Carnivals Biggest Cruise Ship Ever Sets Sail From Miami And Tpg Is On Board
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After a music-filled christening ceremony at the Miami cruise port on Sunday night, Carnival Celebration the cruise lines biggest cruise ship ever will set sail Monday on its maiden voyage from U.S. shores.
The six-night Caribbean cruise will keep the inaugural celebrations going with Thanksgiving festivities as guests on holiday try out all the ships attractions, from the lines second rollercoaster to an Emeril Lagasse restaurant.
TPG cruise editor Erica Silverstein is on board to document all the fun.
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Pre And Post Cruise Options In Jacksonville
Jacksonville Beach is a beautiful stretch of land set between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intra-Coastal Waterway. How nice it would be to spend a few days before your cruise in one of the many oceanfront hotels or resorts. Enjoy the wide sandy beaches, great shopping, and fabulous places to eat. And if thats not enough for you, Jacksonville has lots of great attractions.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens: This top-rated area attraction has more than 1500 animals and 1,000 species of plants. A not to be missed exhibit is the Range of the Jaguar, a two-time national award-winning South American area. Guests can walk along the 1,400-foot long boardwalk and see cheetahs, leopards, lions, and elephants in their large, open environment called the Plains of East Africa.
The Budweiser Brewery: There is a really cool free tour here that gives you an overview of the plant and how they do what they do In addition, the Beermaster Tour includes a visit to the Brew Hall, Primary Fermentation Cellar, Lager Cellar, Packaging Facility, Quality Assurance, and Finishing Cellar, including sampling directly from a Finishing Tank. For those over the age of 21 there is sampling in the Tour Center Hospitality Room where you can try the seasonal beers or new products.
For more information on cruises departing from Jacksonville, call Direct Line Cruises at 1-800-352-8088.
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Disney Royal Caribbean Set For Port Canaveral Return Carnival Takes On 2nd Ship
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Port Canaveral is set for a busy weekend with three more ships readying for their first sailing with paying customers including the first for Disney Cruise Line in the U.S., the first for Royal Caribbean from Central Florida and Carnival Cruise Line adding a second ship to the port.
Disney Dream is readying for a Monday departure on a four-night sailing to the Bahamas, the first DCL ship to receive its conditional sailing certificate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ship performed a simulated sailing in July and has since made a practice run with Disney employees gearing up for Mondays return.
The cruise line already has begun sailing in the United Kingdom with Disney Magic while Disney Fantasy is slated to perform its test sailing from Port Canaveral from Aug. 12-14, which could lead to its return to service on Sept. 4. Disney Wonder is based on the West Coast and its first available sailing isnt until Sept. 24.
Royal Caribbeans Allure of the Seas will become the largest cruise ship in the world yet to return to service since the pandemic shutdown. The Oasis-class ship has a 6,780-passenger capacity, but sailing at reduced capacity, as is Disney Dream and all other ships currently in service.
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This Is What You Need To Know About Cruise Ports In Florida
Florida cruise ports are the busiest cruise ports in the world. This guide to cruise ports in Florida has what you need to know to save time, money and aggravation.
Florida has some of the busiest cruise ports in the world. More passengers sail out of Florida cruise ports than anywhere else in the world. If you are going on a Caribbean cruise, odds are real high your sailing will depart from one of them. But, cruise ports in Florida arent just launching points for Caribbean travelers. You can also find ships sailing to other parts of the world such as South America or Transatlantic crossings to Europe.
Read on to learn the basic facts about cruising out of ports in Florida, and some key tips that you should know to help you save money, time, and aggravation.
Editors Note : Many of the facts and figures included below are based on pre-pandemic sailings. The CDC issued a no-sail order in March 2020 that halted all sailings out of Florida ports for more than a year. We expect sailings from Florida ports to recommence this summer. At this time, cruise lines have announced new sailing out of ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando. .
Be sure to check out our new guide to traveling safely during the Covid-19 era!
- PORT OF PALM BEACH
Reaching The Florida Cruise Port Near Orlando
If you fly into Orlando, the distance to Port Canaveral is 46 miles . Three other commercial airports service the area near Port Canaveral. Melbourne International Airport , Orlando Sanford International Airport , and Daytona Beach International Airport .
Miami Airport to Port Canaveral is 220 miles . And, the distance to Port Canaveral from Fort Lauderdale is 196 miles . The Tampa airport also provides another viable option. The distance from the Tampa International Airport to Port Canaveral is 136 miles .
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What Is The Wonder Of The Seas
The Wonder of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship, based at Port Canaveral.
The 18-deck ship has 2,867 staterooms, a capacity of 6,988 passengers, and a crew of 2,300. It sails seven-night itineraries from Port Canaveral to the eastern and western Caribbean.
Destinations include Cozumel, Mexico Philipsburg, St. Maarten and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Each cruise also will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbeans private island destination in the Bahamas that features the tallest waterslide in North America and floating cabanas.
Contributor: Dave Berman, Florida Today
C. A. Bridges is a Digital Producer for the USA TODAY Network, working with multiple newsrooms across Florida. Local journalists work hard to keep you informed about the things you care about, and you can support them by subscribing to your local news organization. Read more articles by Chris here and follow him on Twitter at @cabridges
Cruising With Carnival Elation
The ship that sails out of Jacksonvilles JAXPORT is the Elation, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. The Elation debuted in 1998, and is part of Carnivals Fantasy-class, which was concluded shortly after the Elations launch. While Carnival is concentrating on their bigger and newer vessels, Cruise Critic noted that the Elation has not been neglected.
In fact, it has undergone extensive upgrades under Carnivals $350 million Evolutions of Fun program. In addition to upgrades with decks and buffet additions, Elation was also the first ship to be equipped with Azipod Propulsion. This state-of-the-art system helps with the ships maneuverability with the bonus of saving hull space.
The Elation can hold up to 2,130 passengers and is 855 feet in length. It operates itineraries that range from 2-5 days and 6-9 days. Part of the ships last upgrade included the addition of Guys Burger Joint , BlueIguana Cantina, the RedFrog Rum Bar, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and WaterWorks, Carnivals onboard water park.
Not surprisingly, the itineraries out of Jacksonville are geared towards popular Caribbean spots, a specialty area for Carnival. There are also longer cruises to Bermuda.
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Six Cruise Ships Sailing From Florida Port Today Most Since Pandemic
Port Everglades, one of the busiest cruise ports in the country, will have six cruise ships depart on cruises today, the most since the pandemic shut down the cruise industry for 15 months.
The six cruise ships from five different cruise lines that will depart on cruises today from Port Everglades are:
Celebrity Edge Odyssey of the Seas Viking Star
Six of our eight cruise terminals will be in use, so it is not the Ports record and the ships will not be filled to capacity, but it will be a sight to behold and is a solid sign of recovery, said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Jonathan Daniels. We have gone from three cruise ships starting up in June and July, to more than 20 ships that will be sailing in November.
Port Everglades was the first U.S. port to resume cruise service, on June 26, 2021, with Celebrity Edge, after the cruise industry was paused due the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cruise industry traditionally accounts for approximately 40 percent of Port Everglades revenue.
Learn the cruise secrets most people don’t know and cruise like a boss. Check out Intelligent Cruiser here for a better cruise vacation.
Carnival Celebration Begins Miami Sailings From Renewed Cruise Terminal Amid Soggy 50th Birthday Bash
MIAMI Carnival Cruise Line shrugged off a South Florida deluge to open its revamped PortMiami terminal and christen its newest ship, Carnival Celebration.
Paying deference to 50 years in business, Carnival Celebrations godmother is actress and model Cassidy Gifford, the daughter of Kathie Lee Gifford, who had been a spokesperson for the line for decades and even christened the new ships namesake, the M/S Celebration, back in 1987.
Coming in at 180,800 gross tons that can sail with 6,631 guests at full capacity, the new version is nearly four times the size of the original, which was just over 47,000 gross tons and could hold about 1,500 passengers.
Both mother and daughter were on hand along with chef Emeril Lagasse, artist Romero Britto and Carnival Cruise Line executives for the celebration at Miamis upgraded Cruise Terminal F that culminated with a concert by Kool & the Gang, the obvious choice for entertainment with their hit Celebration.
Cassidy has literally grown up on Carnival cruise ships and played obviously a huge role in her life taking cruises from a young age, said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy during the ceremony on board showing images of Cassidy as a little girl held by her mother in the 1990s. She even had some cameos in commercials and ads during the 20 years the Kathie Lee served as our spokesperson.
Kathie Lee Gifford then joined in a performance of throwback Carnival commercial tune, If You Could See Me Now.
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What Us Cruise Ships Are Sailing Right Now
After a pause of more than 450 days, cruise ships are now sailing. North American cruise operators started service in June 2021. And while all the major cruise lines are now back at sea, the return to cruising has taken a phased approach, with ships returning to service one at a time and some cruise lines keeping vessels idle until well into 2022.
Weve compiled a list of cruise ships currently sailing from North American ports, the date they returned to service, and important things to know if you want to sail on each ship.
Carnival Pride From Baltimore
Carnival Pride became the ninth Carnival cruise ship to resume operations on September 12 and the first to restart out of Baltimore, Maryland. The spirit-class vessel brought back the fun to the city with a ribbon-cutting ceremony which was attended by Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.
The ship departed on a seven-day itinerary from the Cruise Maryland Terminal in Locust Point to the Bahamas. The first voyage included calls at Half Moon Cay, Bimini, and Freeport, all in the Bahamas.
Carnival Pride wont remain sailing from Baltimore for too long as sister ship Carnival Legend will take over in November. Carnival Pride will then shift to restart operations out of Tampa, Florida.
From Baltimore, the cruise line is offering six-and seven-day cruises to Bermuda and the Bahamas, eight-day voyages to Canada/New England and to the Caribbean. There will also be a 14-day Carnival Journeys sailing to the Panama Canal and the Souther Caribbean along with a Carnival Sailabration cruise in March 2022 to celebrated Carnivals 50th birthday.
- Resumed Cruises: September 12, 2021
- Homeport:Baltimore, Maryland
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Is Florida Seeing Another Covid Surge
Not yet, no. Cases appear to be on a slight upswing as we head into cold and flu season with the highest weekly addition last week since the last week of September when new omicron variants were spreading. But it’s still a much slower rise than previous variant-fueled surges.
Lots of new omicron variants have popped up such as BQ.1, BF.7, and BN.1, and they make up most of the COVID infections across the southeastern United States now, but they’re not anywhere near as prevalent as what we saw over the summer with BA.4 and BA.5. The so-called “nightmare” omicron variant, XBB, remains rare in Florida.
This doesn’t mean you can’t catch it, however.
When Will Cruises Resume A Line
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Editors note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
The Great Cruise Shutdown is finally coming to an end.
Still, only a very small fraction of the worlds cruise vessels are currently back to sailing. It could be many months before a majority of cruise vessels are operating, and some lines already have said it could be well into 2022 before they return to normal service.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into the launch plans for startup lines Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and Virgin Voyages. Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has now pushed back its inaugural voyage to Nov. 10. Virgin Voyages has pushed back its big debut in Miami to the fall . Both lines were originally due to debut in 2020.
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Heres a look at when major river, ocean and expedition cruise brands that market to North Americans say theyll resume operations:
Adventure Canada has canceled sailings on Ocean Endeavour until 2022.
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The Largest Cruise Ship In The World Starts Operations
The worlds largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, will restart operations with revenue guests on August 14 sailing from PortMiami, the 228,081 gross tons cruise ship will sail on a 7-days Western Caribbean cruise to Costa Maya, Roatan Island, Cozumel, and a Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas.
She will be switching her cruises between the Western, Southern, and Eastern regions of the Caribbean. Her Southern Caribbean cruises will call in Aruba, Haiti, and Curacao, while the Eastern Caribbean cruises will call in St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and a Perfect Day at CocoCay. Royal Caribbean strongly encourages all eligible guests age 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before sailing for the Southern and Western Caribbean Cruises.
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Guests will need to be fully vaccinated for the cruises calling in St. Thomas. These voyages are available to all guests aged 12 and above who can present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose of their vaccine administered at least 14 days before sailing. Guests under the age of 12 will need to undergo COVID testing, before, during, and towards the end of the cruise.
So far, there are two Oasis-class ships and two Quantum-class ships in operation in the U.S., and as we speak, the number of RCL cruise ships operational worldwide is growing steadily. The restart for Royal Caribbean is slowly but surely turning out to be a complete success!
Carnival Cruise Ships With Itinerary Changes
Its certainly an evolving time at the moment as some cruise destinations either remain closed to the cruise industry or have implemented new complex requirements for cruise ships. Then there is also Key West, where there are calls to ban large cruise ships once again.
With all that, comes another round of itinerary adjustments for eight Carnival cruise ships. However, the impact is limited to just one sailing each. We take a look at each itinerary change and cover the new schedule for each, starting with the earliest sailing.
Carnival Horizons January 30, 2022 voyage out of PortMiami in Florida has been completely changed due to the removal of the call at Grand Cayman. Ocho Rios in Jamaica and Cozumel in Mexico have also been removed. The ship will now be calling at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos islands and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.
Carnival Sunshines January 31 sailing out of Charleston in South Carolina has been adjusted with the cruise line dropping Nassau in the Bahamas. Instead, the ship will be visiting Bimini in the Bahamas and still calling at Princess Cays.
The Carnival Pride, February 5 eight-day sailing out of Tampa, Florida, has dropped the call at Grand Cayman and added Costa Maya in Mexico instead. The original calls to Costa Rica and the partial transit of the Panama Canal will remain.
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With Relaxed Covid Guidelines Is It Safe To Take A Cruise
That’s up to you, your level of comfort, and your own medical situation.
Traveling by cruise will expose you to other people in an enclosed location for long periods of time, not a great thing for easily-spread respiratory viruses. Fortunately, the immunity from being fully vaccinated seems to have helped arrest the spread.
If you have a weakened immune system, however, or are at increased risk for severe disease, or you’re traveling with someone with those risk factors, you should talk to your healthcare provider first.
Do not travel or board a cruise ship if you tested positive for COVID-19 less than 10 days ago. Follow the CDC recommendations for isolation. If you were exposed to a person with COVID in the past 10 days, get tested yourself at least 5 full days after the last exposure and wear a high-quality mask around other people.