Goodbye to a Good Ship the Jubilee

As someone who loves cruising and has been on many cruises and ships around the world, it’s sad to see ships retired and scrapped.   I clearly remember when Carnival Cruise Lines built their first newbuild, the 36,600 ton Tropicale, in 1982. The Tropicale was designed to incorporate the vision of Carnival Cruise Lines, from scratch, to be a “funship”, sporting very unique and futuristic interiors and a funnel that had wings. The Tropicale was a huge success, so in 1985, the first of a trio of sister ships, the Holiday at 46,000 tons was launched as a larger, more expanded version of the Tropicale.   In 1986, the Jubilee was launched, then finally in 1987, the Celebration was launched, completing the trio set of newbuilds.

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My wife and I on the Jubilee 1997

June of 2016, it was announced that the “Henna”, ex-Jubilee, will be scrapped.   I personally have cruised on the ship when she was the Jubilee, to the Mexican Riviera. In-fact, I hosted a group on the Jubilee, in 1997, and this was also my wife, Terri’s, first cruise experience. The history of the Jubilee is interesting. In 2004, the Jubilee was sold to P&O Cruises Australia, and one of the terms of sale was that the new owners modify the trademark Carnival Cruise Line winged funnel.

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I hosted a group on the Jubilee in 1997

P&O Cruises removed the “funnel wings” from the ex-Jubilee, now called the Pacific Sun, leaving the ship with a traditional single funnel exhaust design. Unfortunately in 2008, the ship was caught in very rough seas off the coast of Australia, which made news headlines around the world. In 2012, P&O Cruises sold the Pacific Sun to a Chinese cruise line called HNA Cruises, and the ship was renamed the Henna. As the Henna, with HNA Cruises, the ship was not profitable because of newer ships being deployed in the region, in fact the Henna lost money during her three years of operation, so the ship was finally laid-up in 2015 and a for sale sign went up on the ship. HNA Cruises was trying to sell the ship for $35Million, but there were no takers, so it was determined to sell the ship for scrap as of June 2016.

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At Sea on the Jubilee with the wind in our face….Great!

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Jubilee’s Showlounge 1997

The Henna, ex-Jubilee, has come to an early end of life, yet her sister ships continue cruising with other cruise lines around the world. Along with her sister ships, Holiday and Celebration, Jubilee’s original interiors were designed by Joseph Farcus, the man who was instrumental in creating the “look” and “feel” of the Carnival Cruise Line brand. What makes it sad to see these cruise ships go to the scrap yard is that for many former passengers, there were great memories that happened onboard those ships. In many ways seeing a cruise ship go to the scrap yard is like dismantling a town you grew up in and wiping it off the map. These cruise ships are a microcosm of society, they are a mobile community, which is why it is sad to see these ships go away.

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Jubilee’s Bordeaux Dining Room 1997

So we say, goodbye to an old friend, a ship that was key to the growth and development of Carnival Cruise Line.  Of course when an older ship goes away, newer larger ships get built, like the new Carnival Vista, continue to carry the torch of a successful cruise brand.

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The Henna with HDN Cruises on her way to the scrap yard

The Cruising Authority Book is published and ready for you to make your order today!  Read about great cruise tips and advice for booking your next cruise!  Also, there are fascinating stories of what it’s like to work on a cruise ship, there are cruise ship reviews….Cruising Authority is chalk-full of great content, best read from the deck chair of a cruise ship while at sea!



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