Carnival Cruise Line said the first eight sailings of the new 5,000-passenger Mardi Gras will be canceled because the ship won’t be ready.

It is now advising booked guests and travel advisors that the first revenue sailing of the ship will be Nov. 14, 2020.

The cancellations result from a delay at the Meyer Turku shipyard, where the first ship in Carnival’s new XL class is under construction.

Cancellations include European, transatlantic, New York and Port Canaveral itineraries.

The ship had been slated to enter service in Europe on Aug. 31 before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages. It would then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in October.

“We have been working closely with Meyer Turku executives to keep the Mardi Gras delivery on schedule, and while we deeply regret disappointing our guests, this change in the delivery date is required to make sure all of the ship’s systems, features and technology will be fully operational, so that we can give our guests the vacation they expect,” said Ben Clement, Carnival’s senior vice president of newbuild.

Carnival said that the guest-notification process began promptly after the notice by Meyer Turku so that impacted guests could begin to make alternative vacation plans.  Carnival said it is offering affected guests a 25% future cruise credit in addition to the full refund of their cruise fare (and applicable fees and taxes and other pre-purchased cruise components), as well as assistance with nonrefundable airline and hotel reservations already booked. 

In addition, if guests rebook their cruise vacation using their 25% credit by Feb. 18, 2020, they will be given an additional $100 credit per person for onboard spending. 

Carnival said it has also “communicated guidelines to travel advisors regarding commission protection.”


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