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SOURCE: Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises Cancels Summit, Infinity Sailings
MIAMI, March 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Celebrity Cruises will send two ships, Summit and Infinity, into unscheduled drydocks March 29 and April 13, respectively, to repair propulsion pods. Both ships are operating safely today but at a lower cruising speed.
Summit will cancel a March 29 sailing from Fort Lauderdale, and an 11-night cruise April 8 will be shortened to a seven-night sailing April 12. Guests on the shorter voyage will receive a 50-percent refund.
Infinity will miss her April 13 and 20 sailings from San Juan. In addition, Infinity will modify two itineraries. The April 6 sailing, originally a roundtrip from San Juan, now will originate in San Juan and terminate in Fort Lauderdale. The April 27 Transcanal sailing, originally from San Juan to San Diego, now will operate from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego.
The problem with the pods involves ball-bearing units that are wearing out prematurely. Consequently, ships must reduce their cruising speed, potentially falling behind schedule on port calls. By making repairs as soon as possible, Celebrity will avoid further changes in itineraries.
Both ships will be drydocked at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas.
``Disrupting a guest's vacation experience is not the business we are in, and this announcement is painful for all of us,'' said Celebrity President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Williams.`` The ships are operating safely, but unless these repairs are made, we cannot guarantee the integrity of our advertised itineraries.''
Guests booked on the cancelled sailings will receive a full refund and a voucher for a 50-percent discount on any seven- to 15-night Caribbean, Transcanal or Hawaii cruise, originating before May 31, 2003, excluding Christmas and New Year's 2002 sailings.
Travel agents will have their original full commission protected, plus a $50 rebooking fee per booking when their clients reschedule their cruise.
Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist guests and travel agents with rebooking, air transportation and other issues. That toll free number is 1-888-305-4626.
The cancelled cruises are expected to have a negative impact on the earnings of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. of $.06 per share.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL - news) is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Celebrity Tours. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have a combined total of 22 ships in service and six under construction or on firm order. Royal Celebrity Tours operates land-tour vacations in Alaska and Canada utilizing the world's largest glass-domed railcars. Additional information can be found on www.royalcaribbean.com
SOURCE: Celebrity Cruises