Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that Holiday, Sensation and Ecstasy -- three ships currently chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) to house Hurricane Katrina evacuees and workers -- will receive extensive renovations before resuming cruise service this spring.
In a statement, the cruise line relays that the changes are being made to improve these slightly older ships, and are not a direct result of having served as floating shelters. Carnival's President and CEO Bob Dickinson is quoted as saying that "because the ships were maintained to Carnival's high standards throughout the charter period, the Holiday, Ecstasy and Sensation are all in excellent condition" and that the upcoming multi-million-dollar makeovers are intended to make "these terrific 'Fun Ships' even better."
Holiday will receive new carpeting and tile shipwide, and a redesigned lobby with new seating. A nine-hole mini golf course will be added to the Verandah Deck, and Spa Carnival will be refreshed with an updated salon and new exercise equipment. The Four Winds and Seven Seas, Holiday's main dining rooms, will have their ceilings replaced, and galleys will receive new and updated equipment.
Both Ecstasy and Sensation will get a mini golf course, as well as a new art gallery, 1,200-square-ft. conference room and 1,600-square-ft. play area for kids called "Children's World," part of an ongoing expansion of Camp Carnival. Aft lounges on both ships will be reconfigured to feature a family recreation area with audio/vision equipment for movie viewing.
A patisserie and a new photo gallery will be added aboard Sensation, and the Internet cafe will be redesigned. Sensation's Spa Carnival will be renovated, and a poolside stage will relocate to a covered area, opening up more space for sun devotees.
Ecstasy's cabins, gift shop and Panorama Bar & Grill will be refurbished.
Sensation will begin sailing from Port Canaveral on March 23 for a season of Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries before relocating to New Orleans in October for Western Caribbean cruises. Holiday will return to Mobile on March 27 for year-round cruises to Mexico. Ecstasy will resume its Galveston-based sailings on April 8.
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Carnival to Renovate Ships Following FEMA Charters
January 19, 2006