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It is now official: Carnival Cruise Line has sold Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Inspiration amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Carnival Fascination and Carnival Imagination will be laid up for an indefinite period. That means four of the eight Fantasy-class ships are out of service, with two of them vacating the West Coast.
Remaining will be the new Carnival Panorama from Long Beach, Calif., as well as a surprise addition to replace the departing Imagination and Inspiration. The newly transformed Carnival Radiance will be joining Panorama year-round come April 2021. Converted from the Carnival Victory, the ship was originally earmarked for deployment from the East Coast and Galveston, Texas, but instead will unveil its $200 million worth of improvements in California.
Among the vessel’s enhancements will be chief fun officer Shaquille O’Neal’s first Big Chicken restaurant at sea, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, a multipurpose Liquid Lounge and a signature WaterWorks aqua park.
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From Long Beach, Panorama will sail weeklong voyages while Radiance will cover short Baja Mexico itineraries. Plus, Carnival Miracle will depart seasonally from San Diego, Calif., in the winter on short-form voyages to Mexico.
“We have used this pause in operations to think carefully about our fleet and to build a plan that gives our guests new choices and upgrades to current ship offerings,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a press release. “With a fleet that gives guests lots of choices in ships, homeports, destinations and features including a multitude of dining, entertainment and accommodation choices, we are very excited about the future for Carnival Cruise Line.”
Other Carnival fleet details include a confirmed date and homeport — November 2022 from Miami — for the arrival of the line’s second Excel-class vessel and sister ship to the upcoming Mardi Gras.
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Additionally, Carnival Sensation will relocate from Miami to Mobile, Ala., and sail itineraries previously scheduled on Fantasy and Fascination. And Carnival Sunrise will move from Port Everglades, Fla., to Miami and resume itineraries previously operated by Sensation.
“With our future fleet plan resolved, we are focused on ensuring we are ready to return to operations once it is determined that the time is right to resume cruising in the U.S.,” Duffy said. Also according to the release, “the cruise line focuses its return to operations on mainland drive markets in the U.S.”
The DetailsCarnival Cruise Linewww.carnival.com