April 26, 2002
New York, a somewhat under-utilized pleasure-cruise port, is the latest “regional” to enjoy a boost now that Carnival plans to offer an eight-day Caribbean roundtrip from the “Big Apple.” The warm-weather program, which will run May 13 - October 12 (alas, next year, not this one), will revolve around the yet-to-be-launched 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend and will call at San Juan and St. Thomas-St. John. A daylong stop in the British Virgin Islands (Tortola) fulfills the (at least) one-foreign-port requirement. Expect plenty of sea days as well. One of the reasons that Carnival Legend was chosen to sail this route is the ship can move! Legend, part of Carnival’s Spirit Class, has a top-knot speed off about 24 knots (though it is more likely to hit speeds of 22-23 knots). A slower ship plying the same route would need a couple of extra days -- bulking the voyage to a harder-to-schedule 10- or 11-day trip. Carnival’s Caribbean service is especially good news for New York City which heretofore has been limited in its home porting role for ships heading to either Bermuda or Canada/New England (along with its jumping-off role in QE2’s transatlantic crossings).