Cuban-born individuals now able to book cruise to Cuba on Carnival
Cruise line to delay travel dates until it reaches agreement with Cuba
MIAMI – Carnival Corp. announced Monday that it is allowing all travelers to book vacations on its upcoming cruise ship to Cuba because it anticipates a change in Cuba's policy that prohibits Cuban-born people from traveling to the island via sea.
Lawsuits were filed against the cruise giant last week after some Cuban-born Americans said they were refused service. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez consulted with the county attorney to determine whether Carnival was violating local discrimination laws by prohibiting individuals born in Cuba from booking trips to Cuba.
Many people in South Florida have also held protests to express their outrage over the cruise line’s decision, and Secretary of State John Kerry told Local 10 News that the Arison family, which owns Carnival, should not let the Cuban government dictate who travels on its cruises.
"We want everyone to be able to go to Cuba with us," Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said. "We remain excited about this historic opportunity to give our guests an extraordinary vacation experience in Cuba."
Carnival has said that the company understands the concerns and believes that everyone should be able to travel to Cuba by ship. The company said it has asked Cuba to change its policy.
However the company said Monday in a news release that it is continuing discussions with Cuba to change its policy and said that the company will delay Cuba voyages if Cuba's decision is delayed.
Carnival's Fathom brand will begin sailing its Adonia luxury cruise ship to Cuba every other week starting on May 1.
This will mark the first time a cruise ship has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba in more than 50 years.
"We have already seen tremendous consumer interest in the incredible Cuba journey we have put together," Fathom president Tara Russell said. "Our guests will visit three beautiful and unique destinations on the island all in one week, with the convenience of only having to unpack once while we sail on the Fathom Adonia, our premium small ship with its excellent and diverse dining, service and accommodations."
The Adonia cruise ship can accommodate 704 passengers. During each sailing, the ship will visit Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.
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