This marks the second time Mardi Gras has been delayed, but is the first time her construction has been directly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences [of the pandemic], including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line.
While Mardi Gras’ construction work was paused along with work on all other cruise ships in shipyards across Europe during March and April, Carnival had initially anticipated that they would be able to make up the time by November.
“While we had hoped to make up construction time on Mardi Gras over the summer, it’s clear we will need extra time to complete this magnificent ship,” said Duffy.
“We share our guests’ disappointment and appreciate their patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our business and the lives of so many people,” she added.
“We remain committed to working with government, public health and industry officials to support the response to the pandemic and to return to operations when the time is right.”
Mardi Gras’ first cruise from Port Canaveral is now scheduled for February 6th, 2021. All her previously published departures from November 14th, 2020 to January 30th, 2021 have been cancelled.
Like Mardi Gras’ construction, Carnival Cruise Line was also forced to delay the major US $200-million refurbishment work on Carnival Victory (which was due to be transformed into Carnival Radiance this year).
Now, the cruise line has indicated they are assessing options for a refit later this year.
“Carnival is now evaluating shipyard options to complete the transformation, but the ship is likely not going to be completed until the spring,” the company said, in a press release.
The delayed refurbishment of Carnival Radiance has forced Carnival Cruise Line to juggle around itineraries for several other ships to make up the shortfall.
Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from November 8th, 2020 to April 24th, 2021.
Consequently, guests on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from November 7th, 2020 to March 7th, 2021 have been notified that their cruises have been cancelled.
Carnival Magic’s transatlantic and European itineraries from March 13th, 2021 to May 3rd, 2021 have also been cancelled so that she can replace Carnival Breeze on seven cruises from Fort. Lauderdale from March 13th to April 24th, 2021. Those itineraries will also now sail from Miami.