Carnival Cruise Line has shortened the itinerary for Carnival Legend’s 14-day roundtrip Caribbean cruise from Baltimore, and has dropped the Panama Canal along with other destinations.
Carnival Cruise Line said in a letter sent to guests that the amended itinerary for Carnival Legend was in response to the Omicron variant, which has prompted many cruise destinations to re-introduce travel restrictions.
The changes affect Carnival Legend’s January 9 cruise from Baltimore. It will now operate as a 10-day sailing, with three ports in the Caribbean introduced to replace those that have been dropped.
“The voyage will now operate as a 10-day cruise returning to Baltimore 4 days earlier, on Wednesday, January 19, 2022,” the cruise line said. “Unfortunately, this also means we will not be able to operate the Panama Canal itinerary you were expecting.”
“We are truly sorry for this unexpected change of plans and trust you understand we are making this decision given our commitment to the safety of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit,” the letter added.
The previous itinerary had calls in Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, Puerto Limon, a cruise along the Panama Canal and a final stop in Grand Turk before heading back to Baltimore.
The new itinerary will feature six days at sea and calls at Half Moon Cay, St. Maarten and Antigua.
Carnival said that guests who choose to sail the itinerary will receive a $300 stateroom credit, four-day pro-rated cruise fare reduction, and an onboard credit of $245.80 per person, as well as a 25% Future Cruise Credit.
Pre-paid gratuities and pre-purchased beverage and Wi-Fi packages will also be adjusted to reflect the shortened duration.
The 25% FCC will also be offered to those guests who choose to cancel their booking, according to Carnival.
“We will be happy to discuss rescheduling you for another cruise, or process a full refund of your cruise fare and any pre-paid/purchased items to the original form of payment,” Carnival said in its letter.
The decision to amend the Carnival Legend itinerary is the first change Carnival has made in response to the Omicron variant, and comes just after Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line announced that they would be withdrawing several ships from service due to renewed travel restrictions.
Carnival Cruise Line has stated that it has no plans to withdraw its recently reintroduced fleet from service, but it may be forced to do so as rising cases of Omicron put cruise destinations on edge.
Several Caribbean destinations turned away cruise ships last week after lines reported COVID-19 infections, according to Travel Pulse. The Bahamas barred MSC Cruises’ MSC Seashore from docking at its private island, Ocean Cay, on December 29th due to reported COVID-19 cases.
Earlier in December, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom was denied entry to Bonaire and Curacao after a “small number” of people were infected, according to a Washington Post report.
At least six Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line and Carnival cruises were altered by coronavirus outbreaks last week.