Carnival Repositioning Valor and Liberty in Rare Swap

When you consider the logistics that go into porting a cruise ship, it’s no surprise that schedules are planned out years in advance. Between having the ability to process and board thousands of passengers, supplying food and drink for a journey, and making sure it all gets done within just a few hours, the task of turning around a cruise is monumental.

That’s why when there is a sudden change in schedule, it can cause big headaches. That’s what Carnival has recently been experiencing. Earlier this month, Carnival had to cancel some cruises aboard Carnival Liberty, a ship homeported in Galveston, Texas.

According to the company, there was a mechanical issue that didn’t allow the ship to reach its top-end cruising speed. As a result, the ship was slowed on its trip, arriving at port late. While the team has seemingly done their best to fix the issue, it still seems to cause trouble.

Given Galveston’s location far from the nearest port of call in Mexico, the Liberty’s speed is an important factor. Since she can’t make top speed, it means that Carnival is having to cut some trips short. For example, one sailing that was supposed to visit Cozumel and Progreso is now just porting in Cozumel.

The Liberty will be drydocked in December for scheduled updates unrelated to the mechanical issue. But instead of returning to Galveston afterward, Carnival is doing something very rare — it’s going to swap Carnival Liberty and Carnival Valor.

Carnival Valor is a nearly identical sister ship to the Liberty, and is currently stationed in Port Canaveral. Once the Liberty is finished with its drydock upgrades, it will sail to Port Canaveral, and the Valor will sail to Galveston.

From then on, the respective ships will take over the scheduled routes that were already in place.

The reason for the change is straightforward. As long as the Liberty has top speed problems, Carnival can’t sail her from Galveston on 4/5-day trips that require a higher speed. From Port Canaveral, the ship doesn’t have to sail as fast to keep its schedule.

Guests on the ships likely won’t notice much of a difference between the two. As we said, they are sister ships built within about a year of each other.

If you are sailing on one of these ships before the switch happens, it could be that your trip is adjusted slightly. Here are the affected cruises, according to Carnival’s press release:

Carnival Liberty

The Nov. 14 five-day departure will include an overnight call in Cozumel (the call at Progreso has been cancelled). The ship’s arrival back into Galveston on Nov. 19 will be delayed until later in the day. Guests sailing on this voyage will receive a $50 per person credit to their shipboard accounts and a 25 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise. Guests also have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund.

The Nov. 19 seven-day cruise will include stops in Cozumel and Costa Maya (the calls in Falmouth, Jamaica and Grand Cayman have been cancelled). The ship’s departure time will be 10:00pm for this cruise. Guests sailing on this voyage will receive a $50 per person credit to their shipboard accounts and a 25 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise. Guests also have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund.

The Nov. 26 five-day departure will include an overnight call in Cozumel (the call at Progreso has been cancelled). The ship’s arrival back into Galveston on Dec. 1 will be delayed until later in the day. Guests sailing on this voyage will receive a $50 per person credit to their shipboard accounts and a 25 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise. Guests also have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund.

Carnival Valor

The scheduled December 11 four-day cruise from Port Canaveral on Carnival Valor will be shortened to a three-day cruise departing on December 11. The cruise will visit Freeport and Nassau which were the scheduled ports on the four-day cruise. Guests sailing on this voyage will receive a one day pro-rated refund of cruise fare and a $25 per person credit to their shipboard account. Guests also have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund.

Note that if you are booked on one of the trips affected by this change, Carnival should be in touch soon.

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