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Carnival Fascination to resume San Juan sailings

Carnival Fascination will begin San Juan departures Oct. 15. The company said Old San Juan is ready to receive tourists, and ship calls will help recovery efforts Carnival Fascination will begin San Juan departures Oct. 15. The company said Old San Juan is ready to receive tourists, and ship calls will help recovery efforts

After suspending cruises from and to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, Carnival Cruise Line plans to resume San Juan calls starting Oct. 15. As for other operators, it's a patchwork for now—some ships are going back, some aren't.

Carnival's decision follows close work its partners in San Juan over the last couple weeks, and is based on an assessment of terminal facilities, support services and local conditions.

Immediately after Maria's passage, Carnival said its San Juan terminal sustained damage that would take several weeks to repair. Carnival Fascination canceled three sailings, through Oct. 8, in tandem with the three Barbados interporting departures that were to call San Juan, through Oct. 11.

'Our team’s visit this past week confirmed the Old San Juan area is ready to receive tourists,' Carnival said Monday. 'Many shops and businesses have returned to their normal business operations with more opening up every day.'

The line noted tourism is very important to Puerto Rico's economy and said that with passengers' help, 'we are pleased to play an important role in aiding their recovery efforts in a meaningful way.'

Itineraries have been modified to ensure the best shore experience. On San Juan departures Oct. 15 through Nov. 5, Carnival Fascination will visit Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts. The Nov. 12 sailing will visit Martinique, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts. Cruises Nov. 19 through Nov. 26 will call at Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Kitts.

As for the ship's Barbados embarkations, those Oct. 18 through Nov. 1 will visit St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grenada. The Nov. 8 itinerary includes St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan and Martinique. The Nov. 15 through Nov. 22 departures will call St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, San Juan and Grenada.

When it comes to other lines, Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas resumed its homeport San Juan service on Saturday, with some itinerary changes. Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Independence of the Seas, though, are not stopping on transit calls for now.

MSC Cruises' Miami-based MSC Divina switched to western Caribbean itineraries in October. Those don't visit San Juan, nor will the ship's seven-night eastern Caribbean cruises on Nov. 11 and Nov. 25.

Norwegian Cruise Line earlier shifted Norwegian Escape, which also sails from Miami, to western Caribbean routes through year's end. Norwegian Dawn is still scheduled to begin a series of seasonal southern Caribbean sailings from San Juan, the first by NCL in some time, on Nov. 12. The ship will also operate 11- and 10-day holiday cruises from San Juan on Dec. 17 and Dec. 28 respectively.

Posted 09 October 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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