All the moving parts, changing policies, itinerary adjustments, and announcements the last couple weeks, it’s difficult to keep up with what’s happening with cruises in 2021. Today (May 25, 2021) Carnival announced a policy change impacting the final payment date for cruises taking place in August 2021 and hinted at their plan to do test cruises as part of their restart plan. Successful test cruises will allow Carnival to sail with a higher percentage of guests who aren’t vaccinated.

Statement from Carnival:

We are in the process of finalizing our August sailing schedule and hope to have this completed soon. We know you are eager to understand our plans for sailing in August and appreciate your patience. In addition, among the CDC requirements we are working to implement is the operation of simulated cruises to test our protocols. This will allow us more flexibility to allow unvaccinated children to sail, among other key procedures. As we start to communicate with our guests who are scheduled to sail in July about our Have Fun. Be Safe. protocols, they may differ slightly for August as those procedures continue to evolve. Once we have more information about your cruise, we will be back to you with another update.


This final payment extension is part of Carnival’s plan to ensure guests have some options while the details of when cruises are going to begin and what the Covid protocols will include. The extension allows guests who booked refundable fares to cancel without penalty until the date final payment is due. One very important thing to keep in mind: if Carnival cancels the cruise after you cancel and request a refund, you are not eligible for any special bonuses or incentives.

Carnival Spirit
Carnival Spirit in Alaska

According to the announcement today, Carnival Spirit sailings are also being canceled.

With so many things evolving during this pandemic, we’ve had to revise Carnival Spirit’s dry dock schedule. Unfortunately, this means that we are cancelling Carnival Spirit sailings from Brisbane through November 21, 2021.


As a result, guests impacted by these cancelations have the option to request a full refund or take Carnival’s bonus offer of on board credit in addition to a future cruise credit.

  • Whichever option is select will apply to all guests on the reservation.
  • This offer is valid until December 31, 2021
  • If no selection is made by then, guests will automatically receive a future cruise credit.
  • Regardless of the option chosen, taxes, fees and port expenses, beverage and Wi-Fi packages, and Fun Shop purchases will be automatically refunded to the original form of payment.

If you have questions about Carnival sailings impacted by this announcement or would like assistance planning your next vacation, use the contact form or call Joel at 844-483-6669.

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About the Author

Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.

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