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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Carnival cancels cruises

Carnival cancels a dozen cruises following fleet-wide review
Carnival Triumph passengers take to the decks to escape the conditions inside
Carnival Cruise Lines has cancelled 10 sailings on and two European cruises on Carnival Sunshine as part of its fleet-wide comprehensive operational review prompted by technical problems on three of its ships.

Passengers already booked on the affected cruises will receive full refunds, reimbursement for non-refundable travel costs and a 25% discount on a future cruise.

The cruise line said it was making "significant investments" to enhance the level of operating redundancies and the scope of hotel services that can run on emergency power. Earlier this year, passengers on the Triumph were stranded at sea for five days when the ship lost power.

Carnival Dream and Carnival Legend have subsequently suffered power shortages.

Carnival is also further improving each ship's fire prevention, detection and suppression systems.

"Given the necessary lead time to source needed materials and implement the enhancements, Carnival will extend the current out-of-service period for these two ships," it said.

Carnival Triumph will not return to service until June 3 and Sunshine, which is currently undergoing a multi-week dry dock to complete a comprehensive full-ship makeover, will now enter service on May 5.

"We sincerely regret canceling these cruises and disrupting our guests' vacation plans," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines' president and CEO. "We are fully committed to applying the recommendations stemming from our fleetwide review and to make whatever investments are needed despite the difficult decision to impact people's vacations.

"Our team of experts has worked virtually around the clock to determine the best set of solutions and rapidly develop an effective implementation plan for both of these ships. Moving forward, we will have the ability to source materials and schedule improvements much more expediently, thus minimizing the scheduling impact on other vessels.

"I would like to provide continued assurances that all of our vessels have fully effective safety systems, equipment and training in place. Additionally, our ships receive regular inspections from the United States Coast Guard and other regulatory authorities.

"The changes we are implementing are focused primarily on improvements to better support continued power and hotel services should unexpected issues arise.

"In addition, we are applying new learnings and making enhancements in the area of fire suppression and extinguishing.

"Going forward, the review will focus on the balance of our fleet. While this process will take time, it is our highest priority and has the full support and resources of Carnival Cruise Lines and Carnival Corporation."

Carnival Triumph operates year-round four- and five-day Mexico cruises from Galveston, Texas. Four-day cruises visit Cozumel while five-day cruises call at Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

Carnival Sunshine is scheduled to operate a series of nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises May 5 to October 20, either round-trip from Barcelona or sailing between Barcelona and Venice.

The ship will sail on a 16-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to New Orleans November 17, positioning the vessel for a special six-day Caribbean cruise followed by the launch of year-round seven-day Caribbean service from New Orleans.

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