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TD Guest Writer

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Carnival Mardi Gras

Carnival Cruise Line has revised 21 Mardi Gras sailings, eliminating San Juan as a port of call and adding Nassau to the itinerary.

Carnival Cruise Line guests sailing on the line’s flagship, Mardi Gras, have been notified of a port of call change, affecting 21 separate sailings.

Although some sailings are more than a year away, the port switch is the same for all affected cruises.

Mardi Gras will no longer be visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the affected cruises. Instead, the ship will make a stop in Nassau, Bahamas.

Regardless of when their cruise was scheduled, guests booked on the impacted sailings were notified of the change by email on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

This modification will affect 21 Mardi Gras sailings, 1 in 2022, 14 in 2023, and 5 in 2024.

The impacted sailings are all 7-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries. However, these are not the only Eastern Caribbean cruises on which Mardi Gras is sailing, and other departure dates have not yet been impacted. San Juan is still on the schedule for the remaining Eastern Caribbean sailings.

Carnival Cruise Line made a similar move in February, swapping Mardi Gras’ San Juan calls with Nassau. This latest change appears to be a continuation of that change.

There have been no more discussions about the port exchange, including if the duration in port will be affected.

The 181,808-gross-ton ship was scheduled to arrive at San Juan around 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each time, the impacted cruises bring 5,282 visitors (double occupancy) or up to 6,500 guests (fully booked) to visit the island.

Pre-booked shore tours for San Juan will be automatically cancelled, and refunds will be processed back to the guests’ payment source.

While Carnival Cruise Line has not specified what “operational plans” are being adjusted, that has resulted in so many itineraries skipping San Juan as a port of call, and several options exist.

The port of San Juan may be too congested with other cruise ships arriving simultaneously, or that suitable berths won’t be available, preventing the best possible experience for guests.

The largest ship in Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet, the Excel, may have trouble docking at the port of San Juan on the affected dates due to port operations or pier construction.

It is common for cruise lines to make last-minute changes to previously announced itineraries due to factors like fleet deployments, dry dock and maintenance schedules, and pier availability.

While it’s understandable that passengers would be disappointed if their cruise itinerary suddenly changed, giving them ample notice means they can make alternative plans or even switch to a different ship.

When ports of call are changed, cruise lines are not compelled to provide any form of compensation to passengers.

Mardi Gras arrived in San Juan for the first time in August 2021. Since no ship had taken passengers to the island for 17 months due to the effects of the pandemic, this visit marked the formal resumption of cruises to Puerto Rico.

 

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