(3:45 p.m. EDT) -- An issue with the propulsion motor on Caribbean Princess caused the ship to cut its most recent sailing short, and according to a statement from Princess Cruises, it has also prompted the line to cancel two subsequent sailings scheduled for March 18 and March 25.
The ship, which arrived back in its homeport of San Juan for repairs on Wednesday, is currently serving as a floating hotel for passengers aboard the March 11 sailing, who will be allowed to stay onboard until Sunday, when the voyage was slated to end. The ship overnighted in St. Maarten -- the itinerary's first port of call -- on Monday after arriving more than four hours late.
Those on the shortened sailing and those on the March 18 and March 25 sailings will each be issued a full-fare refund and a 25 percent future cruise credit. Those on the March 18 and March 25 sailings will have their airfare either refunded or credited if booked through Princess. If not booked through Princess, those affected can submit any airfare change fees to the line for reimbursement. Princess' statement also says the line will refund any transfers, pre- or post-cruise hotel stays, and government fees and taxes.
The necessary repairs will tentatively be completed in time for the ship's April 1 sailing from San Juan.
Several members on the Cruise Critic message boards have stated that Caribbean Princess experienced similar issues on previous sailings. "We were on the Caribbean Jan 29 - Feb 12 and were delayed departing St. Lucia for Grenada by several hours due to propulsion problems," says kappellof. "We were scheduled to depart about 6:00pm and didn't depart until close to midnight."
tigercat added, "We were on the CB in Jan. for a B2B and both weeks they had problems with the propulsion system. One time we ended up docked for several hours until they could get it going."
Princess representatives, however, have denied those claims, stating that there were no other propulsion problems on recent voyages.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor