As was seen during the construction of sistership Costa Smeralda earlier this year, Carnival Cruise Line has been hit with shipyard delays, forcing them to cancel the first eight sailings aboard Mardi Gras.
The new LNG-powered cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Line, the largest the line has ever built, will now depart on its first cruise in November, 2020.
No reason has been given for the delay, but Carnival Cruise Line has indicated that it is because of a revised delivery schedule from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland where the ship is being built.
“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, Senior Vice President of Newbuild, Carnival Cruise Line.
“Our commitment is to deliver a great and innovative ship, and Mardi Gras will definitely be that when it arrives in North America,” he added.
Mardi Gras’ first revenue sailing will now be departing Port Canaveral, Florida on November 14th, 2020. This means the first eight sailings are being canceled including the 9-day voyage out of Copenhagen and the transatlantic cruise from Southampton.
The New York cruises are also impacted, along with four out of the ship’s new homeport of Port Canaveral.
Carnival Cruise Line has is offering a 25 percent future cruise credit, in addition to automatic full refunds for all guests on the canceled sailings.
If affected guests use the future cruise credit by February 18th, 2020, they will also receive US $100 free onboard spending money. Carnival will also be helping with non-refundable travel arrangements.
Mardi Gras was originally scheduled to depart on her first voyage August 31st, 2020, out of Copenhagen. When bookings first opened the voyage sold out fast, breaking Carnival’s record with bookings according to Cruise Hive.
The delayed delivery and subsequently cancelled cruises will come as a disappointment to many Carnival passengers anticipating the ship’s arrival, particularly those based in Europe as the Copenhagen and trans-Atlantic sailings were their only opportunity to experience the ship within the region.
However, the possibility of a delay to Mardi Gras’ delivery had been flagged ever since Costa Cruises was forced to delay the inaugural voyage of Costa Smeralda twice during her construction due to delays in the same shipyard.