Carnival Cancels Splendor Cruise Ship Sailings Until January

The Carnival Splendor, which lost power due to an engine room fire leaving 4,500  passengers and crew adrift at sea, will be out of commission until January, according to company officials.

An engine fire aboard the 952-foot cruise liner last Monday morning knocked out power early in its seven-day trip to the Mexican Riviera, setting the ship adrift about 200 miles south of San Diego. On Thursday, it was  towed to San Diego Bay.

Carnival has cancelled all voyages of the Splendor until January 9 to allow time for repairs. Guests who were scheduled to sail on the vessel will receive a refund for the cruise and transportation costs as well as a 25% discount on a future cruise, the company reported.

"We realize how much guests look forward to their vacations and know that they are very disappointed by this news," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.  "We too are disheartened that we are not able to fulfill the dreams of those who have entrusted us with their important vacation plans."

No one was hurt during the fire, but passengers said they were jolted awake. Smoke filled the Splendor's hallways toward the back of the ship, and a smoky odor reached the front cabins. Carnival said a crankcase split on one of the ship's six diesel engines, causing the fire.

The fire left the ship without air conditioning, hot water or hot food. The casino was closed and, for a time, the bars, which eventually re-opened and offered free drinks, making the journey, for some, more endurable.

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