Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald provided several updates on the various issues the cruise line has been facing regarding staffing. He also provided an update on testing, Camp Ocean, and recent disputes between guests on the Carnival cruise ship.
Carnival Cruise Line and many other cruise lines have been dealing with crew shortages on their ships for months. Several US embassies are facing a backlog of visa applications, preventing crew members from joining cruise ships.
Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line has now said it expects to be able to reach normal staffing levels by the end of the month or early August.
US Customs and Border Protection stepped forward and allowed crew members to join the ships even though their visas had already expired.
John Heald said, “We have to acknowledge the wonderful cooperation of US Customs and Border Protection in allowing many crew members from around the world, from the Philippines, from Indonesia, from South Africa, from all over Europe, from India, to get back into business with expired visas and then renew them while on the ship.”
Returning ships to normal staffing levels means Carnival Cruise Line can reopen places like Cucina Del Capitano, bringing back 24-hour tea and pizza, which currently operates from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
The return of the entire team also opened the door to more options for the little ones, including those from two to five years old. Camp Ocean is now open to all children this age, including vaccinated and unvaccinated children. A change that many parents will appreciate.
Carnival Cruise Line also opens Camp Ocean in the evenings, giving parents the chance to have a romantic dinner together and watch a show while the kids munch on nuggets and other treats.
For now, the night-out program is open only to children ages 2-11; when staffing levels are at their full potential, Carnival will also open Camp Ocean for younger children, which includes babysitting services, which may have been missing.
While many European countries have allowed the cruise industry to sail without a testing mandate, that doesn’t mean the same will apply in the United States. The CDC and the US government dictate existing policies and therefore Carnival must comply with them.
While many will welcome an end to staffing issues and ships operating almost normally again, those who are still unable to sail will not take Heald’s news as positive.