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Change of plans: Carnival ship is going on charter to FEMA

Carnival Fascination will provide housing to relief workers in the US Virgin Islands
Carnival Fascination, which was scheduled to resume cruises from San Juan this Sunday, is instead being chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Agent until mid-February.

The ship will be used to provide housing and meals for relief wokers at St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands from Oct. 15 to Feb. 3.

As a result, Carnival Fascination's cruises from Oct. 15 through Jan. 28 are canceled.

Carnival Cruise Line said the ship will return to year-round service from San Juan beginning Feb. 18 following a drydock at Grand Bahama Shipyard where new features will be added, including Guy’s Burger joint and Blue IguanaCantina, among others.

Passengers are being notified and refunds will be processed within three weeks.

Carnival apologized for the late change in plans. The FEMA contract was signed late Wednesday.

'We value your trust in us and hope you understand that this decision was made after careful consideration of the great need to support the recovery efforts in the region,' the company said in a statement to customers and travel agents.

Carnival plans to return to San Juan as a transit port in December.

As earlier reported, Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas resumed homeport operations from San Juan Oct. 7, with some itinerary changes. However, the line's other ships are not yet visiting Puerto Rico on transit calls.

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