Next Carnival ship to be called Horizon

Carnival Vista entering Valletta Harbor, Malta.

Carnival Cruise Line said the second ship in its Vista class will bear the name Carnival Horizon.

The 133,500-gross-ton ship is scheduled to enter service in March 2018.

Carnival said that in addition to all of the features on Carnival Vista, such as the pedal-powered SkyRide and an IMAX theater, the Carnival Horizon will have a number of innovations unique to the ship.

Carnival Horizon, which will have a double-occupancy capacity of 3,934, would be the 26th ship in Carnival’s fleet and follows the most recent new vessels Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic and Carnival Dream.

Homeport, itineraries and ship features will be revealed at a later date, Carnival said.


Large cruise lines increase practice of staggered check-in

Disney cruise check-in terminal at Port Canaveral Florida

Big cruise lines are increasingly requiring passengers to pick a boarding time in hopes of streamlining embarkation on large ships.

The idea is to offer a smoother, more tranquil first day onboard.

In the past year, Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line have all rolled out staggered check-ins on some or all of their ships.

Norwegian is the furthest along. Last June, it began enabling guests on the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway to select their arrival time when they downloaded documents as part of the online check-in process. Guests select a half-hour window to board between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The line continued to expand the idea to its other ships; by November, almost anyone on a Norwegian ship departing from a U.S. port was able to take advantage of staggered check-in.

The only exceptions are Norwegian’s Hawaii-based Pride of America, due to later departure times, and its Anchorage/Seward itinerary because of cruise-tour complexities.

Carnival says it strictly enforces the staggered times and will ask guests to return to the terminal later if they show up early. Norwegian is less strict.

Carnival’s version started last year in Galveston, Texas. The line extended it to two of its New Orleans-based ships, the Carnival Elation and Carnival Dream, and is targeting Miami next, beginning March 4. The Carnival Triumph, also based in New Orleans, is scheduled to begin staggered check-in this April.

Royal Caribbean’s staggered check-in program is currently limited to the Anthem of the Seas. Royal assigns arrival times, rather than enabling guests to choose.

Andy Stuart, president of Norwegian, said staggered check-in helps break up the “big block” of passengers who tend to arrive around noon.

Stuart said that so far the idea has been a qualified success: “I won’t say it’s perfect; I think it’s improved it. It has started to spread people out a little more effectively.”

One important difference between Carnival and Norwegian is the policing of early arrivals. Carnival says it strictly enforces the staggered times and will ask guests to return to the terminal later if they show up early.

However, if guests show up later than their assigned times, “we allow them to come in and check in,” Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said.

Norwegian is less strict, Stuart said. “We don’t force anyone to sit and wait. People embark as quickly as we can get them on,” he said.

“There are people who are rule keepers,” Stuart continued. “They say ‘OK, I was told to arrive between 11 and 11:30, and that’s what I’m going to do.’ And then there are rule breakers who say, ‘I don’t care what you tell me; I’m going to get there for lunch.’ So we like the rule keepers, but we don’t penalize the rule breakers.”

Stuart said Norwegian is working on other ways to speed the process of embarkation.

“Nobody books the trip to be on the embarkation; they book the trip to be on the ship,” he said. “We think investments in technology and automation to accelerate the process will continue to improve that experience.”

Carnival Triumph headed to New Orleans in 2016

Carnival Triumph

Carnival Cruise Line will increase New Orleans capacity when the 3,143-passenger Triumph is transferred from Galveston to replace the 2,052-passenger Elation in the spring of 2016.

The Triumph will sail four- and five-day Mexico cruises from Galveston, starting April 4, 2016. The other ship in New Orleans, the 3,652-passenger Dream, sails seven-day cruises.

The Elation will shift from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Fla., and the Fascination will move from Jacksonville to San Juan. The Elation will sail year-round four- and five-day Bahamas cruises, and the Fascination will sail seven-day Caribbean voyages.

As previously reported, Below is the 12th Feb. article.

Carnival Breeze and Liberty will sail from Galveston

To make way for the new Carnival Vista when it is deployed in Miami in November 2016, Carnival Cruise Line will shift the Carnival Breeze to Galveston, Texas.

Also, Carnival will position the Carnival Liberty in Galveston in 2016. It has just repositioned Carnival Freedom to Galveston, where it is aggressively courting new business.

“Miami and Galveston are among our most popular points of embarkation, and deploying our newest, most innovative ships to these home ports speaks volumes about our confidence in growing these markets,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president.

The Carnival Triumph and Magic, currently sailing from Galveston, will be redeployed with details to be announced at a later date.

Prior to the start-up of year-round service from Miami, Carnival Vista will operate a pair of voyages roundtrip from New York, beginning with a three-day cruise Nov. 4-7, 2016, followed by an 11-day voyage departing Nov. 7 and visiting Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua and St. Maarten.

Carnival Vista will then offer an 11-day transit cruise from New York to Miami from Nov. 18-29, with calls at Grand Turk, Bonaire, Aruba and St. Maarten.

Its first cruise from Miami will be a four-day cruise to Grand Turk, departing Nov. 29. Thereafter it will do alternating six- and eight-day Caribbean itineraries, mixed with a few one-time, one-off voyages, Carnival said.