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Andy Newman/Carnival
Cahill - 'fully committed to applying the recommendations stemming from fleetwide review' (file photo)

Carnival Triumph, Sunshine are first targets of extra safety work

In the first actions springing from Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleetwide review—sparked by the Carnival Triumph engine room fire that left the ship dead in the water last month with only limited services via emergency generators—Carnival Triumph and Carnival Sunshine will be getting enhanced systems, the company said on Tuesday. 

Carnival said it 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.

This work will extend time out of service for both ships.

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

Carnival Destiny, which is currently undergoing a previously scheduled multi-week drydock to complete a comprehensive full-ship makeover into Carnival Sunshine, will now enter service May 5, following the cancellation of two European cruises.

Passengers on the canceled Carnival Sunshine voyages will receive a full refund, plus reimbursement for any non-refundable travel costs and a 25% 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,’ Carnival president and ceo Gerry Cahill said. ‘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 added that Carnival’s team of experts has worked virtually around the clock to determine the best solutions and rapidly develop an effective implementation plan for both of the 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,’ he said.

Cahill also offered his assurance that all Carnival ships have ‘fully effective safety systems, equipment and training in place,’ adding that the vessels undergo regular port-state inspections from the US 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,’ he said. ‘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 the 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.

Carnival Triumph operates year-round four- and five-day Mexico cruises from Galveston.

Carnival Sunshine is scheduled to sail a series of nine- and 12-day Mediterranean cruises May 5 to Oct. 20, round-trip from Barcelona or between Barcelona and Venice. The ship will make a 16-day crossing from Barcelona to New Orleans Nov. 1-17, positioning it for a one-time, six-day Caribbean cruise followed by the launch of year-round seven-day Caribbean service from New Orleans Nov. 24.

During Friday’s earnings call, Carnival Corp. & plc management estimated incremental capital expenditure for additional repairs and maintenance at the higher end of a range of $700m to $800m.

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