Carnival Cancels More Cruises as Fleet Review Moves Forward

Mike Schuler
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March 19, 2013

A small boat from the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous patrols near the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico on Feb. 11, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Carnival Cruise Lines said Tuesday that it is moving forward with the first implementation phase of a fleetwide operational review in wake of the Carnival Triumph incident in the Gulf of Mexico in February, which unfortunately means more cancelled cruises for at least two of its ships.

Carnival says the first phase will focus on the Carnival Triumph and the Carnival Sunshine, which is currently undergoing a previously scheduled dry dock. As part of the review, each ship will receive improvements aimed at enhancing operating redundancies, the scope of hotel services that can run on emergency power, and improve each ship’s fire prevention, detection and suppression systems.

Unfortunately, this means Carnival will have to extend the current out-of-service period for both ships.

Carnival says Carnival Triumph will now return to service on June 3, 2013, with a total of 10 more cruises being canceled in addition to the 14 previously announced.

For Carnival Sunshine, Carnival says the ship will now enter service May 5, 2013, following the cancellation of two European cruises in April.

“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.”

Cahill continued, “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,” Cahill said.

Guests on the canceled voyages will receive a full refund, reimbursement for any non-refundable travel costs, and a 25 percent discount on a future cruise.

Last week, Carnival cut its full-year earnings to $1.80 to $2.10 per share, down from its earlier forecast of $2.20 and $2.40, mostly because of the expenses to fix the Triumph and lost bookings.

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