Pod Problems Lead to More Problems

Separate pod incidents in 2019 have led to a host of industry-wide problems caused by the often-plagued technology.

What started on an azipod unit on the Oasis of the Seas may have turned into a near month of cancelled Carnival Vista July cruises due to more pod issues.

Earlier this year, a pod problem for the Oasis of the Seas forced a one-week drydock in April at Grand Bahama Shipyard.

What followed was an unforeseen crane accident and an April of cancelled sailings as the repairs didn’t go according to plan, with Royal Caribbean moving the ship to Cadiz to repair damage from a crane, which fell on the 225,000-ton vessel.

Meanwhile, Grand Bahama’s capacity was subsequently limited with damage to one of its key docks.

Two months later, the story turned to the Carnival Vista, also suffering a pod issue.

“The technical issue on Carnival Vista is associated with the bearings on one of the ship’s two azipods,” Carnival said, in a statement.

With Carnival needing to make repairs to the Galveston-based vessel, the nearby Grand Bahama Shipyard was suddenly not an option, according to executives speaking on Carnival’s second quarter earnings call last week. 

A near full July of cancelled cruises and refunds plus a free future cruise credit led to an $0.08 to $0.10 share impact, according to a Carnival financial filing.

“Carnival is working closely with the ABB Group, which is the manufacturer of the azipods, to facilitate the repair work,” the company said. “Following the completion of the July 1 sailing, the Carnival Vista will transit to a drydock facility to replace all four bearings on the two azipods.”

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