Cruise giant Carnival delays debut of its biggest ship ever, cancels sailings

Carnival fans, you’re going to have to wait a little longer for the next new cruise ship. Carnival Cruise Line announced today that the maiden voyage of Carnival Jubilee has been pushed back from October to December 2023.

Due to shipyard delays related to supply chain issues, the cruise line has been forced to cancel the first six scheduled sailings of Carnival Jubilee. The first cruise will now set sail on Dec. 23, 2023, out of Galveston, Texas.

The original plan was for Carnival to take delivery of Jubilee from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, in October 2023, and invite the first guests on board in Southampton, U.K., for a transatlantic crossing. That sailing has been canceled, along with five Caribbean cruises from Texas.

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With the new early December delivery, Carnival Jubilee will skip England and sail directly for the U.S. Its debut sailing will be a Christmas cruise from Galveston.

“This is disappointing news, but with the notification from the shipyard, we are advising our guests as quickly as we can,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a statement. “We appreciate their understanding as we work to deliver another spectacular ship that will provide a vacation experience our guests deserve and will absolutely love.”

Related: The ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival is not the only line whose ship debut plans have been upset by supply chain issues and shipyard delays. Cunard, Norwegian Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages and new luxury cruise line Explora Journeys have all bumped back upcoming ship debuts.

Passengers booked on the canceled Jubilee sailings will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, additional taxes and fees and any advance purchases made (such as shore excursions), a Carnival spokesperson told TPG.

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Additionally, Carnival will give them a future cruise credit equal to 25% of the booked cruise fare to be used on any Carnival ship or itinerary. Guests have until Dec. 15, 2023, to use the credit. However, if they rebook by Feb. 10, they’ll also receive $100 per person in onboard credit.

When it finally sets sail next year, Carnival Jubilee will tie with Carnival Celebration for the title of Carnival’s biggest ship ever (just edging out the original Excel-class ship, Mardi Gras). Like Celebration, Jubilee will carry 5,374 passengers at double occupancy and measure approximately 182,800 gross tons.

Also, like its classmates, the new Carnival cruise ship will feature a top-deck roller coaster, water park and ropes course; restaurants by Guy Fieri and Shaquille O’Neal; a variety of cabins, including suites with exclusive sun deck access and family cabins with a dedicated family lounge; and six themed zones for dining, drinking and playing on board.

Related: The 8 classes of Carnival Cruise Line ships, explained

Carnival Jubilee will sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston to Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, and Mahogany Bay, Honduras. Fares start from $549 per person, based on double occupancy for windowless inside cabins.

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