(6:45 a.m. EST) -- Could 2011 be getting off to a worse start for Thomson Cruises?
The line has had to inform passengers due to occupy 50 cabins on the ill-fated Thomson Dream that they will be unable to travel on today's Cuban Adventure cruise, because of problems with some of the ship's air conditioning units.
The ship departs tonight on a 14-night voyage from Montego Bay to Bridgetown, via Havana.
Cruise Critic member TJT is one of those affected and posted on the forum yesterday: "Due to fly from Birmingham tomorrow 30th Dec 9:40 a.m. and just got phone call 7:30 p.m. 29th Dec. Sorry, your cruise tomorrow been has cancelled, due to unforeseen circumstances. Don't bother turning up at airport."
A press statement from Thomson Cruises said: "This issue is limited to a specific area of the ship where individual air handling units were damaged during freezing conditions in Hamburg, where the ship was recently in dry dock. Replacement air handling units have been ordered from a U.K. supplier but delivery times have been extended due to the end-of-year holidays.
"All customers whose cruise has been cancelled are being offered an alternative holiday, such as the Thomson Destiny Caribbean Itinerary due to depart on Sunday, January 2, or a full refund, as well as £200 per person offered by way of a goodwill gesture."
The rest of the ship apart from the affected cabins, the statement continued, will operate as normal.
Thomson Dream has been plagued with plumbing and air conditioning problems since Thomson took over the ship from Italian line Costa Cruises in April 2010. The vessel underwent a refit in November, mainly to rectify technical issues -- but new problems appear to have been created in the process.
-- By Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor