Another Royal Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral canceled by COVID-19
A third scheduled departure of Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas from Port Canaveral has been canceled due to COVID-19.
The cruise line told passengers it had canceled the two-night Independence of the Seas cruise scheduled to depart Port Canaveral on Jan. 22 “due to COVID-related circumstances.”
Guests who have been booked on the January 22 Independence of the Seas cruise have the option of obtaining a 100% refund or a 125% “future cruise credit” to book a new cruise.
The short January 22 cruise had been sandwiched between two longer sailings aboard the Independence of the Seas that had previously been cancelled. These were music-themed charter cruises, in which event organizers canceled events.
The first was “The SuperCruise XIV,” scheduled for January 14-22, which billed itself as a “comprehensive music festival at sea,” featuring “eight days and nights of jazz, soul, comedy, gospel and funk.” Planned ports of call included Aruba, Bimini and Curacao.
Event organizer Capital Jazz Productions said the cruise was canceled due to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s “recently issued level 4 cruise ship alert”, advising the public to do not go on a cruise, regardless of their vaccination status.
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Featured artists scheduled to perform on the cruise included Arrested Development, Kem and The Ohio Players.
In addition, the K-Love cruise from January 24 to 29 on the Independence of the Seas has been canceled by the organizers.
This cruise was to feature a number of Christian music artists, including Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman and Zach Williams.
On this cruise, there were three scheduled ports of call in the Bahamas – Freeport, Nassau and Royal Caribbean’s private island, which it calls Perfect Day at CocoCay.
On its website announcing the cancellation of the event, the organizers said: “K-Love charter cruise – the concerts, the worship, the fellowship – we are a close family of friends forever. Unfortunately, the current challenges health and wellness issues make it impossible to offer the K-Love Cruise experience at this time.”
The Royal Caribbean website lists the upcoming Independence of the Seas cruise departing Port Canaveral January 29-31 to Perfect Day in CocoCay.
Norwegian Cruise Line has previously canceled two Norwegian Escape seven-night sailings from Port Canaveral as part of a series of cancellations affecting a number of Norwegian ships. The canceled sailing of the Escape was scheduled for January 15 and 22.
The cruise returned to Port Canaveral on July 31 after a 16-and-a-half-month shutdown related to COVID-19.
Port Canaveral’s lineup now includes 10 homeport ships – Carnival’s Elation, Magic and Mardi Gras; Disney Dream and Fantasy; MSC’s Meraviglia; The Norwegian Escape; and Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, Independence of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas. Additionally, Carnival’s Liberty is set to join the lineup on January 24.
Port Canaveral ranked second busiest cruise port in the world, in terms of passenger volume, behind PortMiami.
All cruise ships sailing with passengers from Port Canaveral and other U.S. ports have reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they have had cases of COVID-19 among passengers and/or crew.
But Port Canaveral chief executive John Murray said cruise line protocols for COVID-19 vaccinations and passenger and crew testing, face covering requirements and distancing efforts generally contributed to reducing the severity of cases.
Other major cruise ports have also seen departure cancellations in recent weeks, including on Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean ships.
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