"The work being done on Sun Princess, which necessitated a slight change of itinerary this cruise, is the further resolution of the technical problem that occurred in August," the statement read. "Since that time one of the ship's diesel generators has not been operational, and work has been progressing to bring this generator back on line. We are pleased to report that in Sydney the parts we had been waiting for have now been fitted and, following some additional work over the next few days, the diesel generator is expected to be fully operational before the end of the current sailing."
(12:54 p.m. EDT, October 16) -- Repairs delayed Sun Princess' departure from Sydney by some 10 hours after "technical difficulties" rendered the vessel unable to operate at full speed. The delay comes nearly two months after Princess Cruises abruptly canceled a two-week sailing between Singapore and Australia due to a malfunction in Sun Princess' main power switchboard.
The ship was set to depart Sydney yesterday, October 16, for a 12-night roundtrip sailing between Australia and New Zealand.
Princess alerted embarking passengers via a letter from the captain placed in all cabins. "As you may be aware, Sun Princess has experienced some technical difficulties which have resulted in our inability to operate at full speed," Captain Andrew Froude wrote in the letter, forwarded to Cruise Critic by Princess Cruises.
"At this time we have made the necessary changes to our scheduled itinerary to perform some technical repairs. During the course of these repairs there will be the need for periodic testing of the ship's power sources. This could result in planned power outages of selected areas. Announcements will be made in advance of any testing, which will have a possible impact in any passenger area."
As a result of the delay, Sun Princess will be skipping its call to Bay of Islands, New Zealand, scheduled for October 19. Instead, the ship will sail straight through to Auckland to arrive as originally scheduled at 7 a.m., October 20.
In the letter, the captain said passengers will be advised of compensation once the line has "determined the full impact" of the problem. Passengers who booked Bay of Islands shore excursions through the cruise line will be refunded.
--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor