Wednesday, September 07, 2005

CCL Decision: "The Right One ..."

KATRINA IMPACT: Chartering of three Carnival Cruise Lines ships -- Ecstasy, Sensation and Holiday -- to the Military Sealift Command (MSC), on behalf of FEMA for six months as part of Hurricane Katrina relief, has led to line redeployments and potential loss of up to three cents per share, with most impact in the fourth quarter, according to Carnival Corporation chairman Mickey Arison. The three charters are Ecstasy, Sensation and Holiday. The Ecstasy, normally homeports at Galveston, Texas, and Sensation homeports in New Orleans. Initial plans were for both vessels to dock in Galveston although that strategy is in flux now that some evacuees are balking over being moved from land-based shelter. Holiday, homeported at Mobile, Ala., will remain docked in Mobile. Apologizing to cruisers booked on those ships, Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO said, “… given that Hurricane Katrina is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, we trust our guests will understand that the decision to enter into these charters was the right one.” All guests whose bookings have been cancelled will be offered full refunds and can re-book on Carnival, with a $100 per person shipboard credit. Carnival is protecting travel agent commissions. Elation, with an identical layout to Ecstasy, takes over Ecstasy’s four and five-day Galveston program effective Saturday, Sept. 10. Guests will be assigned to the same cabins on Elation that they had booked on Ecstasy. Carnival Conquest, normally based in New Orleans, moves to Galveston after completing its current drydock on Sept. 11, to operate her original seven-day itinerary to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Carnival shipboard employees will staff the three chartered ships. For details, call 1-800-CARNIVAL.

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