Posted by: Jerry Garrett | January 14, 2011

California Running Low on Cruise Ships

Still sidelined: Fire-damaged Carnival Splendor (Shannon Garrett photo)

Ports in California are continuing to lose cruise ships, at a rate that alarms local tourism authorities, port officials and attractions operators.

NCL's Star headed to Tampa

Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) is the latest to re-position a California-based ship elsewhere; its 2,348-passenger Star will make its last Mexican Riviera cruise in May. It will be relocated in Tampa, Florida.

Carnival Cruise Lines recently announced plans to move its 2,667-passenger Spirit to Australia in April 2012. It had been leaving from San Diego and Los Angeles ports, to destinations in Mexico.

In addition, Carnival’s 3,200-passenger Splendor has been out of service since a fire last November. It is scheduled to return to service February 22.

Royal Caribbean disclosed last year that its 3,100-passenger Mariner of the Seas will be re-positioned this spring to the Mediterranean.

Disney Wonder steams into California

Going against the trend is Disney Cruise Lines, which is moving its 2,500-passenger Wonder into the area from Florida this month.

Most of the ships sail three- to eight-day itineraries that take them to ports in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, Mexico. A bad economy, continuing drug violence in Mexico and the comparatively limited number of ports of call are contributing to a decline in passenger bookings on the California-based cruises, said tourism officials.

The one bright spot in the picture, for passengers at least, is that the remaining cruise itineraries are being heavily discounted.

Jerry Garrett

January 14, 2011


  1. Thanks for the info! We are planning to spend our honeymoon on a cruise, so your blog has been really helpful!
    Madison Compton – Packages Mexico

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