Carnival appears to reduce 2023 sailings
Carnival, one of the major cruise lines serving Bermuda, shows no bookings online for Bermuda in May or July of 2023, with two industry sources telling The Royal Gazette that the travel authorisation procedure was hurting business.
Both spoke anonymously, with one saying Carnival “did have an issue with the TA process in that they had a significant number of passengers who did not have TAs approved and therefore could not disembark the ship”.
“The TA process is extremely unwieldy for all the cruise lines processing passengers, in particular when other islands to our south are easier to work with.
“Bermuda is a safe, attractive destination but the cruise lines have a choice.”
But Meyer Agencies, the local agent for Carnival, said the company’s itinerary was strongly influenced by the fact that Carnival has no contract with the Bermuda Government.
There was no confirmation of the cruise line dropping its service to the island.
Joe Simas, vice president of Marine Operations for Meyer, said that “first dibs on berths are with Bermuda’s two contracted lines”: Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Mr Simas added: “What happens sometimes is that cruise lines will submit berth bookings without receiving official confirmation.
“Berths may be available at the time. However, the contract lines have up to 18 months in advance to submit their bookings.”
He said Carnival might book a future date only for a contracted line to request the same dates and berth.
“As per contract, Carnival is kicked off berth,” Mr Simas said. “So Carnival’s only option is to go to anchor and tender or just drop Bermuda off itinerary.
“More than likely they will drop Bermuda off their itinerary.”
The Gazette queried Carnival’s media representatives on whether Bermuda was getting dropped from its routes in 2023, after rumours circulated on social media that early summer calls to the island had been cut.
No response had been received by press time last night.