Cruise News Update: October 9, 2021


There’s a lot to catch up on in this week’s cruise news update, but all is not good, some Carnival ships need to be on hold even longer. However, across the industry there are still cruise ships restarting operations, including Virgin Voyages.

Cruise update

Here we go with another busy week of cruise news through all the major cruise lines and there is another Carnival cruise ship resuming today from the cruise capital of the world. We also have news on Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages and Princess Cruises. You can watch the full cruise update in the video below:

Carnival Freedom resumes cruises

Carnival Liberty restarts operations from Miami, Florida on October 9 and the ship becomes the 12th ship in the fleet to do so. The ship’s first return trip will be an 8-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary that will include stops in Saint-Martin, Saint-Thomas, San Juan and finally Amber Cove. The long-awaited cruise on the Carnival Liberty will also have three days at sea with a return to Maimi, the cruise capital of the world on October 17.

Photo credit: Carnival Cruise Line

The ship joins Horizon Carnival which resumed cruises from Miami in July and Sunrise Carnival which resumed in August. Sister ship, Carnival conquest will also resume departures from Miami on December 13, 2021.

Virgin Voyages begins cruises from Miami

We’ve all been talking about Virgin Voyages for years, but it’s only now that the cruise line has been able to truly start its guest operations out of PortMiami. The first ship built for the cruise line, Scarlet lady finally started the cruises from the port on October 6.

Scarlet Lady cruise ship in Miami
Photo courtesy: Virgin Voyages

After the ship’s summer stays in the UK, Scarlet lady now sails on Caribbean itineraries of four and five nights. The ship will have a wide variety of cruises available in the coming months. The four-night Bahamas cruises will stop at Nassau and Bimini and other cruises include five-night Riviera Maya cruises to Cozumel, Mayan Sol trips to Costa Maya, and Dominican trips to Puerto Plata.

As most already know, Virgin Voyages is for adults only and currently passengers must be fully vaccinated for the cruise. The ship weighs 110,000 gross tons and can accommodate 2,770 passengers as well as 1,160 crew members.

Other carnival cancellations

As expected, Carnival Cruise Line has released an update on ships is expected to restart in 2022 as Carnival continues to resume operations. More time is needed to put the entire fleet back into service and, as a result, a total of five vessels must remain on standby until 2022.

Sun Carnival will now resume cruises from Charleston on January 13, 2022, starting with a four-day itinerary in the Bahamas. Carnival Liberty, which has just received its new livery, will leave Port Canaveral on February 11, 2022.

Carnival cruise ships
Photo credit: Russell Otway

Three additional ships will resume in 2022, including the Ecstasy Carnival from Jacksonville, Carnival Paradise from Tampa, and Carnival Sensation from Mobile. The sailings of the three Fantasy-class ships are canceled until February 2022.

There is also an update on the two Australia-based Carnival cruise ships. It is not yet known when the cruise industry will be able to reopen, Carnival splendor cruises from Sydney are canceled until February 7, 2022, and Carnival spirit cruises from Brisbane are canceled until February 20, 2022.

Royal Caribbean updates key benefits

If you’ve ever gone through the process of booking a cruise on Royal Caribbean, you’ll likely have seen the additional extras available for purchase before you set off. Think about the tour, drink packages, and an optional program called The Key.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Photo credit: Darryl Brooks /

The program, to which customers can purchase access during the booking process, received updates. One of the biggest changes is that customers get free room service for the duration of the cruise and a 25% discount on onboard meal purchases. Customers with key access are given priority access to the terminal during the arrival time booked on Day 1, previously this was a priority check-in before the pandemic. On the day of disembarkation a special ‘take out’ breakfast bag and one departure choice are available, previously it was a la carte breakfast.

The key was introduced a few years ago and you can think of it as a Fastpass with additional benefits. For a daily rate, which you will have to pay per person. The cost can vary between $ 19.99 and $ 37.99 per person per day.

MSC Seashore Christening Ceremony

The flagship product of MSC, MSC Seashore will have its baptismal ceremony on the private island of the cruise company Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas. Sophia Loren is best known for her acting work, but she also writes history in other fields. The actress will name her 16th cruise ship MSC, MSC Seashore, November 18, 2021.

MSC Seashore cruise ship
Photo courtesy: MSC Cruises

MSC Seashore will depart Miami on November 17 for a unique baptismal trip. Festivities will take place on board the ship and ashore; the ship will spend the night in the Bahamas while guests enjoy a gala dinner celebrating the newest ship in the MSC fleet. MSC Seashore will then begin its regular cruises on November 20.

The new ship will take its inaugural 7-night cruise from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, Montego Bay, Jamaica and the Ocean Cay Marine Preserve, before returning to Miami.

MSC’s flagship is the first ship in the Seaside EVO class, an evolution from the two other Seaside class ships, MSC Seaside and MSC sea view. MSC Seashore has a capacity of 4,540 people and exceeds 170,000 gross tons.

Carnival extends its protocols

Enjoy. Be safe, health protocols on board and before boarding Carnival Cruise Line will stay in place in the new year. Customers wishing to sail aboard a Carnival cruise ship will need to be vaccinated for crossings through February 2022.

This means that all passengers on board over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before departure. The cruise line has also confirmed that passengers who need oxygen for medical reasons are not allowed to sail and will not be allowed to sail until March 2022.

Carnival Dream cruise ship
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

Carnival Cruise Line is unlikely to accept exemption requests for crossings in 2022. The rationale is that the cruise line expects the FDA to approve vaccinations for children between the ages of 5 and 11 soon and that children could be vaccinated before the holiday season.

For now, vaccine exemptions will only be available on a minimum basis for children under the age of twelve on Caribbean cruises through December 31, 2021.

Be sure to check all cruise line protocols if you have an upcoming cruise and remember that they are constantly changing, so always check official cruise line communications.

Majestic Princess Sails from LA

Princess Cruises has taken another important step in the return to service of its fleet, with Majestic princess become the second in the fleet to begin departures from Los Angeles, California.

After completing a partial season in Alaska, the ship welcomed guests to the Port of Los Angeles on October 6 to begin 14 round-trip departures through the end of the year. Itineraries include stops on the Mexican Riviera, California Coast, and West Coast ranging from three to 10 days.

Princess Cruises has been sailing from Los Angeles since 1965 and is the premier cruise operator on the West Coast. The cruise line contributed $ 594 million to the Los Angeles economy in 2019 and is a staple of the cruise industry, with more than 700 ships visiting Los Angeles over the past decade.

The Royal-class ship weighs 143,700 gross tonnes and entered service for the first time in March 2017. The ship has a capacity of 3,560 passengers as well as 1,346 international crew members.

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So these are just a few of the top cruise news of the week, we have even more, including MSC Cruises being approved to restart operations from two other countries, one major rebrand for Costa Cruises, iconic funnel removed from the old Carnival cruise ship, Carnival Liberty receives a new livery, Construction begins on second MSC luxury cruise ship and much more.

Cruise news update

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