Carnival Cruise Line Brings Larger Cruise Ship to Port Canaveral


Carnival Cruise Line is moving the largest Carnival Freedom cruise ship from Miami to Port Canaveral in April, replacing the Elation, which is redeployed to Jacksonville.

The ship move reflects Carnival’s confidence in Port Canaveral as a source of revenue for the world’s largest cruise line, which has four ships based in the Brevard County Seaport – the most the port has had in same time from any cruise line.

“The addition of Carnival Freedom to our Port Canaveral fleet reflects strong customer demand and the importance we place on this homeport in our overall deployment and itinerary planning,” Carnival said in a statement. communicated. “We think this will be a popular addition to our offerings.”

Leaving later than planned:Disney Wish cancels first 12 cruises from Port Canaveral due to construction delays

Entry into the range:Carnival adds fourth record-breaking ship to its Port Canaveral lineup, with Liberty on board

For Port Canaveral, having a larger Carnival ship with greater passenger capacity will increase the port’s revenue, which is partly based on ship size and partly based on passenger numbers.

Port Canaveral general manager John Murray said he hopes Freedom’s increased revenue will make up for lost revenue from Disney Cruise Line canceling 12 scheduled sailings of its new Disney Wish as that ship experiences delays in construction in its shipyard in Germany. Two of these crossings have been postponed and 10 have been canceled altogether.

Disney said the Wish’s first sailing with passengers departing from Port Canaveral will take place on July 14 instead of June 9.

A family walks past the Carnival Freedom as it is docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Murray estimated Port Canaveral would lose about $780,000 in potential revenue due to the delayed Wish launch.

Disney blamed the delay of part of the arrival of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in Germany on “a crucial moment in the production process” at the Meyer Werft shipyard, where the ship is being built.

“Really beneficial” ship exchange

But Murray predicted that the Carnival Freedom – with a larger passenger capacity of 1,148 than the Carnival Elation – will help boost the port’s revenue from Carnival ships over previous expectations.

“It’s really beneficial,” Murray said. “This will offset the decline in Disney trips” scheduled on the Wish which were canceled in June and July.

The Freedom weighs 110,000 tons, has 1,490 cabins, a double occupancy capacity of 2,980 passengers, a total capacity of 3,754 passengers and a crew of 1,150. She debuted in 2007 and is a “Conquest Class” ship for Carnival.

By comparison, the Elation weighs 70,367 tons, has 1,026 cabins, a double occupancy capacity of 2,052 passengers, a total capacity of 2,606 passengers and a crew of 920. The ship “Fantasy-class” debuted in 1998.

Guests aboard Carnival Freedom soak up the Caribbean sun on the ship's Lido Deck.

Here are the other three Port Canaveral-based Carnival ships, and some of their specifications:

  • The Liberty, at 110,000 gross tons, has 1,487 cabins, a double occupancy capacity of 2,974 passengers, a total capacity of 3,756 passengers and a crew of 1,160. She started sailing in 2005, and is in the “Conquest Class”.
  • The Magic, at 130,000 gross tons, has 1,845 cabins, a double occupancy capacity of 3,690 passengers, a total capacity of 4,724 passengers and a crew of 1,386. He started sailing in 2011 and is in the “Dream class”.
  • Mardi Gras, at 180,000 gross tons, has 2,641 cabins, a double occupancy capacity of 5,282 passengers, a total capacity of 6,465 passengers and a crew of 1,745. He started sailing in 2021 and is in the “Excel class”. The Mardi Gras is Carnival’s newest and largest ship, and is the first cruise ship from any North American-based brand to be powered by liquefied natural gas.

Carnival Redeployment Timeline

The ship movements by Elation and Freedom are part of a larger fleet redeployment Carnival announced this week.

Guests aboard Carnival Freedom enjoy cocktails and dance in the Millennium Atrium.

Here are the moving timelines:

  • Carnival Elation will move from Port Canaveral to Jacksonville, from April 23 to October 13.
  • Carnival Freedom will move from Miami to Port Canaveral to resume routes formerly assigned to Carnival Elation, from April 21 through October 15.
  • Carnival Spirit will resume several sailings previously assigned to Carnival Freedom, including the April 17 Carnival Journeys cruise from Miami through the Panama Canal to Seattle.
  • Once in Seattle, Carnival Spirit will operate cruises to Alaska from May through September 2022.
  • Carnival Splendor will reposition to Seattle and operate the Alaska sailings currently assigned to Carnival Freedom.
  • At the end of the summer season in Alaska, Carnival Splendor will return to Australia with a new Journeys cruise to Sydney, Australia.
  • Carnival Spirit will sail the Carnival Journeys cruise through the Panama Canal to Miami, which was previously assigned to Carnival Freedom.

Carnival said it is notifying booked passengers and travel advisors of these changes, which will result in bookings being transferred to the new ship assignments. Passengers affected by these changes will not have access to their reservation for up to two weeks as Carnival completes the process to move their reservations to the new ships and provide equivalent accommodations.

Passengers try out Carnival Freedom's waterslide.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through this process,” Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said in a statement. our US homeports open year-round. We also continue to plan a return to guest activities in Australia at the end of our season in Alaska.”

Carnival Cruise Line has 24 ships in its fleet. Additionally, Mardi Gras’ sister ship Carnival Celebration is set to debut in late 2022 from PortMiami, and Carnival Jubilee will debut from Galveston, Texas in 2023.

There are now 11 multi-day cruise ships based in Port Canaveral, which is the second busiest cruise port in the world, based on passenger volume, behind PortMiami.

In addition to Carnival’s four ships, Port Canaveral is home to Disney’s Dream and Fantasy; MSC’s Meraviglia; The Norwegian Escape; and Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas.

The Dream will be redeployed to Miami, before the arrival of the Wish. Its final departure from Port Canaveral will be on June 3, leaving Port Canaveral with just one Disney ship until the Wish begins sailing.

Additionally, the game ship Victory 1 offers twice-daily sailings from Port Canaveral, Wednesday through Sunday.

COVID-19 Cruise Cancellations

A total of five scheduled January departures from Port Canaveral on Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International ships have been canceled due to the pandemic.

Norwegian has canceled two Norwegian Escape seven-night sailings from Port Canaveral as part of a series of cancellations affecting a number of Norwegian ships. The canceled sailing of the Escape was scheduled for January 15 and 22.

Royal Caribbean has canceled three charter cruises on the Independence of the Seas which were scheduled to depart on January 14, 22 and 24.

The cruise returned to Port Canaveral on July 31 after a 16-and-a-half-month shutdown related to COVID-19.

Dave Berman is a business writer at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Berman at Twitter: @bydaveberman.

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