In a remarkable act of service and good fortune, a man reported missing from the
Carnival Valor sailing in the Gulf of Mexico was found in the water and rescued on Thursday, according to the US Coast Guard.
The missing passenger was found responsive at the time of rescue and was transferred to awaiting emergency medical personnel at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, USCG Petty Officer Ryan Graves told CNN Thursday.
Keep scrolling for 2022's best winter cruises
The man was last seen by his sister at a bar aboard the Carnival Cruise Line ship Wednesday night, according to a statement CNN obtained from Carnival spokesperson Matt Lupoli. The sister said the man left the bar around 11 p.m. to use the restroom and never returned to his stateroom.
She reported him missing at noon Thursday, the statement said.
In this June 8, 2010 photo, tourists swim near George Town, Grand Cayman, as the Carnival Valor cruise liner, foreground, and a Celebrity liner sit off-shore.
"Carnival Valor retraced its route to support the search and rescue," Lupoli said, and the ship has since been released by the Coast Guard and is again sailing toward Cozumel, Mexico. The Carnival Valor had left port in New Orleans on Wednesday.
"Carnival's Care Team is providing support to the family members of the missing guest who were sailing with him and remain on board," according to the statement.
Graves confirmed to CNN that the Coast Guard "rescued an individual from the water this evening who was overboard from the Carnival Valor."
The Coast Guard will release further information on the rescue Friday, Graves said.
2022′s best cruises for a winter getaway
According to Trips to Discover, the Emerald Princess is offering one of the year’s best winter cruises — one that takes travelers to Australia and New Zealand.
The cruise line offers a number of different packages, ensuring something fits your price range and your thirst for adventure. From visiting Sydney Harbor to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s a trip you won’t want to miss if you are looking to escape the winter weather.
Cozumel, Mexico, is one of the best winter cruise destinations, Celebrity Cruises said. Beginning in Miami, Florida, the cruise is perfect for any looking to enjoy a little nightlife before making it to Mexico.
“Dive over one of its crystal-clear reefs and discover an underwater world full of stingrays, sea turtles, and exotic fish,” the cruise line said in their report. “For a truly unforgettable day in port, head to the nearby Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, where you’ll walk among ancient temples and pyramids that date back to 600 A.D.”
Caribbean and Bahamas
According to Cruise Critic, travelers looking for a little winter getaway can’t do better than the Caribbean and the Bahamas.
Dropping chilly winter weather for sunny, 80s temperature climate is its own reward, but the area has so much more to offer for beach lovers. Cruises lines leave as for north in the U.S. as New York and as far down the east coast as Florida, making finding a cruise that fits your travel, adventure and budget needs a breeze.
Cruise Critic reported that Galapagos cruises are excellent winter vacation options as well, largely due to the fact that the local area will be experiencing summer. The Galapagos, however, offers animal lovers something unique — a vacation boon that the Bahamas can’t quite match.
Turtles and sea lions are out and about during this time of year for their mating seasons. The seas are also notably calmer during this time of year, making for clearer water to spot sea life while snorkeling.
First-time cruise? Here are 5 tips for a great voyage
1. Pack smartly.
Much like traveling on an airplane, it’s possible to check a bag or two that can be dropped off at the terminal and delivered to your stateroom. However, it’s wise not to overpack.
Staterooms, even with balcony upgrades, tend to be small and have limited closet space. Plan ahead to have casual outfits for wandering the ship, two or three pairs of shoes, at least two swimsuits and one or two formal outfits for dinner. It’s likely that some days will require multiple changes of attire.
Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen and a small bag to take off the ship for excursions. With that said, don’t pack too many options or you’ll be dealing with heavy bags and cramped quarters.
2. Make a plan, but leave room in the schedule.
Every cruise line should offer a daily planner delivered to staterooms daily. This is helpful for figuring out both port information, arrival and departure times and daily activities on the ship. Is there a show you’re eager to see? Perhaps an evening karaoke night worth checking out? Many cruise lines also offer apps where you can create a custom itinerary.
It’s also worth looking ahead to learn more about ports and excursions, which can be booked through the cruise line for convenience and the reassurance that you’ll get back to the ship in time.
Spa experiences and specialty dining should also be reserved ahead for the best chances of getting preferred times. But vacation shouldn’t be stressful or overscheduled, so make sure to leave holes in the day for time by the pool or drinks while lounging in the sun. Perhaps the casino or arcade will call your name.
Ideally, the cruise line should make it easy to plan outings while leaving plenty of time to relax. Good service and amenities sure help with that.
3. Know what’s included in your package, and take full use of it.
Whether booking through a travel agent or direct with a cruise line, packages often bundle specialty dining experiences and drink packages so that many costs are factored in before the trip begins.
There may be a chance to spend money and support local tourism economies while in ports, but at sea, your options are only so many for getting a drink or a bite. Because of this, it makes sense to upgrade with a drink or dining bundle. It’s also wise to be aware of exactly what’s included in that package and take full advantage of it. After paying for something upfront, it’s a shame to have it go to waste.
Five piña coladas in one afternoon? On a cruise ship, the world is your oyster.
4. Remember the cost of all the extras.
When browsing offers and advertisements from cruise lines, some numbers jump out, making an appeal to those looking for an affordable vacation. “7 nights from $180″ or “from $199 per person” are some of the offers that pop up.
Those prices don’t factor in government fees, taxes and port charges, which often total more than $100. The incentives can be nice, such as kids sailing for free, free balcony upgrades or onboard credit. But going on vacation shouldn’t require sacrificing luxuries, ideally, and the extras can add up. Be sure to factor in what the grand total might be before getting baited by advertisements that seem almost too good to be true.
Pack some cash for tips, though some cruise lines include a service charge on bar bills. It’s generally a good idea to prepay for most packages and excursions ahead of time so that finances aren’t a worry during the trip — your total cost is already mostly behind you.
5. Take advantage of the ship’s amenities.
On embarkation day, it’s a good idea to walk around the ship and get a sense for the amenities. Until boarding one of these modern-day floating behemoths, it’s hard to fathom that a ship can contain a roller coaster, waterslides, go-karts, wind tunnel sky diving, zip lines and a surf simulator (not necessarily all on one ship).
Those are all real-world but potentially more extreme examples. Even without seeking the most extreme amenities, many ships have plenty of shops, shows, restaurants, casinos, arcades, pools and bars to explore.
Depending on the length of the cruise and the number of ports, you’ll be spending a decent amount of time on the ship. Time spent relaxing in the stateroom or by the pool can be nice, but take advantage of everything these luxury liners have to offer.
When pulling into port at the end of your journey, it might also make sense to stay on the ship until others have disembarked. If you’re not in a hurry, soak up a little more time on one of these megaships and savor every minute of the experience.
CNN's Dave Alsup contributed to this report.
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.