Carnival Cruise Line removes Key West from upcoming sailings

Carnival Cruise Line has notified guests of a change to their upcoming itinerary as the cruise line is still unable to place calls to Key West. There are itinerary changes for three cruise ships with departures in January and February 2022.

Carnival Cruise Line Itinerary Changes

Customers booked on upcoming cruises have received notification from Carnival Cruise Line of the itinerary changes for the Carnival Dream, Carnival Conquest, and Carnival Sunrise. Only certain crossings are impacted in January and February which included a stopover in Key West, Florida.

The cruise port has now been abandoned for sailings by these three ships, and notification was not sent until January 13 to affected customers, leaving not much time between the first modified departure for Carnival Dream January 15th.

Carnival said in the communication, “As we refine our operational plans, we are still unable to use Key West for the sailings listed below. Itinerary changes will be reflected on within 24 hours.

Photo credit: blueElephant / Shutterstock

For Carnival Dream out of Galveston, Texas, there are three route changes. Sailings departing on January 15, 29 and February 12, 2022 will now only call at Freeport, Half Moon Cay and Nassau, all in the Bahamas. Key West was previously intended to be the first port of call on these voyages, but this is no longer the case.

Four starts ditched Key West for the Carnival Conquest based in Miami, Florida. Departures on January 24, 31, February 7 and February 21, 2022 all dropped a call to Key West. These four-day sailings will now only include a visit to Cozumel in Mexico.

Carnival Sunrise just got hit by its Feb. 3 navigation, also based in Miami, Florida. The three-day trip will only include a stopover in Cozumel, Mexico, leaving Key West behind.

Carnival Cruise Line automatically refunds all pre-purchased shore excursions that were booked through the cruise line to the Sail & Sign account. It is also important to note that some port arrival and departure times have changed.

Why is Key West abandoned?

It’s a complex situation in Key West, with locals calling for a ban on cruise ships. In fact, in November 2020, residents voted to ban the largest cruise ships, including a limit on daily cruise ship visits to 1,500 passengers, with no 1,300-passenger cruise ship allowed to dock. and prioritizing cruise ships with the best health environmental records.

Although the vote was a success in limiting and banning larger vessels, everything was overthrown by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the summer of 2021. Bill 1194 was signed into law, which would have forced 94% of banned cruise ships to continue port calls.

Cruise ship in Key West
Photo credit: phototravel_ru /

However, it hasn’t been that simple as there has been an even stronger push to ban or limit ships in Key West. the Safer and cleaner ships movement was created with the aim of protecting the local reefs and environment.

On its website, Safer Cleaner Ships states: “On June 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis overturned the results of a free and fair election in Key West and reversed limits on cruise ship operations imposed by a super majority of local voters. Now the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Great Florida Reef are once again under threat from some of the largest and most destructive cruise ships in the world.

“We stand with the hardworking Florida Keys and will continue to fight to protect our reef, our fishery and our economy from the threat of large cruise ships.”

The movement protested against all major cruise ships that have ever visited Key West. As for Carnival Cruise Line, Safer Cleaner Ships was about to protest when Carnival Sunrise was supposed to call on January 7, which would have been the first in the fleet to return to cruise port in nearly two years. Carnival Conquest also canceled a call on its January 10 navigation. The cruise line said earlier in January, “We are still in discussion with Key West officials about our restart plans. For now, we will skip the layover to Key West for the departures listed below. This will allow us to extend our stay in Cozumel, Mexico.

What will happen in the future remains to be seen, but for now Carnival cruise ships will continue to stay away from Key West until the issue is resolved.

Carnival cruise ship in Key West

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