Guests hoping to set sail aboard Carnival Conquest on Sunday, November 19, will be three hours late for embarkation as the ship is currently delayed returning to Miami due to a medical evacuation on the previous sailing.

All booked guests have been contacted and advised to adjust their arrival time appointments to PortMiami by three hours, and the ship will be departing later than originally scheduled.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Conquest will be several hours late in returning to her homeport of Miami, Florida on Sunday, November 19, 2023. This will cause a knock-on effect in delaying embarkation for the ship’s next sailing.

Guests booked on that next sailing – a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise visiting Cozumel, Mexico and George Town, Grand Cayman – have been notified of the delay and the impact to their arrival time at the cruise terminal.

“On the return to Miami, Carnival Conquest deviated its course to disembark a guest who needed urgent medical attention ashore. As a result, the ship will be docking late tomorrow morning and embarkation for your cruise has been revised,” the notification explained. “We must allow debarking guests to leave the terminal before we can accommodate your arrival.”

Travelers have been provided with a revised timetable for embarkation, with each arrival appointment window shifted three hours later in the day. This means that embarkation is expected to begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. and will be ongoing until 5 p.m.

Carnival Conquest Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock)

As Carnival Conquest was originally scheduled to depart Miami on her next cruise at 3:30 p.m., it is obvious the ship will be leaving the port later than anticipated. The first day of the sailing, however, is a day at sea and the lost hours may be easily made up by adjusting sailing speed with minimal impact on the overall itinerary.

The 21-year-old, 110,000-gross-ton Carnival Conquest can welcome 2,980 guests aboard at double occupancy, or as many as 3,756 passengers when fully booked with all berths filled. As the impacted cruise is a Thanksgiving holiday sailing, it is likely the ship is closer to its maximum capacity for this voyage.

The ship is returning from a 9-night voyage that was to have originally included visits to Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, that departed on Friday, November 10.

Unfortunately, Carnival Conquest was unable to visit Panama as planned due to local protests and political unrest.

To protect the privacy of the impacted guest and their family or travel companions, the nature of the medical emergency causing the ship’s late-arrival deviation has not been disclosed.

The Cayman Islands Coast Guard assisted with the medical evacuation in the early hours of Saturday morning, November 18.

“At 0127 hrs Saturday, 18th November 2023 the Cayman Island Coast Guard (CICG) supported with the emergency medical evacuation (MEDIVAC) of sick passenger from cruise ship Carnival Conquest,” a notice from the CICG read. “The transfer occurred approximately 2.3 miles from shore, in what could be best described as rough conditions.”

Carnival Conquest Passenger Evac (Credit: Cayman Islands Coast Guard)

After the evacuation, the patient was airlifted to the US for further medical treatment.

While not frequent, incidents of this nature are not uncommon on cruise ships, and medical evacuations can significantly impact an itinerary depending on how much diversion is needed to ensure a sick or injured guest can receive the necessary medical care.

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At times, ships have had to cancel entire port visits or shuffle scheduled ports to accommodate such evacuations, but the impact to Carnival Conquest does not appear to require any further alteration to the ship’s next itinerary.

The incident now affecting Carnival Conquest is similar to a situation that occurred on Carnival Celebration on August 20, 2023, when that ship was delayed by four hours and guests were likewise asked to shift their arrival times at PortMiami.

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