Carnival Sensation To Feature Cuba Cruises From Miami In 2019

February 27, 2018.

The Carnival Paradise arrives in Havana Harbor in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

Who said the Trump administration’s restrictions on the travel policy for Cuba would end cruises to the island nation?  You wouldn’t know it by looking at Carnival’s cruise schedule.

Carnival Cruise Line will add another ship and embarkation port to the mix in 2019, offering 17 new sailings to Cuba aboard Carnival Sensation in 2019.  The five-day Cuba voyages will be the line’s first to operate round-trip from Miami and feature a day-long call in Havana as well as stops at popular Caribbean and Bahamian ports,  including Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Nassau, and the private destinations of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.

The voyages complement a series of voyages to Cuba departing from Tampa aboard Carnival Paradise taking place in 2018-19.  I was aboard the inaugural visit to Havana on the Paradise last summer.

A Cuban taxi driver, piloting a vintage car, pulls up to the El Morro Castle while the Carnival Paradise cruise ship is docked in Havana, Cuba. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Sensation’s Cuba schedule includes:

  • four five-day sailings to Havana and Grand Turk departing May 20, Sept. 9, Nov. 18 and Dec. 16, 2019
  • five five-day voyages featuring Havana, Nassau and Half Moon Cay departing June 17, July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 23, and Nov. 4, 2019
  • a five-day cruise to Havana, Nassau and Princess Cays departing April 22, 2019
  • seven five-day cruises to Havana and Grand Cayman departing May 6, June 3, July 1 and 29, Aug. 26, Oct. 7 and Dec. 2, 2019

Carnival Sensation underwent an extensive multi-million-dollar dry dock last year that added what I call “the full treatment”, including Guy’s Burger Joint , RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Tequila Bar,  BlueIguana Cantina, Alchemy Bar, and the Cherry on Top sweets shop.

Guests sailing on Carnival’s Cuba cruises can select from nearly 20 different shore excursion experiences.  Also, a variety of Cuban-themed activities and entertainment will be featured aboard, including the sizzling Amor Cubano:  A Caribbean Dance Romance Playlist Productions show, Havana-inspired deck parties, trivia contests and salsa lessons.  There’s also a lecturer on board who discusses the country’s history and culture.

The visits to Havana comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control.