Four major cruise lines marked the recent 4 July weekend by putting ships back in the water — two of them sailing from US ports — for the first time in more than a year.
Carnival, Crystal, Royal Caribbean and Seabourn are back to doing what they do best after watching their respective ships pull away from the docks.
In Galveston, Texas, to celebrate Carnival Cruise Line’s resumption of guest cruises from the US, Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Vista Captain Andrea Catalani and local officials led a “Back to Fun” ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests back on board.
Officials from Carnival Cruise Lines and Galveston, Texas, celebrate the resumption of cruising from US ports. Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line
“Seeing our guests board the ship for the first time in more than 15 months was a welcome and emotional sight,” Duffy said. “The excitement our guests have for Carnival cruising knows no bounds and it’s great to be able to have them enjoy our unique vacation experience and of course see our amazing crew once again.”
Carnival Vista is on a week-long cruise with stops in Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Cozumel and Belize City.
In addition to Carnival Vista’s departure, Carnival Horizon began sailing from PortMiami on 4 July, while Carnival Breeze will sail from Galveston come 15 July. Carnival Miracle kicks off the line’s Alaska season from Seattle on 27 July. Mardi Gras, the line’s newest ship, sets sail from Port Canaveral this 31 July. Other ships in the Carnival fleet will begin service in August.
Carnival operates from 14 US homeports — the most in cruising. Roughly half of the US population is within a day’s drive of a Carnival homeport.
Crystal Cruises celebrated the resumption of its ocean cruise operations as Crystal Serenity set sail from the Port of Nassau on her Luxury Bahamas Escapes, a seven-night voyage exploring the islands of The Bahamas.
Crystal Serenity will now homeport in The Bahamas through November.
After more than a year of anticipation and planning, the long-awaited return to cruising was celebrated with a Homeporting Inauguration Ceremony in Nassau by Crystal executives, Bahamian government officials and dignitaries from the Port of Nassau.
A Junkanoo parade entertained guests in a lively Bahamian tradition of music, dancing and colourful costumes at the pier. The ship received a water cannon salute as she left the harbour with the sounds of Crystal Cruises’ signature sail away song “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong as the musical backdrop for this milestone moment.
“We are delighted to celebrate this historic day in Nassau as Crystal Serenity resumes sailing and welcomes our guests, who we consider our Crystal Family, back on board,” said Carmen Roig, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Crystal who was in The Bahamas for the festivities.
The Freedom of the Seas at Perfect Day at CocoCay. Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International
In Miami, Freedom of the Seas became the first Royal Caribbean ship in the US to welcome guests and the first cruise ship to do so from PortMiami.
Sailing with 93% of the onboard community fully vaccinated and just in time for Fourth of July weekend, Freedom set off on the first cruise of a summer-long series of three-night weekend and four-night weekday getaways to Perfect Day at CocoCay – the cruise line’s top-rated private island destination – and Nassau, The Bahamas.
“We have a lot to celebrate. Families and loved ones can finally come together after more than a year apart, and we’re now welcoming them back on board to make up for that lost time. Summer family vacations are back, and we are just getting started," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
Seabourn resumed operations Saturday and welcomed guests back on board Seabourn Ovation, which departed on a seven-day voyage from Piraeus (Athens), Greece. The ship will sail a series of seven-day voyages visiting ports throughout the Greek Isles through October 2021.
Source: Travel Pulse