Celebrity Cancels Stranded Alaska Cruise Sailing

August 20, 2013

(1:52 p.m. EDT) -- Celebrity Cruises has canceled the remainder of Celebrity Millennium's Alaska sailing, after failing to resolve mechanical issues that stranded the ship in Ketchikan late Sunday. The line is providing chartered air out of Ketchikan, as well as a full refund and 100 percent future cruise credit.

"Our engineers, along with expert consultants from the motor's manufacturer, and our Marine Operations team in Miami, have continued working around the clock to resolve the mechanical issues onboard Celebrity Millennium," Cynthia Martinez, director of global corporate communications for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., told Cruise Critic. Royal Caribbean is the parent company of Celebrity.

"Together, they have been doing everything they can to fully determine the root cause of the problem. Regrettably, as of this time, they have been unable to find a satisfactory solution that would enable the ship to continue with its sailing."

Chartered flights, leaving directly from Ketchikan, will begin departing tomorrow, August 21. The line is flying in 30 members of its guest services team to help with arrangements.

All passengers will be given a full refund of their cruise fares, as well as a 100 percent future cruise certificate worth the cruise fare paid for the sailing.

Last week Millennium was stranded in Seward for four days after problems with a "propulsion unit."

Martinez told Cruise Critic the current problem is with the same motor affected last week, but could not say whether the problem was the same.

On the Cruise Critic boards, members with upcoming Millennium bookings - including the one scheduled to sail Aug. 23 from Seward - have expressed worry. Says Cruise Critic member aviarykeeper, "Having people board planes today or tomorrow or Thursday knowing that this ship cannot make the trip to Seward in enough time is crazy...(It's) time to give those of us that can salvage some of the expenses the time we need to do so.

Cruise Critic Managing Editor Colleen McDaniel spoke to Millennium passenger Dianne Desler near the Ketchikan port. The retiree, a first-time cruiser from Omaha, Neb., said that she felt Celebrity was handling the situation well, and said that she'd stay on the ship to enjoy the food and shows as long as she could.

Desler noted that her traveling companion had been on 50 sailings without experiencing problems. "So I guess I'm safe for my next 49 cruises."

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor