Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked aboard two upcoming cruises on Carnival Dream that the port of call visit in Jamaica has been changed.
While the ship will still be visiting the tropical island nation, it will be arriving at a different port than originally scheduled. Furthermore, on one of the sailings, port time at another stop has been adjusted.
Guests setting sail on the 130,000-gross ton Carnival Dream on the October 21, 2023 and January 13, 2024 departures have received notification of a slight itinerary change to their cruises, with port swaps for both sailings in Jamaica.
The October 31 cruise is a 14-night Eastern Caribbean sailing from Galveston, Texas, calling on Key West, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Croix, and Jamaica. The original port planned for Jamaica was to have been Montego Bay, but that has now been swapped for Falmouth.
For this sailing, the original Jamaica port was to have been Ocho Rios, but will now be Falmouth as well. Another change to this itinerary is a slight modification for the port times in Colon, Panama, though the ship is still visiting the port.
No explanation is given for these changes, but it is not unusual for cruise lines to tweak itineraries to provide the best possible experience for their guests. Such port swaps may be due to an overcrowded port, when another port has fewer ships and can therefore offer a more exclusive visit.
In general, Falmouth is the least-visited of the three Jamaican ports, but still welcomes cruise ships year-round.
Port construction or pier maintenance projects, harbor dredging work, and other operational needs may also impact whether or not a cruise ship can keep an original itinerary, and those needs may not be known when the cruise is initially planned and offered for booking.
Carnival Cruise Line is making adjustments for impacted shore tours as well.
“Pre-purchased Carnival shore excursions will be automatically adjusted based on these changes,” the email read. “If a port was cancelled, they will be automatically refunded to the original form of payment.”
Guests who have booked independent excursions will need to contact their tour provider for cancellation options or to see if arrangements can be made for the different port arrival. Because the ports of call are not too distant from one another, alterations may be possible depending on the tour operator’s service range.
While Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, and Falmouth are all on Jamaica’s northern coast, they are significant distances from one another.
Montego Bay is the westernmost port destination, and is approximately 21 miles (34 kilometers) from Falmouth. Depending on the shore excursion and exact time in port, many options for guests may be preserved with this port swap.
Ocho Rios, however, is the easternmost of the three ports. It is roughly 45 miles (73 kilometers) from Falmouth, which means more excursions and shore tour options may be impacted for the swap on the January 13, 2024 sailing.
All three ports of call do offer fun options for visiting cruisers. In Falmouth, top tours and things to do include historical tours of the town’s amazing architecture, rafting on the Martha Brae River through the mangrove forest, visiting the iconic Dunn’s River Falls, rum factory tours, or enjoying the region’s spectacular beaches.
Carnival Cruise Line regularly visits all three ports in Jamaica. In the next few months, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Vista, Carnival Glory, and Carnival Paradise all have Jamaica on their coming itineraries.
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