Carnival Shifts Ships

New vessels scheduled for Galveston and Long Beach

By: Theresa Norton Masek

Carnival Cruises Lines is shuffling ships again, which is good news for agents in Texas and Southern California. In October, Carnival will move the Ecstasy from Long Beach, Calif., to Galveston, where it will replace the Celebration and increase capacity by 38 percent.

In turn, the 1998-built Paradise will move into the short-cruise slot at Long Beach.

When that move is made, the Paradise will no longer be designated as a smoke-free ship, as it has been since entering service.

“When we analyzed our redeployment strategy, the Paradise, based on its size and attributes, was the obvious choice to offer a fresh, new short-cruise alternative from California,” Carnival President Bob Dickinson said.

“And, with only one ship operating that program, we could not limit it to non-smokers.”

The 70,000-ton, 2,052-passenger Ecstasy will start its new four- and five-day Mexico cruises from Galveston on Oct. 23.

The four-day cruises depart on Thursday and call on Cozumel. Five-day cruises depart Mondays and Saturdays, visiting Cozumel and Calica/Playa del Carmen. Fares start at $349 per person for the four-day cruise and $449 for the five-day voyages.

Dickinson said Carnival based its first ship in Galveston three years ago.

“The addition of the Ecstasy next year, combined with the Elation’s year-round cruises from Galveston, will result in an estimated 300,000 ‘Fun Ship’ passengers cruising annually from that port,” he said.

The 70,000-ton Paradise will launch its new program from Long Beach Sept. 20. Three-day cruises depart on Friday and call at Ensenada, Mexico, while the four-day cruises depart Monday and also visit Catalina Island.

Fares start at $299 per person.

Both the Paradise and the Ecstasy will each operate one-time 15-day Panama Canal repositioning voyages.

On Sept. 5, the Paradise will depart Miami and conclude the voyage in Long Beach on Sept. 20.

Ports of call include Aruba; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Acapulco, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This will be the Paradise’s last cruise as a smoke-free ship.

The Ecstasy, meanwhile, will depart Long Beach on Sept. 17 and arrive in Miami on Oct. 2. It will then undergo a dry-dock renovation before entering service in Galveston on Oct. 23.

The two Panama Canal

cruises are priced from $1,099 per person, double.