Cruise News Update: November 27, 2021


It’s another busy week with cruise news covering all the major cruise lines as even more ships return to service. We also have great news on the ports.

Cruise news update

It’s time to get into all the latest cruise news as cruise lines continue to move forward with more cruise ships returning to service. We have an update on the next two Carnival ships restarting, another Holland America ship that has picked up from Florida, a busy day for the popular Caribbean destination of St. Maarten, Grand Cayman clears the first cruise ship since the start of the pandemic to make an appeal in December and a delay in resuming operations for two Princess cruise ships.

Two Carnival ships restart in December

Carnival Cruise Line continues to move forward put more cruise ships back into service including the Carnival Conquest and Carnival sparkle in December.

The 110,000 gross tons, 2,980 passengers Carnival Conquest will return to cruising on December 13 when he takes his first cruise in twenty months from PortMiami. The first cruise will be a four-day sailing from Miami to Princess Cays and Bimini, both in the Bahamas.

The ship will combine cruises to the Bahamas, which also include cruises to Nassau and Half Moon Cay. Guests will also be able to take a 4-day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico.

Photo credit: SeregaSibTravel /

December 13, Carnival sparkle will embark on a series of 3- and 4-day cruises from Long Beach, Calif., year round. Her maiden voyage will be a 4-day cruise from Long Beach to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico, with a day at sea before returning to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal in California. 3-day cruises will have a stopover in Ensenada only and a day at sea.

The vessel was recently converted during a dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, and is currently preparing to begin operations on the west coast. The christening ceremony will also take place on December 13, with the ship named by Dr Lucille O’Neal, the mother of the cruise line’s chief officer, Shaquille O’Neal.

Princess Cruises delays restart of two ships

The return to service of Princess Cruises had gone well, with several ships already back in service. However, the long-awaited reboots for Island Princess from Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Crown Princess from Los Angeles to California are delayed.

Princess Cruises did not explain the specific reason for the delayed restart of the two ships. The only reason was to allow a phased return to service. This could be related to having enough vaccinated crew on the ships and more time to prepare.

Crown Princess Cruise Ship
Photo credit: Joni Hanebutt /

Island Princess cruises are now canceled until April 17, 2022. The ship will finally resume operations on April 27, 2022 from Fort Lauderdale for a 14-day trip on the Panama Canal. Crown Princess cruises are now canceled until April 29, 2022. The ship will return from Los Angeles on May 7, 2022, for a seven-day trip to Alaska.

The 2,200 passengers Island Princess was previously scheduled to resume departures on March 6. The 3,080 passengers Crown Princess was previously scheduled to resume cruises on February 13.

Holland America is back in service

The Pinnacle-class ship Nieuw Statendam service restarted on November 21 for the first time since the industry-wide hiatus began in 2020. Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and became the fifth ship in the fleet to return to sea.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in the Port Everglades terminal to officially open boarding. When the guests arrived on board, the crew members extended a warm welcome by waving flags.

Re-commissioning of Nieuw Statendam
Photo courtesy of: Holland America Line

Guests enjoy a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise that includes a stopover in Nassau, Bahamas, Ocho Rios, and Port Royal, Jamaica; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island in the Bahamas.

Nieuw Statendam will continue to sail from the port until April 2022 on a range of Caribbean cruises from seven to 11 days. The cruise line also offers even longer collectible trips, back-to-back trips that provide a more cultural experience and in-depth exploration.

Six cruise ships in Saint-Martin

As cruise lines return more and more cruise ships to service safely, Caribbean cruise ports are once again becoming busy, with thousands of visitors bringing much-needed income to savings.

Saint-Martin has been among the busiest cruise destinations so far since cruise ships began to resume service this summer. November 24, the port had six cruise ships, the busiest day in over 20 months. The ships have brought more than 7,500 guests and crew to the island, a positive step for local businesses.

Cruise ships in Saint-Martin
Photo credit: Mark Williams

Ships in Saint-Martin on November 24 included Sky Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, AIDAluna, and AIDAdiva ships operated by the German company AIDA Cruises, Discovery of Marella operated by the British company Marella Cruises.

There were also two Royal Caribbean cruise ships, Sea explorer and Jewel of the seas. All ships were moored between the two cruise docks at the Dr. AC Wathey cruise and cargo facility. There were also two freighters calling on the island, bringing the total number of ships to eight.

First cruise to return to Grand Cayman

Although cruise ships are not part of the Cayman Islands government’s plan to reopen the borders, the Seattle-based Holland America Line received permission from local authorities to stop in George Town, Grand Cayman, on December 28, 2021. The cruise line and the local government have agreed to terms and conditions designed to minimize the risk of local transmission of COVID-19.

Holland America cruise ship in Grand Cayman
Photo credit: Feng Cheng /

Under these protocols, George Town in Grand Cayman is to be the first port of call for Nieuw Statendam on this cruise. The number of passengers on board the ship may not exceed 60% of the capacity of the ship or 1,600 passengers. Grand Cayman will be the first stop on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. On December 26.

The Cayman Islands have had their borders closed to tourists since March 16, 2020. It was only last week, November 20, that the country reopened so that tourists began to return in greater numbers. Some tourists had been allowed entry under strict protocols.

We’ll have to wait and see if other cruise ships might be allowed to visit Grand Cayman after the Holland America cruise ship. Previously, it was scheduled to reopen for cruises in early 2022.

More cruise titles

These are just a few of the news from the week’s cruises, we have even more, including Dream Cruises increases its capacity at 75 percent, the possibility of cruise ships be limited to Key West again, three more Royal Caribbean cruise ships to restart in December and another Caribbean cruise port welcomes first cruise ship since its reopening in August 2021.

Cruise news update


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