Carnival's Ecstasy Experiences Propulsion Problems

March 10, 2005

Carnival's Ecstasy, which had experienced problems with its propulsion system prior to setting off on its latest, five-night cruise Monday, continues to wrestle with the slowdown created by the mechanical situation.

The ship, which departed late from Galveston in the first place because of technical-related delays, then announced it would alter its regular itinerary. The five-night voyage, according to Carnival's website, usually includes calls at Cozumel and Calica/Playa del Carmen; this week Cozumel and Calica were cancelled, and replaced by Progreso.

But the ship never made it to Progreso as a result of adverse weather conditions (according to a Carnival statement) and as such the voyage is operating as a (lengthy) cruise to nowhere. The ship will remain anchored near Progreso so that parts to fix the propulsion system can be brought onboard.

According to Carnival's statement, "Guests were apprised of the propulsion problem and the possibility of a modified itinerary prior to the cruise and had the option of canceling and receiving a full refund of their cruise fare if they did not wish to sail." Those who did sail received, in addition to a $40-per-person credit to cover Monday's meal expenses, 50 percent off this cruise and a 25 percent discount certificate on another short voyage.

This is the second major ship propulsion problem in two weeks for Carnival. Last week, Carnival Glory missed calls at St. Thomas and St. Maarten because of a mechanical slowdown.

At this point, Carnival says it expects Ecstasy to sail its next cruise -- a Saturday departure out of Galveston -- as scheduled.