Port of New Orleans

Carnival Cruise Line Pauses Operation Through May 31, 2021

Some more not-so-great news for cruisers. Carnival Cruise Line has announced a pause in operations until June 2021. The full press release from the company including a quote from company President Christine Duffy is below. 

Statement from Carnival Cruise Line: 

Carnival Cruise Line has notified booked guests and travel advisors that its pause in operations from U.S. ports has been extended through May 31, 2021.

A date for the return of guest cruising operations from U.S. ports has not yet been determined.  Earlier in February, Carnival began providing more flexible options for guests booked into early summer so that they could cancel their reservation without penalty if they needed or wanted to make other plans.  As it has done throughout the pause, Carnival is providing guests on cruises cancelled today the choice of a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package, or a full refund.

“We continue to work on plans to resume operations and are encouraged by the focus to expedite vaccine production and distribution which are having a demonstrated impact on improving public health,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.  “We appreciate the support of all of our guests, employees and trade partners who we know are looking forward to our return.”

The news shouldn’t be a surprise to cruisers as several other major cruise lines have decided to push back their restart date into the early summer. It would seem that cruise lines are waiting until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available to those outside high-risk groups.

As of yesterday, more than 44 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with nearly 20 million having received both doses required for full inoculation. Several cruise lines like Crystal Cruises and American Queen Steamboat Queen have already announced a vaccine will be required to cruise on board their ships, but with a smaller capacity, it’s an easier thing to ask of guests. Ships with thousands of people will have a harder time filling their cabins if a vaccine becomes a requirement to sail. 

What do you think about a vaccine requirement for cruise ships? Let us know in the comments!