(12:45 p.m. EDT) -- Princess Cruises has confirmed that an issue with the propulsion motor on Caribbean Princess has caused the ship to cut its current sailing short and return to its San Juan homeport for repairs.
Cruise Critic member eyeinthesky reports that a letter from the captain was delivered to each stateroom Tuesday, stating that "we will return tonight to San Juan to wait for additional parts and make the necessary repairs. We will arrive [Wednesday] midday in San Juan and all passengers will be able to stay onboard through Sunday and then resume your plans to return home. For those passengers continuing on through March 18 we will provide you with an update late tomorrow as to the full impact on our next voyage."
The statement, also confirmed by Princess representatives, goes on to say that passengers on the current sailing will be given full refunds, as well as future cruise credits.
Several members have also stated that Caribbean Princess experienced similar issues on previous sailings. "We were on the Caribbean Jan 29 - Feb 12 and were delayed departing St. Lucia for Grenada by several hours due to propulsion problems," says kappellof. "We were scheduled to depart about 6:00pm and didn't depart until close to midnight."
tigercat added, "We were on the CB in Jan. for a B2B and both weeks they had problems with the propulsion system. One time we ended up docked for several hours until they could get it going."
A spokeswoman from Princess has denied that there were previous propulsion issues.
The current voyage, which began on March 11, was scheduled to take passengers to St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba before returning to San Juan on Sunday.
An initial press release from Princess says that the ship arrived more than four hours late to St. Maarten (the first port of call on the seven-night Southern Caribbean Voyage) and overnighted there on Monday until the problem was assessed.
You can read the full message board thread and add your two cents here.