JAM | Feb 12, 2024

Carnival Cruise Line switches from Ocho Rios to Falmouth

/ Our Today

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Move will impact some shore tours but minimally


Durrant Pate/Contributor

Close on the heels of a freak accident with one of its vessels at the Ocho Rios cruise pier last week, Carnival Cruise Line has switched the destination port of call in Jamaica for three of its upcoming cruises. 

Rather than calling at Ocho Rios as originally planned, the next three cruises of the Carnival Horizon will now be calling at Falmouth. This change will impact some shore tours but overall, Carnival says the impact to each itinerary is expected to be minimal.

The cruise line has notified guests that the ship will instead be docking at Falmouth, which is 38 miles (61 kilometers) farther west along Jamaica’s northern coast. Consequently, the three upcoming voyages slated for Ocho Rios on February 11, February 25, and March 10, will now be shifted to Falmouth. 

Each of those sailings is a 6-night Western Caribbean itinerary that will also be visiting George Town, Grand Cayman, as well as Cozumel, Mexico. The 133,600-gross-ton, Vista-class Carnival Horizon can welcome 3,960 guests aboard at double occupancy, or as many as 4,977 passengers fully booked. 

Temporary docking arrangements

Carnival Celebration. (Photo: Carnival Corporation)

“We have made some temporary docking arrangements when your cruise visits Jamaica while repairs are completed on the pier in Ocho Rios,” Carnival explained in an email notification to passengers, advising that “the alternative call into Falmouth is nearby and ensures minimal impact to your experience and our arrival and departure times remain the same”. 

The essential repairs followed last week’s rough weather which resulted in part of the pier in Ocho Rios collapsing, causing the Carnival Magic to slam into the damaged section. The chaotic situation involved the Carnival Magic temporarily heading out to sea to avoid further damage until arrangements could be made to reunite all passengers with the ship when the weather calmed.

Because Ocho Rios and Falmouth are not too far apart, Carnival Cruise Line can preserve most of the shore tour options. This means excursions will remain the same, even though the ship will be visiting Falmouth.

Carnival Cruise Line (Photo: Instagram@ carnival)

“Our shore excursions team is in touch with local tour operator partners and have confirmed that except for a few packages, we will be able to keep tours that were purchased for Ocho Rios,” the email notification added. At this time, it is only three Carnival Horizon cruises that are impacted by this itinerary adjustment. 

It is possible, however, that other future cruises may also need adjustment if the pier repairs take longer than anticipated. No other Carnival cruise ships are scheduled to visit Ocho Rios through mid-March, even though Carnival Sunrise is planned to be in port on March 20, and Carnival Horizon again on March 26. 

Both ships will also be visiting the port of call twice in April. It should be noted that Carnival Magic will not be visiting Ocho Rios again in 2024, so the ship’s itineraries are not impacted by the incident it was involved in with the pier’s initial damage.

Other cruise lines also have visits planned for Ocho Rios in the coming weeks, including vessels from MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, and P&O Cruises. Because the port can accommodate multiple ships, however, not all cruises will be impacted by the temporary loss of dock availability.


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