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Carnival cancels March cruises from Port Canaveral, other U.S. ports

Carnival Mardi Gras will begin sailing in April from Port Canaveral

Bolt is set to debut on board the Carnival Mardi Gras in 2020.
Bolt is set to debut on board the Carnival Mardi Gras in 2020. (Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Cruise Line on Wednesday said it is extending its halt to cruises from Port Canaveral and other U.S. ports through March, as it aims to meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements for resuming cruises.

Port Canaveral has not had multiday cruises since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, reports News 6 partner Florida Today.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said: “We are sorry to disappoint our guests, as we can see from our booking activity that there is clearly a pent-up demand for cruising on Carnival. We appreciate their patience and support, as we continue to work on our plans to resume operations in 2021 with a gradual, phased-in approach.”

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Carnival said customers booked on the now-canceled cruises are being notified directly of the cancellations and their options for a future cruise credit and onboard credit package, or a full refund.

Carnival also announced a series of other cancellations for later in 2021 on five of its ships. Those cancellations include Carnival Liberty sailings from Port Canaveral from Sept. 17 to Oct. 18, which will accommodate rescheduled dry dock work for the ship.

The Carnival Mardi Gras — the cruise line’s newest and largest ship — is scheduled to begin sailing out of Port Canaveral on April 24, offering seven-night cruises to the Caribbean. Pre-pandemic, the Mardi Gras had been scheduled to start sailing from Port Canaveral in October.

The Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship to be based in North America to be powered by liquefied natural gas and will feature BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea.

The ship will be based at Port Canaveral’s new $155 million Cruise Terminal 3, a 188,000-square-foot terminal that became fully operational in June, but has yet to host cruise passengers.

Dave Berman is government editor at FLORIDA TODAY.

Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 or dberman@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @bydaveberman