October 10, 2002
It looks like Diamond Princess can be salvaged despite the horrific fire that nearly gutted the ship last week in its Japanese shipyard. Executives from P&O Princess met yesterday with folks from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Nagasaki shipyard, and both felt the ship could be saved. However, it's no surprise that the delivery date will be significantly delayed and, in fact, P&O Princess has announced the cancellation of scheduled cruises through February 28, 2004. The 113,000-ton, 2,600-passenger ship was slated to join the U.S. Princess fleet next May. Specifically, most impacted are Diamond Princess' Alaska and Mexican Riviera itineraries. Passengers who have booked cabins on any of the ship's 18 seven-day Alaska trips will be automatically moved to the same category on Star Princess, which is sailing an identical itinerary. Transferred passengers will also receive a $25 per person shipboard credit. Those who want to cancel altogether will receive a full refund of their deposit. Those who booked Mexico cruises will simply get a refund -- and a $25 per person shipboard credit if they rebook on another Princess cruise.