Carnival Cancels More Splendor Cruises, Thousands of Vacationers Impacted

Carnival Cruise Lines says the fire-damaged Carnival Splendor will stand idle until February 20, impacting thousands cruisers including those with Valentine's Day vacation plans.

After an engine fire in November, the line thought the ship would be back in service by mid-January, but the discovery of additional issues and lack of readily available parts has delayed progress.

"We know this is extremely disappointing for our guests and particularly disheartening for those who already had their vacations cancelled once and are now being affected again," says Gerry Cahill, Carnival's president and CEO, in a statement.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen tells AOL Travel News "a variety of repairs have been made thus far and much of the effort has been directed at further assessment, testing and cleaning of the aft engine rooms and switchboard rooms."

He says switchboards and cables have already been replaced, but adds, "During the repair process and testing of components, more components were found to be damaged than we initially believed. Also, many components must be manufactured and that is further delaying the repair process."

Asked if what was found would impact the other 21 ship in the Carnival fleet, Gulliksen reples, "This is the first time in our nearly 40-year history that we have had this type of issue with a diesel generator. We don't believe that other vessels are at risk."

Thousands of vacations have already been impacted by cruise cancellations after the ship lost power and was adrift at sea for three days off the Mexican coast. The nearly 3,500 passengers were onboard at the time were forced to endure nightmare conditions, including no lights, air conditioning, hot food, hot water and even functioning toilets for a bit of time.

The new round of affected Carnival Splendor departures includes January 16, 23, 30 and February 6 and 13, 2011.

Guests booked on these cancelled voyages will receive a full refund or future cruise credit equal to the full amount paid, as well as reimbursement of air transportation-related change fees. As an incentive, travelers who re-book with Carnival will also receive a 25% discount on a future cruise, or onboard credit. Carnival will be contacting travel agents and affected guests to answer questions and provide assistance.

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