Cruise News Update: January 29, 2022

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Here’s your roundup with another weekly new cruises update on major cruise lines. It’s been hectic with all new Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean ships, plus other boarding cancellations and improvements.

Cruise News Update

We have just had another busy week in the cruise industry as cruise lines continue to adapt to the current global situation and continue to focus on the future. We have more cancellations in Hong Kong, including Royal Caribbean who decided to leave the city earlier than planned. There’s also coverage on the new world’s largest cruise ship, a possible booster for Carnival cruisers, and plenty of ship news on the next two Carnival LNG ships.

Cancellations in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong government is not allowing cruises from the city until at least mid-February. This is due to the COVID measures put in place locally. As a result, Dream Cruises announced further cancellations for Dream of Gentingaffecting six cruises between February 4 and February 16. Sailings were due to resume on February 4 after previous cruise cancellations in January, also due to restrictions imposed by Hong Kong authorities.

Photo credit: LO Kin-hei / Shutterstock

Royal Caribbean also announced further cancellations for its ship, Specter of the Seas citing the same reasons as Dream Cruises. Specter of the Seas Sea trips departing on February 4, 7, 10, 12 and 14 have been cancelled. The Quantum-ultra-class ship has already been put on hold for much of January due to decisions beyond the cruise line.

When the cruise will really return from Hong Kong, who knows, at least it’s not like Australia, which still hasn’t seen a single trip since March 2020.

Spectrum of the Seas in Singapore

And while we’re talking about Specter of the Seascurrently based in Hong Kong, the vessel is now ready to reposition to begin much earlier singapore cruises than originally planned.

Specter of the Seas will begin the three- to four-night ocean getaways on April 11, 2022, six months ahead of schedule. Royal Caribbean has not explained why it decided to move the ship earlier, but it is likely that recent suspensions and restrictions imposed by Hong Kong authorities have had an impact.

Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship
Photo credit: Vladimir Arndt / Shutterstock

Royal Caribbean can now focus on Singapore with fully vaccinated sailings. The cruise line also allows customers who book their Spectrum travel no later than March 31, 2022 to take advantage of its Cruise cancellation program with confidence. The program allows guests to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before departure and receive future cruise credit.

Specter of the Seas is 169,379 gross tons, making it one of the largest cruise ships operating in Asia. The Quantum-ultra class ship has a capacity of 4,246 passengers in double occupancy and 1,551 international crew members. The ship entered service in April 2019 and was specifically designed to serve the Asian cruise market.

Wonder of the seas delivered

Royal Caribbean Delivery new wonder of the seas des Chantiers de l’Atlantique took place on Thursday in Marseille, France, where the Oasis-class ship had made its final touches before being handed over. The reflagging ceremony was held to mark a milestone as Royal Caribbean now takes responsibility for the new world’s largest cruise ship.

Wonder of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

It’s been a long road since construction began at the shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, in April 2019. Since then, wonder of the seas has reached important construction milestones, including floating on water for the first time and sea trials. In November 2021, the Royal Caribbean liner arrives at the Marseille shipyard for final touches, including on interior spaces . Crew members also joined the ship to prepare for guest operations.

The ship will begin cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on March 4, 2022, and will offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, including calls to Royal Caribbean’s private islands from Perfect Day to CocoCay to the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas; Roatan, Honduras; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

wonder of the seas has impressive stats at 236,857 gross tons and can accommodate 5,734 people based on double occupancy, as well as 2,300 international crew members. The ship has a total of 18 decks, 24 guest elevators and 2,867 cabins.

Carnival Cruise Line VeriFLY

On January 22, Carnival Cruise Line launched a pilot program for customers boarding the Mardi Gras cruise ship in Port Canaveral. The new program is the VeriFLY solution already widely used by airlines, allowing customers to upload their health information for verification.

Carnival Cruise Line VeriFLY
Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival has now said that the first use of the boarding improvement was a successwith nearly 2,000 guests opening the invitation for the VeriFly solution and 85% of those downloading the app.

Going forward, the pilot program is expected to expand to more sailings and then roll out to all Carnival cruise ships departing from the United States. The app allows customers to upload their proof of vaccination and testing information, resulting in a more streamlined onboarding process. Customers who have used the app have had their check-in process time reduced.

Carnival Cruise Line Booster

The cruise line has informed customers of its plans to operate vaccinated crossings, including the possibility that the booster shot will become a requirement. Carnival Cruise Line continues to follow CDC guidelines to keep passengers and crew safe, despite the conditional sailing order ending on January 15, 2022.

In a letter sent to guests, Carnival said it still plans to operate vaccinated sailings, and guests will still be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated at least 14 days before departure. Pre-cruise testing is still required for passengers vaccinated within two days of the departure date.

Carnival cruise ship
Photo credit: Vintagepix / Shutterstock

The CDC and even Carnival’s Have Fun. Be careful. protocols, strongly recommends that clients receive a booster shot when eligible. On future cruises, the booster shot may become a requirement rather than a recommendation, and the cruise line will notify guests of this.

So far, none of the cruise destinations have made it a requirement, but in recent weeks ports have refused entry to cruise ships that had small numbers of COVID-19 cases on board. The last thing the industry needs is more postage cancellations due to customers not getting a reminder.

Carnival celebration gets a funnel

Carnival Cruise Line’s second LNG-powered Excel-class ship Carnival Celebrationreceived his funnel. Carnival Cruise Line’s signature funnel, with its split fan or whale tail design, debuted in 1972 aboard the tropicalthe first ship built exclusively for Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival celebration funnel
Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

Once finished, Carnival Celebration will be 182,800 gross tons and be 1,130 feet long, with seating capacity for 5,374 passengers in double occupancy and up to 6,631 passengers when all berths are full.

Carnival Celebration is scheduled to enter service in November, as part of Carnival Cruise Line’s 50th anniversary celebrations, and will depart from PortMiami. Its initial itineraries will include 6-, 7-, and 8-night Caribbean cruises, visiting popular ports of call including Amber Cove, Costa Maya, Grand Turk, Nassau, San Juan, and more.

Opening of reservations for the Carnival Jubilee

There’s still time before Carnival Jubilee begins to sail, but the sister ship Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration is now open for booking. Opening of reservations on January 25, conveniently known as the National Plan for the Holiday Day. The first booking opportunities appeared on the Carnival Hub app last week, which Carnival has now confirmed.

Carnival Jubilee will make its maiden voyage from Galveston, Texas on Nov. 18, 2023. The ship’s inaugural cruise from the United States will stop in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, Honduras.

Carnival Jubilee cruise ship
Rendering Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Guests who wish to browse Carnival Jubilee a little earlier can do it on one of the longest trips Carnival offers. Departing from Southampton in the south of England, it will visit La Coruña and Vigo in Spain, Madeira and the Canary Islands, and cross the Atlantic Ocean to Grand Turk. The ship will depart Southampton on October 30, 2023 and arrive in her new homeport of Galveston on November 17, 2023.

Carnival Jubilee will be built in Germany, unlike its sisters Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration. Although the same company, the first two ships were built by Meyer Turku Werft in Finland, Carnival Jubilee will instead be built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.

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Cruise News Update
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