The Pulse: Carnival returns to year-round Mexican Riviera cruises.
Why it Rates: Love for the West Coast! The Carnival Miracle now will operate weekly Mexican Riviera cruises year-round from Long Beach, Calif., starting in October, the first such deployment since 2012. Westerners have long been asking for the longer cruises all year from the Los Angeles area, especially in the peak summer travel season. The new itineraries also mark a return to Mazatlán, as well as calls to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. Along with the two- to four-night getaways offered by Carnival Imagination and Inspiration, Carnival now will carry about 600,000 passengers annually from the West Coast. — Theresa Masek, TravelPulse cruise editor
Carnival Cruise Lines has made two exciting enhancements to its West Coast cruise operations, deploying two highly attractive Spirit-class ships featuring a variety of Fun Ship 2.0 innovations as well as a huge number of balcony staterooms.
The new deployments include Carnival Miracle introducing year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera departures from Long Beach, Calif., beginning in October 2014, and Carnival Legend operating the line’s Alaska program from Seattle in May 2015. Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend will also offer four Hawaii cruises in 2015-16.
Carnival Legend recently underwent an extensive makeover that added a host of new features, including WaterWorks, highlighted by Green Thunder, the fastest and steepest water slide at sea, and the RedFrog Pub, a Caribbean-inspired watering hole serving the line’s private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red. The full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurant offering Asian specialties and Cherry On Top, a confections and novelty store, were added, as well.
Carnival Miracle also offers a wide range of innovations, including the Serenity adults-only retreat featuring its own pool and full bar service, the Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez with up to 20 family-friendly and adults-only shows each week, a wedding chapel, a luxurious 14,500-square-foot health and wellness facility, and an enclosed corkscrew water slide full of exhilarating twists and turns. Carnival Miracle will also undergo a dry dock in March 2015 that will add a huge variety of additional Fun Ship 2.0 features.
Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend each offer fun, supervised programs for children ages 2-17, as well as nearly 850 ocean view and balcony staterooms – perfect for viewing the beautiful passing scenery.
“Carnival is the leader in West Coast cruising with more ships and itineraries than any other cruise operator. With these new deployments, we’re providing two spectacular Fun Ship 2.0-equipped ships with even more fantastic features for our guests to enjoy, as well as additional opportunities to experience the rich diversity of this popular sailing region,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “Our travel agent partners have expressed an interest in a greater variety of West Coast options so we are very pleased to provide these attractive, value-packed ‘Fun Ship’ cruises to market to their clients,” he added.
Year-Round Mexican Riviera Cruising
Carnival Miracle will introduce year-round Mexican Riviera cruising from Long Beach on Oct. 4, 2014.
The program will encompass three different week-long itineraries, including a new three-port, seven-day cruise featuring Mazatlán on the majority of departures. In addition to the call in Mazatlán, the new three-port itinerary will feature the stunning Mexican resort destinations of Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
The full day call at Mazatlán will provide guests with ample opportunities to explore this scenic seaside destination, which features world-class beaches and sportfishing, as well as the Malecon, an outdoor promenade lined with shops, restaurants and centuries-old architectural structures.
Carnival Miracle’s year-round schedule from Long Beach also includes two other itinerary options. The first is a seven-day, two-port itinerary that features a stop in Cabo San Lucas, along with a two-day overnight stay in Puerto Vallarta. While in Puerto Vallarta, guests can explore this tropical paradise known for its beautiful beaches, excellent diving, and sizzling nightlife. The second alternate itinerary includes a visit to Puerto Vallarta, along with a two-day call at Cabo San Lucas, known for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and the distinctive El Arco (The Arch), a 30-foot-high rock formation where the Pacific Ocean joins the Sea of Cortez.
Carnival Legend to Alaska
Following its inaugural season in Australia, Carnival Legend will operate the line’s seasonal Alaska program beginning in May 2015. In total, 16 week-long Alaska cruises will operate from the Port of Seattle from May 26 to Sept. 8, 2015, departing each Tuesday.
Port calls on these voyages include the popular Alaskan towns of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord or sailing Glacier Bay. Carnival Legend will also operate a special one-time eight-day Glacier Bay voyage departing Vancouver May 18 and arriving in Seattle May 26, 2015.
Each of these destinations offers a rich history and culture, along with awe-inspiring natural wonders, including calving glaciers, magnificent fjords and native sea and animal life. A wide range of shore excursions – from helicopter flightseeing and rainforest canopy tours to hiking, canoeing and kayaking expeditions – are also available. Carnival Legend will also feature an on-board naturalist who educates guests on the region’s colorful history and points out animal and marine life from the ship’s bridge.
Say Aloha to Hawaii
Carnival will offer four Hawaii sailings in 2015-16 – an 11-day cruise on Carnival Legend departing from Honolulu in May 2015 and three 15-day voyages aboard Carnival Miracle operating round-trip from Long Beach in October and November 2015, and November 2016.
The 11-day Hawaii voyage on Carnival Legend will depart Honolulu May 7 and arrive in Vancouver May 18, 2015, with extended stops in Kauai, Maui, Hilo and Kona, along with an overnight call in Honolulu.
Carnival Miracle’s three Hawaii cruises will operate round-trip from Long Beach departing Oct. 17 and Nov. 28, 2015, and Nov. 16, 2016. On these sailings, guests can visit the stunning island destinations of Maui, Honolulu, Kauai, Kona and Hilo, as well as Ensenada, Mexico.
These voyages provide guests a variety of opportunities to get an “up close and personal” look at the Aloha State, from hiking across volcanic rock formations and relaxing on some of the world’s most famous beaches to learning more about rich Polynesian cultures and getting a bird’s eye view of the lush countryside via a breathtaking helicopter tour.
Reservations are currently being accepted for the new itineraries operated by Carnival Miracle and Carnival Legend.
For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line’s travel agent Internet portal, GoCCL.com.
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