Carnival Cruise Line is sending another ship to pickup the passengers of the Carnival Freedom after the ship’s funnel caught fire on Thursday morning.
In a letter distributed to guests onboard, the company said the Carnival Conquest is scheduled to arrive in Grand Turk – where the Freedom is currently docked – on May 28.
“We have been in regular in contact with our Fleet Operations Center in Miami and all the appropriate authorities have been notified. Our technical team from Miami will be joining the ship later today to conduct a technical assessment and plan for the necessary repairs which will be made at the shipyard in Grand Bahama,” Carnival said in the statement issued on Thursday night.
As a result, the company continued, the vessel won’t return to Port Canaveral – where the current cruise was set to end on May 28.
“In order to get you home as soon as possible, we have made arrangements to send the Carnival Conquest to Grand Turk to sail back to Port Canaveral,” Carnival added.
After ending its current cruise in Miami on May 27, the vessel is expected to arrive in Grand Turk on Saturday at 4:00 PM.
It will then proceed to embark Freedom’s guests before departing at the evening, setting course to Port Canaveral – where it’s set to arrive on Monday morning.
“We understand this extends the time you had planned to be away from home and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this delay may cause you,” the company said.
The extra cruise days and their gratuities won’t be charged, Carnival explained in the statement, while guests who purchased Wi-Fi and beverage packages will have them extended on a complimentary basis.
The cruise line will also post a $100 onboard credit per stateroom and offer the passengers a 50 percent future cruise credit.
Additional parking fees in the Port Canaveral Parking Garage will be waived and a reimbursement of up to $200 per person will be offered in the event of expenses associated with independent, non-refundable air expanses and change fees.
The Carnival Freedom was operating a five-day cruise that departed Port Canaveral on May 23 when the fire broke inside the ship’s funnel.
According to Carnival, the onboard emergency response team acted quickly to extinguish the flames.
“Our protocols worked as planned and all safety systems and hotel services continued functioning normally. All guests and crew are safe,” the company said.
In addition to Grand Turk, the ship’s itinerary featured a visit to Puerto Plata, where it docked on May 25.
To accommodate Freedom’s guest repatriation, Carnival cancelled the Carnival Conquest cruise that was set to depart Miami on May 27.