While looking at availability on Carnival Cruise Line for November cruises, I noticed something interesting. Availability for several ships seem to have dissipated and some have not.
Well, it could be the ships have reached the limited capacity of booking so they have pulled the ships from inventory. But the optimist side of me has a better idea. Back in August when Carnival was scheduled to start up again, they were limiting the number of ships to begin sailing after the suspension. Carnival has indicated that this would be the case so likely that is whats happening.
The 6 ships showing availability in November are:
Carnival Breeze - Port Canaveral
Carnival Liberty - Port Canaveral
Carnival Elation - Port Canaveral
Carnival Conquest - Port of Miami
Carnival Horizon - Port of Miami
Carnival Sunrise - Port of Miami
We don't know for sure this is the case but based on past indicators, I am optimistic this is the case. But, we still don't know what itineraries they will sail since there are a variety of ports still not allowing ships or even tourist in.
Now currently Carnival has suspended all operations until the end of October and the CDC has a no sail order until the end of September. Hopefully by the end of September we have a better idea of whats going to happen with cruising.
Delta Airlines joined United and American in eliminating most of their change fees on US Flights. Typicly, it can cost $75-250 Per Person to change a ticket but that is going away, kind of.
Delta has eliminated the fee for all seat categories including First Class, Delta Premium, and Delta Comfort for Domestic travel in the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. You will still have a change fee for Delta Basic. All of this starts immediately.
Delta will continue to offer the waiver of change fees through the end of 2020 for travel in any cabin and all destinations.
Freedom to Roam Travel
Mike Miller (904) 534-4318
In 2022, Carnival Cruise Line will celebrate 50 years of cruising and what better way to celebrate than a new ship. On Friday, Carnival announced the naming of the sister ship of Mardi Gras coming out in 2022. The new name will be Carnival Celebration.
Yes, for those who have been around cruising for a while will remember Carnival did have a ship called the Celebration. It was one of the older smaller ships prior to the Fantasy Class. She is now with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line as Grand Celebration.
As I mentioned, the Carnival Celebration will be the sister ship to the soon to be launched Mardi Gras. This is the new XL Class of ships developed by Carnival offering a different look a feel from the current fleet. The ships divided into zones, a roller coaster on the ship and powered by Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).
The Carnival Celebration will be based in the Port of Miami while the Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral Florida. While the Celebration is not out to book as of yet, the Mardi Gras is so for more information on Mardi Gras, contact me at the information below.
Since March so many people have been working remotely from home and many companies have made this permanent or at least through the end of 2020 and into 2021. So this present an opportunity for those with this work life to do something different, take a workation.
What is a workation? This is taking off to a destination away from home like a vacation except you work from there. You could head out to see family, travel to a city you have never been to or take a road trip. Either way, it does make work a little more bearable if you have a beach view. Pus, you can save up some of those vacation days or at least use them more wisely.
I will actually be doing this for my day job in September when I head to a family members beach house in Seaside FL. Instead of just taking 2 days vacation and returning home, I am taking 4 half days allowing me to hang out on the beach or at the pool in the morning and work in the afternoon. Now, there are some things you need to consider when taking a Workation.
Accessibility. Whether you are staying at a hotel or Air B&B, you want to get information about internet connections. For example, with my day job, I need a very reliable internet connection since I have a remote desktop.
Privacy. If you are working with clients and sensitive infromtion, you want to make sure you will have a quiet place to work where you will not be disturbed.
Discipline. You are working on vacation so motivation can be an issue. Make sure you have the discipline to work and not end up on the beach all day. Being distracted in the office is bad enough but on vacation is even worse.
Check with your company. Make sure your company will allow you to take a workation and work from another location other than your home.
The work environment has changed and I believe this is for the better. So why not combine the drudgery of work and vacation?
For assistance with your travel needs, give me a call or email through the contact information bellow.
The Regal Princess is the second of the Royal Class ships from Princess Cruise Line. I sailed to the Eastern Caribbean on her back in November 2018 and loved the ship. This was my first time on Princess so it was a little bit of a culture shock going from Carnival to Princess but it was a good shock.
Below is my top 5 activities to do on the Regal.
Spend a half day or full day at the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is a pay and adult only location on deck 16 at the front of the ship. Here you have padded chairs, chair service for food and drinks. But if you want to reserve your spot, get there as soon as you board especially if you want a sea day.
Participate in Trivia. The Royal Class ships have an area called Princess Live which is like a TV studio. They played all kinds of games from family feud to Majority Rules all really fun and great prizes. And Princess Live is where they host the Love and Marriage Show which is broadcast throughout the ship.
Take in High Tea. I did have tea while on board but did not participate in High Tea. This is an event that does cost but from what I understand its worth it. This is another event you want to make sure you reserve early in your cruise.
Dine at Alfredo's I can can only say WOW. Alfredo’s is a sit down included restaurant where you can get Italian dishes or your own personal pan pizza. You can even watch them make it. I made the mistake of waiting until the last night to try it.
Watch a movie under the stars. Almost every night, they will have a feature film on the big screen out on deck. The lounge chairs are covered in a confortable cushion and you can even have a blanket if its cool. And don’t forget the popcorn.
Bonus Late night snack at the International Café. Here you can get sandwiches and deserts along with a cup of coffee 24 hours a day. The International Cafe is located in the Piazza.
Regal Princess will be sailing Australia Winter and Spring of 2021, Scandinavia and Baltic Summer 2021 and Canada / New England Fall 2021. For more information on Regal Princess or other Princess Ships, contact me at the info below.
Cruising returned this past weekend as MSC Cruises returned to the Mediterranean 5 months after suspending operations. MSC is now sailing the Grandiosa to the Western Med and starting on August 29th, 2020, they will sail the Magnifica to the Eastern Med. Although these cruises are only for citizens of certain countries excluding the US and mostly the European Union, it does give hope for the much anticipated return to cruising.
The itineraries were designed primarily based on accessibility to ports to assist with passengers arrival and departures. This had to limit transportation needs. Below are the itineraries ports of call for each ship.
The Grandiosa is sailing to the 7 Night Western Mediterranean visiting the Italian ports of Genoa, Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Valetta.
Starting on August 29th, the Magnifica will sail the Eastern Med visiting the Greek ports of Corfu, Katakolan and Piraeus.
“We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming back guests for full-experience cruise vacations this summer on board two of our most popular ships — including our flagship MSC Grandiosa — and in the Mediterranean, the very region where our Company’s roots are and we have long been market leaders.”said MSC CEO Gianni Onorato who is currently sailing on the Grandiosa.
Of course with this return to cruising health guidelines and protocols have been put in place for the safety of the guest and crew.
Universal COVID-19 Testing for Guest and Crew
Excursion only debarkation and ports of call
Plus limited capacity on the ships and much more.
The protocols and safety measures put in place meet European Maritime Safety Agency Guidance. Of course once cruising starts here in the US again, there will be standards the cruise lines will need to meet in order to sail The cruise lines are working with CDC to develop those protocols to bring cruising back as soon as safely possible.
For updates on cruise cancellations please visit my travel update page.
Currently in order to visit Hawaii, you must quarantine for 14 days in the home or hotel where you are staying. Does not make for much of a vacation and not much of a reason to visit Hawaii.
A couple of months ago, Hawaii announced you would be able to avoid that 14 day if you can prove a negative COVID Test taken 72 hours prior to arrival. Las month it was push back from an August 1st start date to September 1 but it may be pushed back again. Decision will be made once more numbers are in.
This week Carnival Cruise Line announced several changes to the fleet and redevelopments. Most of it impacted by selling of ships and laying up of ships.
First the Carnival Fantasy and Inspiration have been sold and the Carnival Imagination and Fascination will be layed up for an indefinite amount of time. These are all fantasy class ships and popular with cruisers including my self. But, there are the older ships in the fleet and new ships are joining the fleet.
So now what happens. Well, there are some chess pieces that have to move in order to accommodate booked guest.
The Carnival Sensation, another fantasy class ship, will move to Mobile to take the place of the Fascination and Fantasy.Guest will be accommodated on the Sensation.
The Carnival Sunrise will move from Fort Lauderdale to Miami to take over for Sensation.
Carnival Fascination itineraries from San Juan and Barbados have been cancelled for 2020 and 2021
Carnival Imagination and Inspiration sailings from Long Beach, CA have been cancelled through April 19, 2021
The Carnival Radiance will take over for the Imagination and Inspiration on April 22, 2021 when she will start sailing from Long Beach, CA.
I don't know about you, but these changes have made me dizzy. On the bright side, some will be upgrading in ship class with this changes, although, some like my self might enjoy the Fantasy class ships.
Earlier in the month, Carnival announced some other changes made to the fleet operations.
The Carnival Mardi Gras, the brand new XL class ship has been delayed until February 6, 2021
Carnival Radiance has been delayed until April 2021
Due to the Radiance delay, the Carnival Breeze sailings from Port Everglades were cancelled and the Breeze will remain in Port Canaveral sailing 6 & 8 Day Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries.
All of these changes emphasis the importance of using a travel adviser like my self. We keep up with itinerary changes and cancellations and can help navigate, pun intended, through these changes to ensure you have the best cruise experience
With all of this time not able to cruise, I have been thinking about some of the stories from past cruises. Recently I was reminded of my seagull encounter.
Several years ago I was sailing on the Carnival Fantasy to the Bahamas when I learned my lesson about seagulls while cruising. We were docked in Nassau Bahamas and before I took off to explore, I grabbed breakfast on the Lido Deck. My usual, scrambled eggs, mini waffles, some potatoes and sausage links. Everything looked so good.
So I grabbed my orange juice and headed out to the tables on the outside of the buffet along the rail because I always love eating outside. I told one of the staff I would be right back as I rushed off to get some coffee. It’s a good idea to let them know you will be back because they work hard to make sure the table gets cleaned off quickly.
As I got back to my table, my attention was grabbed by a young lady tapping on the window pointing. I finally understood what she was saying and it was a seagull had landed on my table and removed one of my sausage links. Well, I had no idea where the bird had landed or what else he had touched so I quickly threw the food away and went back for more. I was so thankful for the lady who warned me of the demise of my food.
Moral of the story, make sure if you are setting your food on a table outside, there is someone watching it for you or you might share your meal with a feathered friend.
Well, its for sure a Monday when you get the news your cruise has been cancelled. Today Carnival Cruise Line announced they have cancelled all North American Cruises until September 30, 2020. This comes after CLIA the Cruise Line International Association announced on Friday cruise lines will voluntarily continue the suspension of operations until at least September 15, 2020.
Here are the options for those scheduled to travel on now cancelled sailings.
The options above can get complicated due to passengers like myself, you have had two previous cruises cancelled where I used a Future Cruise Credit. Be sure to consult with your travel advisor for all of your options.
We are expecting other cruise lines to follow with more announcements and I will bring those as I get them.