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Carnival Cancels 12 More Sailings To Fix Ships

7:20 AM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
File photo. Carnival Cruise Lines "Legend" cruise ship passes under Verrazano Narrows Bridge, New York City.
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Industry giant Carnival has canceled a dozen sailings on two ships so it can make changes to the vessels' power and fire suppression systems.

Announced late Tuesday, the upgrades to the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Sunshine come as the line reviews fire safety systems and engine redundancies across its fleet in the wake of the much publicized February fire aboard the Carnival Triumph. Changes to additional Carnival ships are likely as the review continues, the line suggests.

Both the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Sunshine already are in repair yards undergoing overhauls that are now being extended.

"The cruise line is making significant investments to enhance the level of operating redundancies and the scope of hotel services that can run on emergency power, and further improve each ship's fire prevention, detection and suppression systems," the line says in a statement. "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."

The 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph already is in the midst of a nine-week overhaul that began after the February fire and resulted in the cancellation of 12 voyages. It will remain out of service an additional seven weeks for the newly announced upgrades, resulting in the cancellation of 10 additional voyages.

The 2,642-passenger Carnival Sunshine (until recently known as the Carnival Destiny) is in the midst of a long-planned makeover that was scheduled to last seven weeks. It will remain out of service an additional three weeks for the newly announced upgrades, resulting in the cancellation of two voyages.

The ships now will reemerge on June 3 and May 5, respectively.

Carnival says customers who had booked the affected cruises will receive a full refund, reimbursement for non-refundable transportation costs and a 25% discount on a future cruise.

Carnival did not say how many more of the line's 24 ships will require similar upgrades or when such upgrades might take place, but he suggested that the disruption to other ships that receive upgrades wouldn't be a great. Carnival announced the fleet-wide review of fire safety and power systems last week.

"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," Cahill says. "Moving forward, we will have the ability to source materials and schedule improvements much more expediently, thus minimizing the scheduling impact on other vessels."

Cahill stressed that Carnival's ships are safe for travel now, even before the upgrades take place.

"All of our vessels have fully effective safety systems, equipment and training in place," Cahill says. "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."

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