The Carnival Fantasy has left Mobile’s port for repairs and to shed more crew members due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Carnival Cruise Lines ship that has called Mobile its home port since 2016 has left in order to take home remaining crewmembers not essential to the operation of the vessel, company spokesman Vance Gulliksen wrote in an email Monday.
“As the company moves to safe operational manning levels, we have begun the process of returning healthy crew members to their home countries using our ships as transport,” he wrote. “Carnival Fantasy has departed Mobile to meet up with other ships in the fleet and allow crew members to join the vessels that will transport them home.”
The ship is also headed to the Bahamas for repairs, Mobile’s Senior Director of Transportation and Maritime Military Liaison Joe Snowden told Lagniappe.
“The ship will be headed to the Bahamas for drydock to repair damage that occurred when she was in Panama,” Snowden wrote. “The ship will then head to South America and disembark some of its crew.”
While it’s unclear if the ship will return to port before it’s replaced by the Fascination in 2022, Snowden added that he believes it will be back.
Before leaving port, the ship had spent time anchored in the Gulf of Mexico and would make routine return trips for necessities, Snowden confirmed previously. Carnival had also previously returned “healthy” crewmembers home via chartered flights, Gulliksen has previously confirmed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the cruise industry as a whole and Carnival is not the only cruise line dealing with how to efficiently remove crew from ships that are oftentimes anchored off the coast.
Like many other cruise lines, Carnival has notified potential customers that all sailings have been cancelled through at least June 26 due to the virus pandemic.
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