Carnival Cruise Line shares a warning and corrects a misconception

Weather plays a massive part in how cruise lines operate. 

Every company makes decisions based on passenger safety first. So if the weather doesn’t cooperate, that could mean skipping a port, delaying a departure or return, or even canceling a sailing.

Cruise ships costs billions of dollars and the companies that own them won’t place them and their passengers in harm’s way. Aside from safety concerns, cruise lines also consider two other issues — fuel use and customer enjoyment.

Related: Royal Caribbean cruise line makes a huge beverage change

In an ideal scenario a cruise-ship captain plots a course among ports that uses the least amount of fuel possible. That’s balanced by steering around bad weather. It’s an effort, especially on Caribbean sailings from Florida where the distances being traveled are relatively short. That enables the captain to make course corrections if it means avoiding rain.

Sometimes, however, bad weather cannot be avoided. The Jan. 20 test sailing of Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, Icon of the Seas, avoided rain, but it could not escape temperatures that were generally below 70 degrees with winds often being blustery.

Even on a sailing where many of the company’s executives, including Chief Executive Jason Liberty, were on board, there was simply nothing the captain could do to deliver warm weather. Cruise lines don’t have any sort of magic weather-changing capability.

They also understand that passengers will be angry when ports get missed or itineraries are changed. And Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get Free Report Brand Ambassador John Heald recently addressed the issue on his Facebook page.

Carnival sells drink packages so a missed port would likely cost it more money.

Image source: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival corrects a popular line of thought 

Heald wanted to make it very clear that Carnival does not make decisions to miss ports or change itineraries based on money.

“Talking of bad weather I know there has been some choppy seas and high winds yesterday which resulted in five different missed ports. I wanted to thank you all for your understanding and I know that our captains made the decision not to dock for your safety and not as Curtis and a few others suggested to me yesterday so ‘Carnival makes millions of dollars in the bars and casino,’” he said.

The brand ambassador explained that in fact, not docking costs the cruise line money. 

“So, I guess I have to remind them and perhaps a few others that we refund many thousands in shore excursions and port [taxes. And more importantly,] suggesting we miss port on purpose is like suggesting there is a 10-foot-high naked statue of me eating a Guy’s Burger outside of Cruise Critic Headquarters,” he added.

Carnival Cruise Line issues a warning

While Port Miami has fallen behind Port Canaveral as the world’s biggest cruise port, it’s still home to ships from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, MSC, Walt Disney, Norwegian, Virgin, and a few other cruise lines. And unlike Port Canaveral, which is essentially in the middle of nowhere, Port Miami sits inside the incredibly busy city of Miami.

The last few miles of your trip to Port Miami involve going through the city, which has a lot of traffic in the best of times. When Miami hosts a special event, the city can become gridlocked, making it very difficult to get to the port.

That’s something Heald addressed as three of Carnival’s ships, including its flagship, Carnival Celebration, will be affected by an upcoming event. 

“Moving on to the subject of The Miami Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, January 28, 2024. This will be held in the Miami Downtown area,” he noted. “As a result, we are asking guests to allow ample travel time to ensure prompt arrival within their pre-selected terminal arrival appointment,” he wrote.

Heald also warned passengers that their ships won’t wait for them.

“All guests must be onboard according to the final boarding time indicated on the boarding pass. We are used to this of course as it happens every year…sadly always when I am at home otherwise I would be running it. So please do not worry but please do make sure you give yourself that extra time to get to embarkation,” he added.

That warning is not unique for Carnival customers. It’s one that passengers of every cruise line should heed.

Related: Veteran fund manager picks favorite stocks for 2024

Related Posts