August 8, 2003


Celebrity sues over pods

Celebrity Cruises yesterday filed a $300 million lawsuit against Rolls Royce and Alstom Power Conversion. The lawsuit was filed in state court in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

The lawsuit charges that the Rolls Royce and Alstom Power Conversion pods, brand-named Mermaid, have failed repeatedly, resulting in cancelled cruises and thousands of disappointed guests. These recurring failures cost the company hundreds of million of dollars, for which the lawsuit seeks restitution.

Mermaid pods are installed on four Celebrity ships--Millennium, Summit, Infinity and Constellation. Celebrity says all four had one or more mechanical or electrical problems with the pods, which caused the ships to be taken out of water--and out of service --to repair.

There are--and have been--no safety issues with any of these ships, says Celebrity. All have been given clearance to sail by the U.S. Coast Guard and the ships' classification society. Even with the problems, safety was never compromised.

"Guests and travel agents should continue to have full confidence in the Celebrity brand," said Jack Williams, president and chief operating officer of Celebrity. "We have modified the more troublesome components, and we are working on a permanent solution.

"In the meantime, guests should know that any cruise we have to cancel, as a result of any issue with these pods, we will back with a full refund and a free cruise."

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