(9:40 a.m. EST) -- Days after Carnival Cruise Line cancelled two cruises aboard Carnival Horizon, the line has pulled the vessel out of service through the end of the year, transferring passenger bookings to two other ships instead.
The cruises aboard Carnival Horizon were cancelled due to technical problems affecting the ship's top speed. In a letter to booked passengers, Carnival said the issues would require the line to drydock the ship in order to complete necessary repairs.
Rather than outright cancelling passengers booked on Carnival Horizon's December 19, 26 and 31 departures, the line has instead opted to bring two additional vessels back into service earlier than expected.
Carnival Liberty and Carnival Sunshine will resume passenger operations this month, and those booked on Carnival Horizon's now-cancelled sailings will have their bookings transferred over to one of the two replacement ships. Carnival states it is temporarily locking passengers out of their bookings while it makes the ship swap.
Carnival tells passengers it is "working to assure your new accommodations will be comparable to your original stateroom".
Passengers booked on the December 19, 2021, voyage will be reconfirmed on their new vessel by December 14. Those departing December 26 will receive their confirmations no later than December 16, and those booked on the voyage departing December 31 will be reconfirmed by December 21 at the latest.
What is particularly noteworthy here is that Carnival was able to bring two additional vessels online to "rescue" these last Carnival Horizon sailings of the year from cancellation. In normal operational times, the line would not have a surplus of vessels just waiting around, empty, to act as relief ships.
While the replacement vessels aren't entirely comparable (they represent Carnival's older Destiny and Conquest-class ships), Carnival is offering affected passengers a $200 onboard credit per stateroom to use as they see fit.
Those who would rather not sail on the new vessels can cancel their bookings by Sunday, December 5, 2021, for a full refund.
Carnival did not specify the technical issue affecting Carnival Horizon's top speed. The ship is scheduled to resume service in January 2021.