The ship was originally scheduled to head into dry dock for routine maintenance in January 2011, but Carnival opted to move the dates up. "Carnival Pride isn't experiencing any problems," insisted spokesperson Vance Gulliksen. "But after evaluating the work that we need to get done by a certain time, we decided to slightly accelerate the routine dry dock from January to November. Thus we're having to cancel two sailings in November." Gulliksen declined to elaborate on the work being done.
Carnival is offering impacted cruisers three options:
They can apply their deposit (or other amount already paid) to rebook a similar cruise on Carnival Pride. "We are protecting rates on comparable sailings on surrounding dates," noted Gulliksen. Plus they'll get $50 per person in onboard credit.
Passengers can rebook any Carnival cruise departing prior to April 2012 at prevailing rates and receive $50 per person in shipboard credit if they do.
Passengers also have the option for a full refund of deposits or payments made to Carnival.
Gulliksen also told Cruise Critic that Carnival is assisting with flight change fees. The letter to impacted passengers says the line will "reimburse up to $200 per person (via a refundable onboard credit) for airline change fees so long as documentation is provided."
Impacted passengers with questions or concerns are asked to call 1-800-CARNIVAL or contact their Personal Vacation Planner, should they have one, at 1-800-819-3902.
Also, anyone looking to book a cruise should know that Carnival is adding two Bahamas and Florida sailings on Carnival Pride on January 23 and 30, 2011, now that the ship will no longer be in dry dock on those dates.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor