuss at Sea' Program Debuts on Carnival Splendor

posted March 10, 2014

Carnival Cruise Lines’ exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises kicked off in grand style last week on Carnival Splendor which became the first “Fun Ship” to offer Seuss at Sea, a fleetwide program featuring exciting youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences inspired by the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.

The fun-filled festivities included the first-ever Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends, where both the young and young at heart enjoyed deliciously playful food straight from Dr. Seuss’s imagination – green eggs and ham, colorful fruit and pancake stacks, funky French toast, as well as traditional breakfast favorites, all served by wait staff in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms. Popular characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam-I-Am joined guests at their tables for fun interactions and one-of-a-kind photo opportunities.

Also debuting on Carnival Splendor is Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, an interactive reading event for kids of all ages, hosted in a vibrant, custom-created tent on the stage of the main show lounge. Equally popular was the inaugural Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade where guests joined Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along Carnival Splendor’s promenade.

Carnival Splendor is stocked with a selection of classic Dr. Seuss books, toys and games and is hosting special showings of beloved movies such as “The Cat in the Hat” on the giant outdoor Dive-In Movies screen.

“We’re delighted to debut the Seuss at Sea program on Carnival Splendor which is sure to amuse and delight kids of all ages while providing parents and their children an opportunity to participate in fun and playful activities together as a family,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “In addition to providing a wonderful environment for quality family time, Seuss at Sea arms travel agents with yet another effective marketing tool for enticing families to set sail aboard the ‘Fun Ships,’” he added.

“Quality family time is more important than ever in today’s ‘always on’ society and we’re very excited to debut the first Seuss at Sea program which brings the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss to thousands of families sailing aboard the Carnival Splendor,” said Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “We can’t wait to work with our partners at Carnival to create even more magical memories for families as we roll out the Seuss at Sea experience to additional ships across Carnival’s fleet.”

Next up is Carnival Freedom which will be outfitted with a variety of specially designed Dr. Seuss spaces following its multi-million-dollar makeover this spring. Fleetwide roll out of Seuss at Sea is expected by 2015 and the program will also be featured on the new Carnival Vista which is set to debut in 2016.

Carnival Paradise Rescues Cubans Adrift At Sea

posted March 7, 2014

The Carnival Paradise was on the first day of a five-day Caribbean cruise out of Tampa when it stopped to aid a stranded boat of Cuban refugees. They reportedly had been adrift for five days when the Paradise came alongside threw lifejackets and ropes.

All the passengers, citizens of Cuban nationality, were eventually brought on board and evaluated. They were provided with food, water, new clothing, and accommodations.

The Paradise resumed its journey to Grand Cayman. Carnival reported the ship's itinerary was not affected.

Legend Returns with New Upgrades

posted March 5, 2014

The Carnival Legend resumes seven-day Caribbean cruises from Tampa after undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover. New innovations include a WaterWorks aqua park, Children's spray park, new dining venues, and new entertainment options.

Information about the new features:

WaterWorks, an aqua park highlighted by Green Thunder – the only attraction of its kind in North America that features an 187-foot-long slide with a pulse-pounding 34-foot-long drop where riders obtain speeds of up to 25 miles per hour; WaterWorks also features the 214-foot-long Twister slide, as well as a splash zone with various spray toys, dual mini-racing slides, and a 150-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket.

RedFrog Pub, a Caribbean-themed watering hole where guests can relax with the Caribbean’s best rums and beers – along with Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red private label draft brew – and enjoy live music while soaking up the distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West ambiance

Bonsai Sushi, a full-service sushi restaurant offering delicious Asian-inspired delicacies -- sushi, sashimi, rolls and more, along with popular beers and cocktails from the region -- all enjoyed amidst a contemporary Far East decor.

Cherry On Top, a “candy and more store” which celebrates the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun fanciful gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more.

Hasbro, The Game Show, where guests are part of the show through a series of larger-than-life productions and entertainment activities based on the company’s iconic and popular games.

Playlist Productions, which builds upon Carnival’s reputation for high quality entertainment, combining captivating live performances and high-tech special effects, all set to popular and recognizable songs.

A variety of additional enhancements, including upgraded swimming pools and gym equipment, along with new carpeting, tile work and wall coverings, were also completed during the two-week-long dry dock.

Construction on Carnival Vista Begins

posted February 24, 2014

Earlier this week at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the first steel was cut on Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest “Fun Ship,” which is slated to enter service in spring 2016.

Following the initial start-up of construction, workers will now begin building out the 4,000-passenger ship which will feature a variety of dining, bar and entertainment options that are part of the line’s Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative as well as several innovations unique to this vessel. Carnival Vista will be the 25th vessel in the Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet.

Legend Earns Perfect U.S.P.H. Score

posted February 20, 2014

Carnival Legend scored 100 during its United Stated Public Health (U.S.P.H.) inspection which took place this past weekend in Tampa.

To earn a 100 score, cruise ships must earn perfect marks on all 44 items that comprise the U.S.P.H's comprehensive Vessel Sanitation Program checklist. The unannounced inspections, which are conducted twice a year and required for any cruise ship with an international itinerary calling at a U.S. port, evaluate vessels in a wide variety of areas, including adherence to food handling, preparation and storage procedures, and overall gally cleanliness. Ship' potable water supplies used in spas and pools are evaluated as well.

The 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend will operate seven-day Caribbean cruises from Tampa through the fall then reposition to Australia for a program of eight- to 12-day voyages from Sydney.

Carnival Splendour Diverts to Charleston

posted February 12, 2014

According to a report in the Post and Courier, the Carnival Splendour is  diverting to the Port of Charleton Tuesday afternoon to evacuate an injured crew member.

The Splendour was due back in New York after an 8-day cruise to the Bahamas. The Splendour will be in port only long enough to have the crew member taken off the ship.

Read more at the Post and Courier.

Carnival to Begin Year-Around Departures from Baltimore

posted January 30, 2014

Carnival Pride sails the Port of Baltimore. Cruise ship.

Photo credit

The Carnival Pride will begin embarking year round on seven-day cruises from the Port of Baltimore in 2015. Currently the 2,124-passenger Pride will reposition to the Port of Tampa in October 2014 for winter sailings. Upon its return in March, the Pride will remain in Baltimore serving 120,000 passengers annually.

In anticipation of Carnival Pride’s return to Baltimore, the ship will undergo an extensive multi-million-dollar makeover in fall 2014 that will add a host of dining, bar and entertainment innovations that are part of the line’s $500 million Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program.

In addition to the new on-board features, Carnival Pride is one of several Carnival Cruise Lines ships that will be outfitted with exhaust gas cleaning technology – known as scrubbers –designed to reduce air emissions from cruise ships and large marine vessels.

Scrubber technology will be installed on Carnival Pride prior to its Baltimore deployment in spring 2015.

This new technology will enable the Carnival Pride to exceed the stricter air emission standards established for operation within the North American Emission Control Area (ECA).

Carnival Revamps Wedding Program

posted January 24, 2014

For couples looking to say "I do" at sea, Carnival has revamped its wedding program. The upgrades cover floral arrangements, culinary selectiions, photography, and other ways to customize the ceremony for a unique, memorable experience.

Couples can say “I do” during unforgettable shipboard celebrations which now include a diverse array of lavishly presented culinary options and upgraded beverage service, along with new multi-tiered wedding cake choices like chocolate ganache, coconut cream, and red velvet, all baked on board. Enhanced amenities such as a decorated wedding aisle and other traditional touches, along with upgraded champagne flutes and other keepsake items, are also included.

For those who want to tie the knot in paradise, Carnival offers a variety of beachside ceremonies with recently added choices such as Grand Turk and Freeport complementing Barbados, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and other beautiful and exotic locales.

Wedding packages start at $1,355 for a minimum of eight people and grow from that price point depending on package and number of attendees.

Source: Press Release

Carnival Announces Concert Series at Sea

posted January 23, 2014

Carnival turned up the volume on its shipboard entertainment by announcing Carnival LIVE Concert Series, bring over 40 live performances of popular artists and bands onboard sailings throughout the year.

Guests onboard select voyages will experience live performances by artists such as Jennifer Hudson, Lady Antebellum, Jewel, Daughtry, Kansas, and more.

"Performing live is one of my favorite things," said Grammy-awarding winner Jennifer Hudson at a launch event in New York City January 22. "I'm excited to be a part of this unique concert series that will allow me to interact with my fans in such an intimate and memorable setting."

The Carnival LIVE concerts will take place while the ship is in port. Guest artists will board and perform in the main show lounge that evening. Tickets will cost $20-$40 with VIP tickets $100-$150.

In addition, Carnival plans to revamp its shipboard bands with new set lists, male and female lead singers, and increased guest interaction.

Carnival Offers Shore Excursion Guarantee

posted January 15, 2014

Carnival is guaranteeing the lowest prices on over 1,100 shore excursions.

In the event passengers find a shore excursion from another tour operator booked before or during their cruise can fill out a claim form for a 110 percent shipboard credit.

Mico Cascais, vice president of tour operations for Carnival Cruise Lines, said the new best price guarantee takes pricing concerns off the table, especially for first time passengers.

He said that research showed first time guests were more inclined to book private tours, thinking they may be getting a better deal. He is confident Carnival offers the best value on its shore excursions.

The guarantee rolled out in January and applies to comparable tours.

“It should be the same tour,” said Cascais. “We are looking at the duration of the tour, inclusions like lunch, transportation, drinks, entrance fees and guides.”

Guests that do request a refund can expect it to be processed within 24 hours, according to Cascais.

“We get the tours on a value cost basis and offer them at competitive prices,” Cascais noted, adding that the line has purchasing power and buys tours in bulk.

Tour companies working with cruise lines also have to follow strict guidelines – and lines are quick to note they will get passengers back to the ship in time, or arrange transportation to the next port.

“Our suppliers are vetted, they have local certifications and they work with the cruise lines' care teams. They have a skill-set to deal with situations if they arise. These are all benefits that are there that are not what the guests look at," Cascais said.

Source: Press Release

Valor Rescues Mariners from Sinking Vessel

posted Dec. 22, 2013

The Carnival Valor came to the rescue of a yacht sinking in inclement weather near St. Maarten. The Valor was on the last part of a seven-day cruise from San Juan when the rescue occured on December 21. Five adults were brought on board and evaluated my medical staff. Two Carnival deck officers received minor contusions during the rescue.

The Valor continued on to its port of call in St. Maarten.

Splendour joins Carnival fleet in Miami

posted Dec. 22, 2013

The Carnival Splendour will become the seventh ship positioned out of South Florida when it begins Caribbean sailings from Miami in November 2014. The ship will offer seven-day eastern and western itineraries. The Splendour currently embarks from New York.

Prior to its Miami deployment, Carnival Splendor will operate two special eight-day cruises – a New York to San Juan departure calling at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua and St. Maarten departing October 24, 2014 and a San Juan to Miami voyage visiting St. Croix, Martinique, Grenada, Dominica and Grand Turk departing November 1, 2014.

Including Carnival Splendor, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate more than 400 three- to eight-day departures from PortMiami and Port Everglades, accounting for approximately 1.2 million guests annually – the most of any cruise operator.

Other vessels operating out of South Florida include the Carnival Breeze, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Victory, Carnival Ecstasy, and Carnival Freedom.

Documents Detail Problems Leading up to Carnival Triumph Fire

posted Dec. 18, 2014

Carnival Triumph

Recently released documents demonstrate a trail of missed maintenance in the year before the Carnival Triumph caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico leaving it stranded without power for four days.

The records show that only four of the six onboard generators were in service when the Triumph left Galveston. On top of that, diesel generator No. 6 was overdue on maintenance. Furthermore, Carnival was aware of leaking fuel lines in other vessels. The Costa Allegra, owned by Carnival Corporation, experienced an engine room fire in February 2012 due to leaking fuel lines.

Carnival did release a memo giving vessels two months to apply a spray shield to the fuel lines prone to leaking. However, because the fuel line was behind a deck plate, the part of the line that would eventually cause the Triumph fire was considered "shielded" and did not have the protectant applied.

The Triumph left Galveston in February 7. Diesel generator no. 6 caught fire when fuel sprayed from a flexible fuel line, leaving passengers stranded for four days without power, including electricity and working sewer lines.

Carnival insists it was an accident and that the vessel was in compliance. It ahs since invested over $300 million in safety upgrades across its fleet.

A group of passengers is suing the cruise line.

 

Carnival Partners with Dr. Seuss to Bring Seuss at Sea to Fleet

posted Dec. 12, 2013
Carnival Cruise Lines today unveiled an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the beloved children’s brand and favorite characters to the line’s fleet of 24 “Fun Ships.”

The Carnival Seuss at Sea program will offer a variety of exciting and immersive onboard youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences featuring the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.Dr. Seuss at Sea Program Carnival Cruise lines

The fun on Carnival starts in the main dining room during The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and Friends. Attendees will have the opportunity to kick off their day dining on playful foods straight from Dr. Seuss’s imagination – green eggs and ham, moose juice and goose juice, along with colorful fruit and pancake stacks, funky French toast and more, with traditional breakfast favorites also available. While Carnival’s wait staff set the tone with Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, popular Dr. Seuss characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam will be joining guests at their tables for fun interactions and one-of-a-kind photo opportunities. Hosted on the first sea day of each cruise, this special breakfast will be available for $5 per guest.

Every ship in the Carnival fleet will have a selection of classic Dr. Seuss books, toys and themed activities for children to enjoy. Special showings of beloved movies such as “The Cat in the Hat” and Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will be shown outdoors on the giant screen of the Seaside Theater on Lido Deck as part of the cruise line’s Dive-In Movies programming.

On Carnival Freedom, which is undergoing a major refurbishment in May, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in early 2016, there will be a Dr. Seuss Bookville facility -- a unique and dedicated Seuss-themed play space featuring iconic décor, colors, shapes and funky furniture inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. The perfect place for families to relax, unwind and enjoy each other’s company, guests can read one of many available Dr. Seuss books or stretch their imagination through other family-fun activities including arts and crafts, toys and Dr. Seuss-inspired games.

Story time at sea will never be the same with the introduction of Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, A Rhyming Good Time – an interactive reading event that brings to life the colorful world of Dr. Seuss for kids of all ages. Hosted on a sea day each voyage in a custom-created environment on board or within Dr. Seuss Bookville, this memorable storytelling event will feature some of the most beloved Dr. Seuss characters.

At other times during the voyage, children and families will have the chance to meet and interact with favorite Dr. Seuss characters and participate in special photo opportunities featuring colorful and zany Dr. Seuss-inspired artwork, as well as through events and activities such as the Seuss-a-palooza Character Parade where guests can join Dr. Seuss characters in a swirly conga line along the Promenade. A variety of Dr. Seuss-themed retail items will be available, as well.

The Seuss at Sea initiative builds upon Carnival’s family cruising programming. The line carries more than 700,000 kids aboard its fleet each year — nearly half of the total number of kids carried by the entire North American cruise industry.

“Our youth and family programming continues to be highly rated and extremely popular with the millions of families who sail with Carnival, but we’re constantly challenging ourselves to uncover unique and interesting ways to further enhance our guest experience,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “We are thrilled to bring the fun, whimsical and wonderful world of Dr. Seuss to life for our guests of all ages to create even more fun and memorable moments during our cruise vacations.”

“Dr. Seuss inspires imaginations across generations and encourages a playfulness and whimsy that is often lost in today’s ‘always on’ society,” said Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “We’re excited to be working with Carnival Cruise Lines to bring some of the timeless magic of Dr. Seuss to the families that sail each year. Seuss at Sea will let kids and parents alike explore their imaginations through the memorable onboard experiences we’re building together.”
Source: Press Release

Passenger Medically Evacuated from Victory

posted December 9, 2013

Rescue crews from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., are working to medically evacuate an 88 year-old man from the Carnival Victory cruise ship northwest of Cuba Sunday morning.

Injured is Herman Steidel Lebron, 88, from Puerto Rico.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard 7th District command center received the report from the Victory stating Lebron suffered internal injuries during the cruise. After consulting with the flight surgeon, he was recommended for medical evacuation.  

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater launched MH-60 and C-130 aircrews to respond to the emergency and transport him to Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, Fla.
Source: Coast Guard Press Release

Carnival Announces New Dinner Concepts

posted December 4, 2013

Carnival Cruise Lines is launching new dinner concepts for the ships' main dining rooms that will begin the week of December 8 aboard the Carnival Glory. The two new concepts, American TABLE and American FEAST, reflect an increased investment by Carnival in its main dining room experience and incorporate the results of extensive testing and research conducted among Carnival's past guests.

During the development of the new dinner concepts, the cruise line's management team spent time interacting with the leadership at Union Square Hospitality Group, a leading New York-based entertainment, food and hospitality organization, to observe best practices and the organization's approach to culinary excellence. Taking inspiration from that interaction, Carnival's culinary team developed the new dinner concepts, which will be offered during a pilot period with some variation in the dishes, presentation style and other elements to gauge additional guest feedback before rolling out the program fleetwide in the latter half of 2014 and 2015. Other ships included in the pilot are Carnival Liberty beginning in January, and Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration starting in February.

American TABLE, offered on Cruise Casual nights, is designed to evoke a modern restaurant experience with an emphasis on exceptional American cuisine featuring a mix of familiar regional, fresh and contemporary dishes. Menus will change each evening and will feature an expansive array of creative and delectable appetizer, entree and dessert choices.

Modern table decor and place settings are complemented by new menus and a new serving style to deliver a memorable dining experience. Menu selections will feature a wide variety of new and inventive dishes, along with plenty of Carnival favorites that are exceptionally popular among the cruise line's past guests.

Meals will begin with an extensive stand-alone cocktail menu featuring a variety of imaginative drink specialties such as the Raspberry Mojito, the Carnival Cosmo and the Sunset Serenity, which provide a unique twist on some favorite classics. Featured wines will also be offered by the glass, in addition to a wide-ranging list of wines available by the glass and bottle.

The new American TABLE experience offers a full appetizer menu including selections such as Fried Calamari, which can be served family style for the table, as well as soup and salad options. Special selections called 'Rare Finds' for the more adventurous, such as Spicy Alligator Fritters and Frog Legs Provencal with Herb Butter, are available as well.

Entree choices include expertly prepared pasta and poultry dishes such as Free Range Chicken with Salsa Verde and Charred Lemon or Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Breast with Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salsa, as well as meat and seafood options such as Seared Tilapia with Capers and Parsley or Rosemary Braised Lamb Shank. Carnival favorites such as Flat Iron Steak with Pepper and Herbs, and Veal Parmigiana with Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce will continue to be offered as well.

"Port of Call" entree selections are inspired by the destination on the ship's itinerary that day. For example, when calling at St Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the day's 'Port of Call' entrees will include dishes such as Tropical Salad of Ripe Mango, Spicy Grilled Chicken Strips, Crispy Carrots and Red and Green Peppers on a Bed of Fresh Greens Drizzled with Tangy Raspberry Vinaigrette, and Island Chicken Curry with Potato Crisps and Sweet and Sour Mango Chutney.

'From the Grill' entrees such as Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions and Stewed Apple will be available every evening to provide diners with even more variety and choice.

Every exceptional meal should end with a fun and memorable dessert and the American TABLE dining experience will feature a special dessert menu with options such as S'Mores Parfait as well as a divine pie of the day option served whole for the table and a la mode. A variety of featured after-dinner drinks will also be available.

In addition to American TABLE, a second dining concept, American FEAST, will also be offered in the main dining room one or two times per voyage on Cruise Elegant nights. American Feast has been designed to create the feel of an elegant, elaborate special occasion celebrated by all guests in the restaurant with courses served table-side in elaborate style befitting the occasion.

The American FEAST menu features a full selection of tantalizing appetizers such as Mojito Cured Salmon with Minted Cucumber Slaw, and Crispy Crab and Corn Fritters with Pineapple, Coconut and Cilantro Salsa, followed by a savory pasta dish, served as the second course. Guests then choose their entree from a delicious selection of succulently prepared meats, seafood and vegetarian choices such as Slow Cooked Prime Rib, Broiled Maine Lobster and Miso Marinated Salmon Filet. Spectacular desserts such as Sticky Toffee Brioche with Whipped Creme Fraiche, Chocolate Nib Crunch, Toasted Coconut-Lime and Strawberry Compote will top off the meal in style.

"Dining has always been a hallmark of the Carnival cruise experience and we're constantly looking for new ways to provide our guests with exceptional meals and service that become a highlight of their vacation, bringing people together while creating fond memories," said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. "With our new American TABLE and American FEAST concepts, we have sought to create a delicious, fun, welcoming and highly satisfying main dining room experience and look forward to our guests' feedback as we refine the program to take it fleetwide next year."

Source: Press Release

 

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