A dozen years ago sailing from North America commonly meant a flight to Florida, the cruise travel capital of the world. Carnival Cruise Line changed all that, adding convenient embarkation ports many cruise travelers can drive to. That scattered ships a bit as a number of coastal cities vied to be next on the list. As time went on, other cruise lines followed, bringing a nice variety of sailings from drive market cruise embarkation ports. Now, Carnival Cruise Line is bolstering its leadership position again, adding more ships to popular starting places on both coasts.
Carnival Cruise Line will expand capacity in two key markets in 2018. Carnival Miracle will operate seven-day Caribbean cruises from Tampa while Carnival Splendor offers week-long Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, California.
“Tampa and Long Beach are both highly convenient and popular homeports and we’re delighted to provide our guests with exciting new year-round cruise vacation choices in these two markets.”- Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Seven-Day Cruises From Tampa Aboard Carnival Miracle
Carnival Miracle will launch a year-round schedule of seven-day Caribbean sailings from Tampa Jan. 27, 2018, becoming the second ship based at the popular southwestern Florida port. The week-long adventures depart on Saturdays and Sundays and feature four of the Caribbean’s most popular ports of call: George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; and Belize City, Belize, each of which offer world-class beaches, water sports and a variety of shore excursion opportunities.
The seven-day voyages from Tampa are part of Carnival’s exclusive Cozumel Plus program, which feature extended stays that provide guests even more opportunities to experience and explore one of the Caribbean’s most diverse vacation destinations. On Cozumel Plus itineraries, guests have access to a variety of new excursions, many taking place on Mexico’s mainland – with unforgettable tours like swimming with whale sharks, visiting centuries-old ruins and swimming in hidden caverns, complementing nearly 50 existing tours already available.
2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle joins the 2,052-passenger Carnival Paradise which operates year-round four- and five-day Caribbean cruises from Tampa. Carnival is the only year-round cruise operator from Tampa. The two ships will offer the widest variety of four-, five- and seven-day itineraries from Tampa and carry 320,000 guests annually.
Week-Long Mexican Riviera Cruises Aboard Carnival Splendor
The 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor will launch a year-round schedule of seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, beginning Jan. 27, 2018, replacing Carnival Miracle and representing a 41 percent capacity increase on the line’s week-long cruises from the West Coast.
Three different itineraries will be offered, each featuring stunning destinations along the Mexican Riviera. One itinerary visits Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, another spends two days at Cabo San Lucas and a full day in Puerto Vallarta, and a third overnights in Puerto Vallarta with a day-long call in Cabo San Lucas, as well. On these cruises, guests can relax on beautiful beaches, visit centuries-old historical sites and enjoy unforgettable dining and shopping experiences.
Carnival Splendor will join Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination which both offer three- and four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach. With the addition of Carnival Splendor, the line will carry upwards of 700,000 guests annually from Southern California, operating nearly 250 three- to 14-day cruises a year.
Exciting Panama Canal and Hawaii Cruises
Carnival Splendor will also offer a special 13-day Panama Canal cruise departing Miami Jan. 14, and arriving in Long Beach Jan. 27, 2018, becoming the first Carnival ship to transit the newly opened Panama Canal locks and providing guests the opportunity to experience this engineering marvel firsthand. The cruise will visit Cartagena prior to the Panama Canal transit, then call at Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Additionally, Carnival Splendor will operate two 14-day Carnival Journeys cruises to Hawaii round-trip from Long Beach – one departing Oct. 13, 2018, and the other Dec. 1, 2018 and visiting four breathtaking Hawaiian destinations – Maui, Honolulu, Kona and Hilo, as well as a call at Ensenada, Mexico.
Carnival Miracle will offer a 14-day Panama Canal cruise departing Long Beach, Calif., Jan. 13, and arriving in Tampa Jan. 27, 2018. Ports of call include Cabo San Lucas; Puerto Quetzal; and Puntarenas; followed by a transit of the Panama Canal, then stops at Cartagena, Colombia; and George Town, Grand Cayman. Carnival Miracle will also offer a unique eight-day Panama Canal cruise round-trip from Tampa April 14-22, 2018, with stops at Limon, Costa Rica; prior to a partial transit of the Panama Canal, then a call at Grand Cayman.
Longer Sailings Also Available
A special 14-day Carnival Journeys cruise featuring a partial transit of the Panama Canal along with visits to Cozumel, Limon, Cartagena, Aruba, Curacao and Ocho Rios, will also be offered by Carnival Miracle round-trip from Tampa Dec. 2-16, 2018.
Guests sailing on Carnival Journeys cruises enjoy unique local dining and entertainment experiences and a number of shipboard enrichment activities.
Prior to launching service from their new homeports, both ships will offer extended Panama Canal cruises in January 2018 that will feature a variety of spectacular ports throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Carnival Splendor will also operate unique 14-day Hawaii cruises round trip from Long Beach.