(6 p.m. EST) -- Cruising's on-time record may be getting worse. Carnival Inspiration will return to its Tampa homeport a day late due to adverse weather conditions in the port area. It seems like every day, we hear of another delay -- like Norwegian Gem's late arrival in New York on December 11 -- or bad weather impacting a cruise, such as the drumming Brilliance of the Seas took in high seas in the Mediterranean on Sunday.
A statement on Carnival's Web site cites "high winds and heavy swells outside the Port of Tampa" as the reason why the ship cannot dock there today as scheduled. Instead, the ship will arrive tomorrow.
Here's the need-to-know information for passengers on the current and upcoming cruises:
Passengers Scheduled to Depart December 13
Carnival Inspiration's five-night cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel, scheduled to depart today, will set sail tomorrow on a revised four-night itinerary to Cozumel only.
Passengers who choose to sail will receive the following: a refund equal to one day's worth of the cruise fare; an onboard credit equal to the taxes and fees associated with the Grand Cayman call; a $15 stipend for lunch today; and a 20 percent discount on a future three- to five-night cruise. Passengers sailing are asked to check with Carnival at 10 a.m. tomorrow before proceeding to the port.
Travelers can also choose to cancel or reschedule their cruise and receive a future cruise credit equal to the fare paid for this Inspiration cruise.
Carnival is also offering discounted rates on area hotels, as well as free transportation from these venues to and from the port. The line says it will not, however, provide refunds for "hotel accommodations, meals, transfers or other incidental costs."
Passenger Currently On the December 9 Cruise
Passengers currently onboard Carnival Inspiration for a four-night cruise that departed on December 9 will remain onboard an extra night.
Carnival is providing free phone and Internet access so passengers can make alternate transportation arrangements and contact their families.
Passengers who booked flights through Carnival will have their air transportation rescheduled through Carnival's air/sea department. Passengers who booked airfare independently are on their own to make new arrangements.