Where do we start in this week’s cruise news update! We have coverage of what happened aboard the Freedom Carnival with this iconic funnel, as well as consequences and updates from Royal Caribbean.

Cruise News Update

It’s time to make sure you’re up to speed on some of the top cruise news from the past week, especially all the latest on the Carnival cruise ship fire. There are additional cancellations for the Carnival Freedom as the ship will be out of service to repair the funnel in drydock.

We also have news on the Carnival ConquestCarnival leaving Charleston, all Royal Caribbean cruise ships back in service, and let’s think about what this sphere is, which was recently installed on Royal Caribbean Icon of the seas. Lots to figure out, so let’s get started.

The entire Royal Caribbean fleet is back

Let’s start with some good news because all 26 Royal Caribbean cruise ships are now back in service! The cruise line also hit a major milestone by reaching two million passengers who have sailed since the first restart of operations.

It started with quantum of the seas departure from Singapore in December 2020, the first to resume since the industry-wide suspension began in March 2020. Over the next 17 months, Royal Caribbean gradually rolled out its ships around the world, offering new exceptional vacations in Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, etc.

Photo credit: Mia2you / Shutterstock

Rhapsody of the Seas is the latest ship in the fleet to return to service, offering Mediterranean itineraries for the summer with a schedule that will take the ship to Israel, the Greek Islands, Barbados and the Southern Caribbean through 2022.

Now, the cruise line offers cruise getaways from a total of 24 homeports around the world, bringing guests to 137 different ports of call.

This now means that the three main lines of Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line have fully recommissioned their fleets.

Carnival cruise ship fire

And on to the big news from last week, which everyone probably already knows. A a fire broke out on board the Freedom Carnival Thursday morning May 26 while docked in Grand Turk. The emergency response team was very successful in extinguishing the fire which was in the ship’s iconic red, white and blue funnel.

Carnival Freedom cruise ship fire
Photo credit: @AirborneJM

This surprised not only guests aboard the May 23 Carnival Freedom sail, but also guests watching from the Mardi Gras ship, which was moored right next to the ship at Grand Turk Pier. Fortunately, no crew member or passenger was injured and all onboard services were fully functional.

Carnival Freedom Cruises canceled

Following the fire, Carnival Cruise Line has canceled the current May 23 trip, and after seeing the damage to the funnel, it was expected. The cruise line also announced the cancellation of the following May 28 sailing. On Friday, Carnival announced that two additional cruises are being canceled to allow time to repair the funnel in June.

Thus, Carnival Freedom’s May 23 voyage from Port Canaveral, the date the fire occurred, was scheduled to end in Florida on May 28. With Carnival Conquest helping to bring guests back to Florida, that means the trip is canceled, but guests won’t return to the US homeport until two days later on May 30.

Freedom Fire Damaga Carnival
Photo credit: @BlakeTheRxGuy (Twitter)

Carnival Cruise Line is offering $100 onboard credit per stateroom to offset any inconvenience caused by returning to Florida a little later than scheduled and on another ship. Guests will receive a 50% future cruise credit, which can be used to book a cruise in the future.

The May 28 sailing is also canceled from Port Canaveral, the ship was scheduled to depart for a five-night Eastern Caribbean cruise with stops in Nassau, Princess Cays and Grand Turk. It was also announced on Friday that the Carnival Freedom sailings on June 2 and June 6 are also no longer taking place.

Carnival Conquest to help

And now we come to what actually happens to guests on board as we now know that Carnival Freedom will suffer a drydock in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama in the Bahamas. Repairing the funnel will take time and the Freedom Carnival sails there directly from Grand Turk.

This means that all guests who were on that ship are cared for by Carnival Conquest. The Carnival cruise ship canceled its May 27 departure from Miami to sail to Grand Turk and bring guests back to Port Canaveral. With limited airport availability on the island of Turks and Caicos, this is about the only option for the cruise line.

Carnival Conquest cruise ship
Photo credit: Eric Glenn / Shutterstock

Once all guests are transferred to a comparable cabin aboard Carnival Conquest, the ship will return to Florida with an expected arrival on Monday, May 30. The ship will then return to its homeport of Miami to begin a shortened sailing, which departs May 31.

Carnival will pull out of Charleston

After 10 years of sailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Carnival Cruise Line announced that its homeport agreement with the South Carolina Ports Authority will not be extended beyond 2024.

The end of Carnival cruises from Charleston is due to the continued development of the Union Pier terminal which will prevent cruises from operating from the home port for the time being.

carnival sun is currently the only cruise ship homeported in Charleston. The ship resumed service from port on January 13, 2022, offering 4-5 night itineraries to the Bahamas, calling at Bimini, Nassau and Half Moon Cay, depending on departure date and length of sailing. cruise.

Carnival sunshine in Charleston
Photo credit: Daniel Wright98 / Shutterstock

The city is expected to welcome several cruise ships and river cruises on day visits throughout 2022, including Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the seasAmerican Queen Voyages’ ocean traveler and ocean navigatorCelebrity Cruises’ Celebrity SummitPrincess Cruises’ Caribbean Princessand more.

A total of 104 ship tours are currently scheduled for Charleston in 2022, including homeports and day tours.

Charleston first welcomed Carnival cruise ships as its home port when the former Fantasy Carnival first left port on May 18, 2010. It began a great era of cruising from the southern city, with cruises to the Bahamas, Bermuda, the US Virgin Islands and other ports of call in the Caribbean over the years.

What is the sphere on Icon of the Seas?

Royal Caribbean has released a new video with construction details on the 175 ton sphere yet to be revealed which will be presented on board Icon of the seas.

The new LNG-powered cruise ship is currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and will debut in the fall of 2023, and many details about the new ship are still unknown, including this mysterious sphere.

Little is known about the sphere, but some key details of its structure have been published. It is now 46 feet (14 meters) high and 50 feet (15.3 meters) in diameter, and weighs 175 metric tons (385,809 pounds).

Sea sphere icon installed
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Its outer shell is made of 578 aluminum panels, while the interior is lined with nine miles of power and lighting cables and 1,323 feet (400 meters) of air conditioning ductwork.

The interior also has steel mounting frames, but nothing is confirmed yet about the purpose of this frame, or what this structure could possibly become.

To move the sphere from its construction warehouse to be mounted on the ship, the entire structure was covered with fireproof fabric and thermal wool, indicating a certain delicacy to its components.

After being loaded onto a barge for transport, two tugs steered the barge to the ship’s hull, where the sphere was lifted into position by a crane.

It appears to be an interior structure on the still incomplete ship, positioned approximately amidships, slightly off-center from the overall width of the deck.

A total of 45,000 man hours have gone into the sphere so far – and we don’t even know what that is yet.

More cruise titles

So those were the hot topics of the week, we have even more cruise stories, including all the mysterious smell on board of Carnival Magic, Harmony of the Seas hit the dock platform in Jamaica, new details revealed on MSC World EuropeCarnival in talks sell your Seabourn brand, Norwegian Cruise Line Cancellations And much more.

Cruise News Update