Cruise News Update: August 28, 2021

It’s the season of the cruise! Ships are bustling with activity as they teach their new crew on-board training on how to run the ship under the watchful eye of Captain. Nothing goes on without the approval of the Captain first, so let’s check in on what he’s been up to lately.

It’s been five years since the first cruise ships launched with passengers. As of today, there are more than 850 of them, with more launching every few months. Cruise lines are constantly innovating their offerings, with over 150 new ships currently under construction. As different cruise lines try to appeal to different customers, competition is heating up, especially for the passengers of the largest cruise lines. The cruise of the future may look very different from what we have seen before. And yet, the cruise industry isn’t going anywhere.

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s talk about the future of travel.

So, what happened? There have been a slew of significant cruise news developments recently, including protocol revisions, a shaky starting for one Carnival cruise ship, and a blunder by a major cruise company.

Update on Cruise News

Here’s another hectic cruise news update, as cruise companies work to resume ship operations and adjust to the changing circumstances in order to keep passengers and crew safe. So far, we’ve heard about procedure upgrades, the Wonder of the Seas finishing sea trials, a mechanical problem with one of Carnival’s ships, and, of course, many schedule adjustments. And there’s even a Royal Caribbean blunder!


The Sea Trials for the Wonder of the Seas have been completed.

We’ll start with the soon-to-be world’s biggest cruise ship, which just had her first sea trials, and what occurred during this significant milestone? There are several essential things to consider in order to ensure that she is seaworthy!

The next world’s biggest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas, left the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, on August 20 to begin the crucial sea trials. It was a significant milestone since the massive new cruise ship for Royal Caribbean is nearing completion.

Wonder of the Seas Sea TrialsRoyal Caribbean provided this image.

The 5th Oasis-class cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, spent a few days at sea to ensure that she is seaworthy and to test things like propulsion, as well as technological elements that can only be evaluated at sea.

The four-day sea testing spanned 1,550 nautical miles and lasted four days. During a series of tests, the ship was pushed to its limits in areas such as propulsion, navigation, engine performance systems, and more. There were 40 sea acceptance tests performed in all. Many examinations were carried out, including plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.

While at sea, the Wonder of the Seas reached speeds of up to 24 knots and 2,450 feet per minute. Involved on the sea testing were 500 Royal Caribbean team members and shipyard employees.

With the ship having returned to the shipyard, work on furnishing all of the internal areas is continuing to ensure that the ship is ready for delivery to the cruise line in early 2022. When she launches in Shanghai, China, in March 2022, passengers will be the first to experience the new Oasis-class cruise ship. From Shanghai to Hong Kong, the ship will provide four to nine-night cruises to Japan.

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship will be an astounding 236,857 gross tons when finished, making her the new world’s biggest cruise ship, succeeding sister ship Symphony of the Seas.

A Technical Issue Affects the Carnival Panorama

The Carnival Panorama has had a rocky start, with the cruise ship being forced to make schedule adjustments on her maiden trip back after more than 17 months.

A problem with the third Vista-class cruise ship’s maximum cruising speed has been identified. On August 25, Carnival Cruise Line sent out a letter to passengers informing them of the issue and informing them that their stay in Cabo San Lucas on August 26 would be changed, as well as a delayed return to the Port of Long Beach in California on August 28. The ships would return home at about 10:30 a.m., rather than the 9:00 a.m. initially planned.

Carnival Panorama in Cabo San LucasCactusPilot / / CactusPilot / / / Shutter

The ship’s stop at Cabo San Lucas on August 26 was rescheduled to ensure that it arrived at the revised arrival time. The Carnival Panorama was originally scheduled to arrive at 7:00 a.m. and leave at 3:00 p.m. at Cabo San Lucas. Instead, the ship landed at 6:00 a.m. and left at 2:00 p.m., one hour early.

The ship debuted in December 2019 and is the second newest ship in the fleet, with a gross tonnage of 133,500 tons and a passenger capacity of 4,008 at double occupancy.

The Carnival Dream had a similar problem in August of last year, however it was reported by Cruise Hive in 2019. Sister ship Carnival Vista experienced a problem with its maximum cruising speed in June 2019, forcing it to alter its route.

An problem like this cannot be addressed fast, and Carnival Cruise Line has given no indication of when it will be remedied.

Requirements for Disney Cruise Line have been updated.

Disney Cruise Line is changing its procedures to allow cruises to continue in the Bahamas, and it is complying with the Bahamas government’s new regulations.

Beginning September 3, 2021, all cruise passengers aged 12 and above will be required to be completely vaccinated. The new restrictions will be in effect until November 1, 2021, and will apply to all sailings to the Bahamas, including Castaway Cay, the Bahamas’ private island.

Disney Dream in the BahamasPhoto credit: Camilo Bernal

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standards are still followed by Disney, and visitors are considered completely vaccinated 14 days after their last dosage. The cruise company must receive proof of immunization no later than 24 hours before the ship leaves. If you don’t have evidence, you won’t be allowed to board the cruise ship.

Those under the age of 12 may still travel with Disney Cruise Line, but they must obtain a negative PCR test between five and 24 hours before departure. Before being permitted on board, an additional test will be conducted at the terminal.

Two cruise ships will be affected by the revised criteria for sailings to the Bahamas from September 3 to November 1. Cruises to the Bahamas are already available on the Disney Dream. The ship resumed service on August 9 from Port Canaveral, Florida, and is currently conducting three- and four-night sailings to Nassau and Castaway Cay.

On September 11, Disney Fantasy cruises will resume, with four-night sailings departing from Port Canaveral.

Royal Caribbean’s Error

Royal Caribbean has issued a new regulation requiring all passengers on back-to-back voyages to pack their belongings and depart the ship in between trips.

But hold on! The cruise company made a mistake, and passengers received another email shortly after, apologizing for the incorrect information. “With our previous back-to-back update, we gave incorrect information and apologies for the confusion,” Royal Caribbean stated. We had informed all guests who were traveling back-to-back that they needed to pack their belongings and bring them to the terminal between sailings. This isn’t true. It is not necessary for you to pack your belongings and transport them to the terminal.“

Royal Caribbean Cruise ShipsPhoto credit: Clapp

The company’s new policy, which states that passengers are not obliged to pack their baggage and leave it on the ship between voyages, is expected to be well welcomed. Furthermore, testing will take place on board the ship rather than at the port.

Guests will only need to exit the ship for customs and immigration, as well as to check in for their next trip.

“Guests who sail on back-to-back voyages must provide evidence of complete COVID 19 immunization and must undergo a COVID 19 test with negative findings between each sailing,” Royal Caribbean states. The visitor will not be charged for this exam since it will be performed onboard.“

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that Royal Caribbean is doing all it can to keep COVID off its ships. All of the line’s ships are now required to be 100% vaccinated throughout the globe.

Princess Cruises Announces the Restart of Two Ships

The Carnival-owned cruise company is pressing forward with plans to restart ship operations. Sailings to Alaska have already started on Princess Cruises, with additional ships scheduled to begin in September 2021.

Island Princess and Diamond Princess have been given an update on when they will return. Before embarking on a 14-day Panama Canal trip on April 27, 2022, the Island Princess will go on a series of Caribbean excursions.

Diamond Princess Cruise ShipPhoto credit: / Bezuglova Evgeniia

Diamond Princess, a ship that got a lot of press when the epidemic hit the cruise industry, will eventually start taking passengers in Spring 2022. The ship will return for a season of Japan sailings, with more information to come from the cruise company.

Now that Princess has released when the two vessels will restart, it does mean that previously scheduled cruises have to be canceled. The 2021-2022 South America & Antarctica offerings for Diamond Princess will no longer take place. Island Princess’ 2022 World Cruise and two other cruises are canceled too.

Since the outbreak, the Island Princess and Diamond Princess have been on pause. As the cruise line progressively resumes operations throughout the globe, both ships will follow the rest of the fleet. Majestic Princess, Grand Princess, Ruby Princess, Enchanted Princess, Sky Princess, Regal Princess, Caribbean Princess, and Emerald Princess will be among the eight MedallionClass ships returning to service by November 28, 2021.

Holland America’s New Beginnings and Changes

Holland America Line gives an update on two cruise ships that are set to resume service in 2022. It comes as the cruise company moves ahead with its restart strategy, with six ships expected to be operational by November 2021.

The cruise company has updated information on the Volendam and Zaandam cruise ships, which will resume service in May 2022. The Grand World Voyage and the Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage will be cancelled in 2022 due to new cruise offers.

Holland America Cruise ShipsPhoto credit: / FotoKina

Volendam will re-enter service on May 1, 2022, with 14- to 35-day cruises to the Baltic, Norway, the British Isles, and Iceland. The cruises will depart from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Cruises through the Iberian Peninsula to the Mediterranean and down to Egypt and Israel will also be available.

On May 12, Zaandam will resume service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Boston, Massachusetts. Then there will be options for trips between Boston and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Holland America cruise ship will depart Boston in July 2022 on a 35-day voyage that will take passengers to Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

Additional Cruise News

So those are just a few of the cruise headlines from the past week; there are plenty more, including Symphony of the Seas returning to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the first time in over 17 months, Carnival Cruise Line providing an update on back-to-back cruises, the first cruise ship restarting operations out of Boston, the CDC updating advisories for two popular cruise destinations, and many more.

Cruise News Update

This week’s update brings you up-to-date news about cruise ships, including the recent sale of the P&O’s White Star fleet.. Read more about cruise ship news daily and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will cruise ships be cruising in 2021?

Yes, cruise ships will be cruising in 2021.

Will 2021 cruises be Cancelled?

The answer to this question is unknown.

Did Carnival cancel all cruises for 2021?

No, Carnival has not canceled all of their cruises for 2021. They have only canceled the following cruises: Carnival Cruise Line – Caribbean Carnival Cruise Line – Eastern Caribbean Carnival Cruise Line – Western Caribbean

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