December 10, 2002
Disappointment ahead for cruise passengers slated to spend the holidays aboard Princess' brand new Coral Princess. The company has canceled its inaugural voyage -- slated for departure on December 24. The new inaugural has been moved to January 3. Of course, those passengers booked on the canceled cruise will receive a full refund plus a credit-to-be-determined for a future cruise. Princess President Phil Kleweno was vague about the reason for the delay, saying in a statement only that "the shipbuilder, Chantiers de l'Atlantique is working hard to deliver the ship as quickly as possible, however the ship requires additional work which will preclude the operation of the December 24 sailing. Princess also was mum about re-booking displaced passengers on another holiday sailing. What also wasn’t said was that this is the second delay for Coral Princess; in mid-November the line announced the ship wouldn’t make its original first voyage, a December 14 sailing. At that time, beyond the refund, passengers who rebooked on Princess were offered a $500 per cabin credit. The 88,000-ton, 1,970-passenger Coral Princess, the first in a new series of ships for Princess, will sail ten day Panama Canal itineraries. In the good-news department, Princess has launched Pacific Princess, Renaissance's former R-3, with much pomp-and-circumstance, in Sydney. The ship will sail a six month South Pacific itinerary under Pacific's P&O sibling before repositioning to San Francisco for a season of Alaska sailings under the Princess flag.