(3:10 p.m. EDT) – Carnival Cruise Line is limiting capacity on select voyages in May and June, in response to the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
While Carnival had already temporarily suspended all sailings until May 11, the line has now closed inventory on select sailing dates across its fleet throughout May and June in order to provide better crew-to-passenger ratios as the line tries to get its staff and ships into a position to resume service.
"As we look to our return to service in May and June, we are carefully managing inventory," a Carnival spokesperson tells Cruise Critic. "We anticipate that certain international travel restrictions will remain. We are taking a conservative approach with regard to getting our crews back to the ships, so we have closed inventory on certain sailings so that we don't overextend our ability to provide service on board."
While they have disappeared from Carnival's online booking engine, these capacity-controlled voyages remain visible in Carnival's online cruise personalizer for passengers who are already booked onboard. They are currently scheduled to operate at this time.
New bookings are now closed to these capacity-restricted voyages, and most other sailings across the fleet, until the end of June.
Carnival's approach to limiting bookings and capacity-controlling voyages could be key as the cruise industry attempts to gradually resume operations from various ports of call around the world, providing it is safe to do so.
Based on a search of the company's website, Carnival's booking engine shows cruises across most of the FunShip fleet are only bookable towards the end of June, with the weekend of June 27 appearing as the first availability outside these capacity-controlled voyages.
A few noteworthy exceptions include Carnival Imagination, which has a June 4 voyage available on the reservation system. Carnival Ecstasy shows as available on June 6, then not again until June 25.
Carnival Fascination's weeklong Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico are all still available on Carnival's booking engine beginning on June 7.
Earlier this week, Genting introduced a number of new safety enhancements and protocols onboard its vessels intended to improve safety for passengers and crew. Carnival's step to limit overall capacity on select voyages could be another step in this direction.