Carnival increases capacity for short cruises

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Carnival Cruise Line will raise the number of cabins devoted to short cruises out of Galveston and New Orleans in 2019.

It will send the 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor to New Orleans and the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream to Galveston, representing capacity increases of 10% and 22%, respectively, for the four- and five-day itineraries there.

In Galveston, the Carnival Dream replaces the Valor and will join the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista, which repositions to Galveston in fall 2018.

The Valor will swing to New Orleans to replace the Carnival Triumph, which will be repositioned to a port to be determined.

Four-day cruises depart Thursdays and visit Cozumel. Five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays, calling at Cozumel and Progreso. Some five-day itineraries from Galveston feature Cozumel and Costa Maya.

The Carnival Dream recently underwent a refurbishment that added Guy’s Pig and Anchor Bar-B-Que, the pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, the BlueIguana Cantina Mexican restaurant and the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurant.

Valor last year added Guy’s Burger Joint, the Caribbean-themed RedFrog Pub, SkyBox sports bar, an Alchemy Bar and the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

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Carnival cancels more Galveston cruises

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Galveston Cruise Port.

Carnival Cruise Line has now canceled two cruises from Galveston that it had hoped to offer in a shortened format.

Based on the uncertainty of the port reopening, Carnival said the Aug. 26 sailing of Carnival Freedom and the Aug. 27 departure of Carnival Breeze have been canceled.

Carnival, which had previously canceled the five-day Carnival Valor sailing from Galveston departing Aug. 26, also canceled the next Carnival Valor cruise leaving Aug. 31.

Guests will have a full refund processed to the original form of payment within three weeks, and will receive a 25% future cruise credit if a reservation is made in the next 60 days.

Coast Guard and port officials can’t say with any certainty when the port will reopen, Carnival added, but suggested it won’t be until late this week at the earliest.

The three Carnival ships will make stops in New Orleans during the next two days to let guests disembark if they want to make independent arrangements to return home. They can also wait and sail back to Galveston, Carnival said.

Carnival switching the Liberty and Valor

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Carnival Liberty

The Carnival Liberty’s propulsion problems persist, so Carnival Cruise Line said it will continue to operate modified cruises from Galveston, Texas, through the month of November to account for the ship’s inability to reach maximum speed.

The five-day cruise departing Nov. 26 will be the Liberty’s last from Galveston, as the ship will enter a previously scheduled drydock after that sailing and then be redeployed to Port Canaveral, Fla., to operate short Bahamas cruises starting Dec. 15. The Carnival Valor, meanwhile, will reposition to Galveston from Port Canaveral.

“This change is being made since Carnival Valor is better suited to operate at the higher speeds required for the four- and five-day Mexico itineraries from Galveston while Carnival Liberty is well equipped to handle shorter duration cruises from Central Florida,” Carnival said in a statement.

Carnival said its technical team, with the help of outside contractors, “continue to work to fully resolve” the Liberty’s propulsion problem.

Carnival canceled two Liberty cruises, the Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 departures, because of the technical issue, and it has modified the Nov. 10, 14, 19 and 26 departures.

For the four- and five-day cruises, Carnival is canceling calls at Progreso, Mexico. During the seven-day cruise departing Nov. 19, calls in Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica, have been scrubbed. All of the modified cruises’ departure and return times have been adjusted.

Guests sailing on these voyages will receive a $50-per-person credit to their shipboard accounts and a 25% discount on a future Carnival cruise. Guests also have the option of canceling and receiving a full refund.

To allow sufficient time for the Valor to reposition to Galveston, the ship’s four-day cruise departing Port Canaveral on Dec. 11 will be shortened to three days. Guests sailing on this voyage will receive a one-day, prorated refund of their cruise fare and a $25 per-person credit to their shipboard account. Guests also have the option of canceling and receiving a full refund.

Carnival will automatically transfer reservations for guests on the Liberty to the Valor and vice versa. Carnival noted that the Valor and Liberty are sister ships with similar accommodations and public venues, including Guy’s Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina, the RedFrog Rum Bar and the BlueIguana Tequila Bar.