Carnival delays return to service of Triumph and Sunshine

Carnival Triumph File PhotoMARCH 19, 2013 — Carnival Cruise Lines is applying lessons learned from the Carnival Triumph engine room fire incident not only to that ship but also to to the makeover of the Carnival Destiny into the Carnival Sunshine, which is currently underway at Fincantieri.

Destiny (now Sunshine), delivered in 1996, is the lead ship in the five ship class to which the Triumph belongs, the other three are the Carnival Victory and the Costa Fortuna and Costa Magica. All were built at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard. Destiny was the first cruise ship to top the 100,000 grt mark. The main difference between Destiny and the others is that the later ships in the class were built with an extra deck. However, all five have a similar diesel electric power and propulsion arrangement.

Today, Carnival announced  "the first implementation phase of its fleetwide comprehensive operational review, focused on Carnival Triumph, as well as Carnival Sunshine, which is currently undergoing a previously scheduled dry dock for product enhancements. 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."

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

Carnival Triumph will now return to service on June 3, 2013, with a total of 10 additional cruises being canceled. Guests on the affected voyages will receive a full refund, reimbursement for non-refundable transportation costs and a 25 percent discount on a future four- to five-day cruise.

Carnival Sunshine (the former Destiny), which is currently undergoing a multi-week dry dock to complete a comprehensive full-ship makeover, (see earlier story) will now enter service May 5, 2013, following the cancelation of two European cruises. Guests on the canceled Carnival Sunshine voyages will receive a full refund, plus reimbursement for any non-refundable travel costs. Additionally, they will receive a 25 percent discount on a future cruise. The additional time out of service will allow for implementation of the enhanced operating redundancies and other measures.

"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," said Mr. Cahill. "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," continued Mr. Cahill. "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."

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