(1:50 p.m. EDT) Carnival Cruise Line notified travel agents this week that it has made changes to itineraries on several ships for September, including eliminating port calls at Key West and Grand Turk.
The cruise line told booked guests in a letter that “destination requirements are continuing to evolve,” necessitating the changes. Instead, Carnival has added a call at the Bahamian island of Bimini.
Carnival did not disclose the exact reasons for the itinerary change.
Key West may be off the list due to its recent efforts at limiting the majority of cruise ship traffic it sees. Pre-pandemic, Carnival was visiting Key West as many as three times a week. Last November city voters overwhelming approved three ballot initiatives to curb cruise traffic.
In late June Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law that effectively overturns the election results. Since then, city officials have been looking at other ways to set limits, reported the Miami Herald.
Grand Turk, a popular port where Carnival Cruise Line has its own private beach resort, remains closed to cruise ships.
Carnival made its inaugural call at Bimini on July 23 with the Carnival Horizon visiting the island’s new port, Resorts World Bimini Cruise Port, which is owned by Genting Group, owner of Crystal Cruises. The port includes a beach resort, hotel, lagoon-style swimming polls and casino.
Itineraries Changed on Six Ships
The updated itineraries have Carnival's newest ship, Mardi Gras, dropping Grand Turk and instead sailing on its seven-day eastern Caribbean itinerary on September 11 and 25 and October 9 and 23 to San Juan, Amber Cove (in the Dominican Republic) and Nassau.
Carnival Sunrise will return in September with four- and five-night sailings from Miami that drop Key West. The four-night sailings will call at Half Moon Cay, Carnival Corporation’s private Bahamas island, and Nassau. The five-night sailings will stop in Bimini and Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Carnival Dream will sail from Galveston to Freeport, Half Moon Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas on its eight-night sailing embarking September 25. A planned stop in Key West has been dropped.
An adjusted itinerary for Carnival Horizon from Miami calls at Bimini, Amber Cove (in the Dominican Republic) and Half Moon Cay, on six-night sailings on September 12 and 26. The seven-night Carnival Glory itinerary from New Orleans has been adjusted to visit Bimini, Freeport and Nassau on sailings on September 5 and 19.
From Galveston, Carnival Vista will do Western Caribbean itineraries embarking September 4 and 18 and October 12, 16 and 20, that will call at Mahogany Bay (Roatan, Honduras), Belize and Cozumel. The original itineraries included Montego Bay and Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is closed to cruise ships this year.
Other itineraries remain as scheduled at this time. Cruise Critic will update this article with more information as it becomes available.