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Seven more Carnival ships to restart this fall, 95% vaccinated cruises to continue

Article-Seven more Carnival ships to restart this fall, 95% vaccinated cruises to continue

Among the September ship restarts is Carnival Pride from Baltimore, beginning Sept. 12
Three more Carnival Cruise Line ships are expected to resume saiiing in September and another four in October, bringing the total to 15 — more than half the fleet.

In addition, Carnival will continue to operate all its ships as vaccinated cruises through at least October. (This means at least 95% percent of travelers are vaccinated, as per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowing operators the discretion to ease certain protocols for vaccinated travelers on ships with at least 95% vaccinated crew and passengers.)

Limited exemptions for unvaccinated passengers within 14 days of sailing

Plus, Carnival said exemptions for unvaccinated passengers will be available on a limited, capacity-managed basis within 14 days of sailing and detailed added costs and requirements for them.

Glory from New Orleans, Pride from Baltimore, Dream from Galveston

The three ships for September are Carnival Glory from New Orleans starting Sept. 5, Carnival Pride from Baltimore, starting Sept. 12 and Carnival Dream from Galveston, starting Sept. 19.

Conquest and Freedom from Miami, Elation from Canaveral, Sensation from Mobile

The four additional ships starting the following month will be Carnival Conquest from Miami, Oct. 8 , Carnival Freedom from Miami, Oct. 9, Carnival Elation from Port Canaveral, Oct. 11, and Carnival Sensation from Mobile, Oct. 21.

Extended pauses

This means cruises before these dates on these ships will not take place; passengers are being notified. In addition, cruises on Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, Carnival Ecstasy from Jacksonville and Carnival Liberty from Port Canaveral are canceled through Oct. 31. As well, a three-day cruise on Carnival Miracle from Long Beach on Sept. 24 is canceled, with the ship to begin Long Beach cruises Sept. 27.

 'By the end of July, we will have five ships in our restart plan, including the introduction of service on Mardi Gras, and we are seeing a great combination of strong demand and strong guest satisfaction scores tied to the positive guest experience on board,' Carnival President Christine Duffy said.

Extra $150 charge for unvaccinated travelers

Carnival will continue to allow a small percentage of unvaccinated travelers per cruise, including children under 12, but they will be subject to pre-cruise and pre-embarkation testing and testing again prior to disembarkation (on cruises longer than four days) along with a $150 per person charge to cover the costs of testing, reporting to the destinations visited and health and safety screenings. 

Requirements include presenting at check-in a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before the sailing date, an antigen test at embarkation and testing again within 24 hours of disembarkation on cruises longer than days. Children under 2 are exempt from testing requirements.

In the event unvaccinated travelers are in close contact with or exposed to any passenger or crew that test positive for COVID-19 during the cruise, they will be required to undergo additional testing and may have to quarantine in their stateroom until Carnival's medical team determines it is safe for them to resume their cruise activities.

Youth programs limited to vaccinated kids 12 and up

At this time, Carnival is limiting operation of its supervised youth programs to vaccinated children and youth 12 years and older.

Insurance requirement for unvaccinated from Florida and Texas

Unvaccinated travelers departing from Florida (effective July 31) and Texas (effective Aug. 2) will also need to show proof of travel insurance coverage, based on the itineraries being sailed and the requirements of ports and destinations visited. These additional measures will be in place through at least October but may be extended based on guidance from public health and medical advisors and the requirements of destination partners.

'The decision to sail with vaccinated voyages was a difficult one to make, and we recognize this is disappointing to some of our guests, especially the many families with children under the age of 12 who we love to sail, and who love to sail with us,' Duffy said. 'It's important to remember that this is a temporary measure given the current circumstances. In consultation with our medical experts and advisors, we've determined this plan is in the best interests of the health and safety of our guests, crew and the destinations that we bring our ships to. It's very important that we continue to maintain the confidence of our destination partners, so that we can provide our guests with the optimal cruise experience and sail our itineraries.'

Exemptions for unvaccinated passengers will be available on a limited, capacity-managed basis within 14 days of sailing as Carnival finalizes the vaccinated guest count.  

'The more bookings we initially secure for our cruises with fully vaccinated guests, the more exemptions we can ultimately offer for those unvaccinated guests already booked and those wishing to sail,' Duffy added.

Plan to bring back full fleet by year's end

Carnival plans to bring its full fleet back into service by year's end, she said, and '[build] back our business for the benefit of our guests, employees and the tens of thousands of jobs and local businesses that depend on our company.'

Booked customers and travel advisors are being notified of the plans for the returning ships, cruise cancellations and the process customers are asked to follow to confirm their vaccination status or apply for an exemption to the vaccination standard. 

Passengers wishing to change their plans, who are unable to wait to see if they receive an exemption or who cannot meet the vaccination standards may change their reservation without penalty or request a full refund. 

Details are here.

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