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Carnival to sail to Eastern Caribbean from Tampa, Jacksonville

Industry leader Carnival says it will launch seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean out of Tampa and Jacksonville, Fla. -- a first for the line. The company says the cruises will be offered in 2011 on the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend from Tampa and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination from Jacksonville, both of which are currently based at those ports but sail elsewhere. The Carnival Legend, which currently operates week-long voyages to the Western Caribbean, will add five sailings of the new "Exotic Eastern Caribbean" itinerary, as the line is calling the voyages. The new sailings will include calls at Nassau and Half Moon Cay (a private island destination) in the Bahamas, and Key West, Fla. They'll take place May 1, June 26, July 24, Aug. 7 and Oct. 16, 2011.
The Carnival Fascination, which currently operates four- and five-night Bahamas sailings, will add six seven-night "Exotic Eastern Caribbean" sailings that include calls in Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau. They'll take place April 30, May 7, July 23 and 30, and Sept. 17 and 24, 2011. "Guest feedback indicates a strong desire for more Eastern Caribbean ports – particularly more intimate destinations such as Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk," Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill says in a statement accompanying the announcement. One caveat: While Carnival is touting the voyages as to the Eastern Caribbean, the ships will spend the majority of time during the sailings in the Bahamas, which is not part of the Caribbean.