(11:35 a.m. EST) -- A "technical issue" on Carnival Triumph has forced Carnival Cruise Line to cancel the ship's four-night sailing scheduled to depart this afternoon from New Orleans.
The issue, which affects Triumph's maximum cruising speed, has delayed the ship's return to the port, which was scheduled for this morning. Carnival Triumph is expected to dock around 8 p.m. tonight. Passengers onboard have the option to disembark upon the ship's arrival into port or remain onboard and get off Friday morning.
Once emptied, the ship will sail to Mobile, Alabama where the repair, which involves underwater work, can be completed. The line is saying that the ship will be ready for its next cruise on Dec. 4.
The decision to cancel today's sailing was made yesterday afternoon, with affected cruisers notified shortly thereafter. Passengers on the canceled sailing will receive a full refund along with a 25 percent future cruise credit.
"We sincerely apologize to our guests for this disappointing disruption to their vacation plans," the line said in a prepared statement.
Cruise Critic first learned of the change from cruisers posting on Cruise Critic's Carnival member forum, including muffyn, whose daughter had already flown to New Orleans for the cruise.
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor