Two more Carnival cruise ships returned to service today after remaining on hold for 21 months during the pandemic. Carnival Conquest will set sail from Florida, and the newly transformed Carnival Radiance will begin voyages from California.
It’s a big day for Carnival Cruise Line as two cruise ships resume sailing operations. Carnival now has 17 cruise ships back in service following the industry-wide pause in sailings with the addition of these two ships.
The newly renovated Carnival Radiance will be setting sail from California following its christening ceremony on Sunday. The ship is part of Carnival’s Sunshine-class, a class of Carnival cruise ships made entirely of former Destiny-class vessels that have been overhauled and renamed.
The ship has spent 19 months in Cadiz, Spain while undergoing a $200 million transformation from the Carnival Victory to the Carnival Radiance. The multi-million dollar renovation has given the ship refreshed interiors, new venues, and a beautiful new paint job on the hull.
With the ship’s upgrade to the Sunshine class and the new name, she was officially christened on Sunday at the Port of Long Beach in California. Godmother Dr. Lucille O’Neal was in attendance to name Carnival Radiance along with her son, Carnival Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.
The ship sets sail on its maiden voyage from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal on a four-day Mexico voyage. The first voyage will take 2,211 passengers on an itinerary that includes calls at Avalan at Catalina Island and Ensenada in Mexico before returning home on December 17.
Carnival Radiance features Shaquille O’Neal’s second Big Chicken restaurant in Carnival’s fleet following its debut on Mardi Gras. The vessel also features Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, Heroes Tribute Bar, Bonsai Sushi, RedFrog Pub, and Cucina del Capitano.
Carnival Conquest will be welcoming passengers aboard for the first time in 21 months today.
The ship will set sail from Miami on a four-night cruise to Bimini, Bahamas, and the private island Princess Cays. The ship will offer a variety of three and four-night itineraries for the remainder of the year and through 2022.
Carnival Conquest will join Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Freedom which also sail from the world’s busiest cruise port of Miami.
Carnival Horizon was also sailing from Miami but recently traveled to Europe to resolve a technical issue that resulted in the cancellation of two cruise voyages. Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunshine will begin service earlier than anticipated to take over Carnival Horizons’ sailings.
Built in 2002, the 110,000 gross ton Carnival Conquest is the flagship of the Conquest-class. The vessel comprises 60 percent balconies and has a capacity of 2,980 passengers.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Return to Service
By the end of 2021, Carnival Cruise Line plans to have 19 ships back in service, with the majority sailing from Miami, Port Canaveral, and Galveston.
In November, the cruise line announced that Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunrise would resume sailing sooner than expected while taking over for Carnival Horizon as it undergoes a dry dock in Europe.
Carnival Splendor and Spirit are expected to resume in Spring 2022. By the time of their return, they will have been out of service for over two years.