Days after Carnival Cruise Line announced the cancellation of two upcoming cruises aboard Carnival Horizon, the cruise line has taken the ship out of service until the end of the year. Passengers who have booked trips on the ship will be transferred to two other vessels to avoid further cancellations.
Carnival Horizon Out of Service
On November 30, Carnival Cruise Line informed guests that two upcoming cruises aboard Carnival Horizon were canceled due to a technical issue impacting the ship’s maximum cruising speed.
After a full assessment of the issue, the cruise line has decided Carnival Horizon will need to undergo an urgent dry dock in Italy for an extended length of time. The ship isn’t scheduled to return to service until January 22, 2022.
Carnival has already informed guests of the decision in a letter sent to affected guests on December 2. The cruise line stated, “We want to make you aware that Carnival Horizon is experiencing an issue affecting its maximum cruising speed. Our technical team has completed a full assessment of the issue and has determined the ship will need to be taken to dry dock to complete the necessary work.“
Rather than canceling the passengers booked on Carnival Horizon’s December 19, 26, and 31 departures, the cruise line will bring two additional vessels back into service to take over the Carnival Horizon’s itineraries.
In the letter, the cruise line said, “We have made arrangements for Carnival Liberty to return to guest operations earlier than scheduled so she can assume Carnival Horizon’s same itinerary from Miami for the sailings captioned above, including your cruise. Please note, to transfer your reservation, we must close access to your booking.“
Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunshine will be brought back into service earlier than expected. Passengers booked on Carnival Horizon’s now-canceled sailings will have their bookings transferred to one of the two replacement ships. Passengers will be temporarily locked out of their bookings while making the ship swap.
Passengers booked for the December 19, 2021 sailing will have their trip reconfirmed on their new vessel by December 14. Guests departing December 26 will receive their confirmations no later than December 16, and Carnival will reconfirm those booked on the December 31 voyage by December 21.
Carnival said it is “working to assure your new accommodations will be comparable to your original stateroom.”
Guests will be happy to know that their cruise vacations will not be canceled; however, the replacement ships are not part of the same Vista-class as Carnival Horizon and offer slightly fewer amenities.
While the offering isn’t comparable (the replacement ships are Carnival’s older Destiny and Conquest-class ships), Carnival is offering up to $200 of onboard credit per stateroom to compensate for the inconvenience.
Guests who would rather not sail with the ship transfer can cancel their bookings by Sunday, December 5, 2021, for a full refund.
Carnival Horizon is scheduled to return to service on January 22, 2022, as long as the technical issue is fixed during the dry dock. The ship will resume service with an eight-day Southern Caribbean cruise that will call at Aruba, Bonaire, and the Dominican Republic.
One important detail is that Carnival was able to bring two additional vessels online to prevent further cancellations. The two ships have been “on hold” since the start of the industry-wide pause in cruise operations due to the pandemic. Cruise lines don’t have empty vessels during normal operations that act as relief ships.
Carnival Liberty is scheduled to return to service on February 11, 2022, from Port Canaveral. Carnival Sunshine is expected to officially resume operations from Charleston on January 13, 2022.