Carnival Cruise Lines Pulls Splendor Out of Service Until January

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Carnival Cruise Lines says the fire-damaged Carnival Splendor will be out of service until January 16.

Passengers on canceled cruises over the next two months will receive a full refund of their cruise fare and transportation costs as well as a 25% discount on a future cruise, the line says in a statement.

Thousands of vacationers will be impacted.

A team that includes the U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board and Panama Maritime Authority (because the ship is registered in Panama) has been onboard the vessel in San Diego trying to determine the cause of the fire, Carnival says in a statement.

The vessel was towed to San Diego after it lost power and was adrift at sea for three days off the Mexican coast, with nearly 3,500 passengers onboard enduring nightmare conditions -- that included dealing without lights, air conditioning, hot food preparation, refrigeration, hot water and, for a time, functioning toilets.

The cruise line says representatives of the Italian shipyard that built the Carnival Splendor and "other manufacturers of engine room components" are also in San Diego assisting in assessing damage and making repairs.

"We realize how much guests look forward to their vacations and know that they are very disappointed by this news," Carnival Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO says of the decision to pull the ship out of service. "We too are disheartened that we are not able to fulfill the dreams of those who have entrusted us with their important vacation plans."

In a separate statement, parent company Carnival Corp. says the Carnival Splendor repairs and cancelations, together with voyage disruptions of its Australian and Italian brands, will cost about 7 cents per share in the company's fourth quarter earnings -- or about $56 million.

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