Carnival Freedom canceled all port visits due to high winds and rough seas, resulting in a cruise to nowhere.
Passengers are compensated with refunded port fees and taxes, a $200 onboard credit per stateroom, and a 50% future cruise credit, valid until December 31, 2024.
Safety concerns due to the severe weather conditions, including high winds and wave heights, made docking at ports unsafe, leading to the cruise's altered itinerary.
Carnival Cruise Line has announced the cancellation of all port visits for Carnival Freedom.
The Carnival Freedom cruise ship set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida, on December 14 for a 4-night Bahamas cruise. Rough seas have forced the ship to miss its two scheduled port visits and an alternative port that was meant to be an alternative.
Carnival Freedom Cancels All Port Visits
The 110,000-gross-ton vessel, a Conquest-class ship capable of accommodating up to 2,980 passengers at double occupancy, navigated high winds and rough seas throughout the Bahamas, turning its journey into an unexpected “cruise to nowhere.”
Passengers aboard the Carnival Freedom were initially slated to visit Nassau on Friday, December 15, and Princess Cays on Saturday, December 16. However, as the weather system intensified, making it unsafe for the ship to dock, the itinerary was continually modified.
Carnival Freedom is scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Monday, December 18.
Guests received a notification letter to their cabins stating, “In partnership with our Fleet Operations Center, we continue to monitor the weather. We are sorry, once again, for not being able to visit Nassau today.”
The ship’s captain, in conjunction with the Fleet Operations Center, regularly updated guests on the changing plans. Unfortunately, even the alternative destination of Freeport was rendered inaccessible due to the poor weather, leaving the ship to sail without visiting any ports.
Captain Mario Imbimbo signed the letter thanking guests for their understanding, “Thank you for your understanding. Please continue to enjoy your time on board.”
Carnival Freedom also canceled a visit to an alternative port of call.
The Carnival cruise ship is now sailing a cruise-to-nowhere, with no ports of call. Cruises-to-nowhere are rare as U.S. laws require foreign-flagged cruise ships to make a stop in a foreign port before returning to the U.S.
Compensation for Disappointed Guests
Carnival Cruise Line announced compensation for disappointed guests at the missed calls. The cruise line will refund all port fees and taxes. Additionally, guests received a $200 onboard credit per stateroom to use for onboard purchases like drinks, spa packages, and retail shopping. Finally, all guests have been offered a 50% future cruise credit, which must be redeemed by December 31, 2024.
The challenging weather conditions impacting the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas necessitated this decision for safety reasons. High winds, wave heights, and other factors posed a safety risk had the ship tried to dock or tender guests to shore.
Even if docking were possible, the ship’s rocking and the waves’ potential overwash on piers could compromise the safety of gangways and moorings.
Passengers on Carnival Freedom expressed disappointment but understood the safety concerns. The rough weather was exemplified by howling winds and led to the closure of the ship’s pool decks. Despite missing planned excursions and island visits, passengers made the most of their cruise vacation through the ship’s activities and entertainment.
Marcello De Lio
Marcello's been cruising since he was 12 years old. He loves the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. Marcello created High Seas Cruising to share his passion for cruising and travel with readers and grow a community of passionate voyagers.