Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Celebrity Millennium Propulsion Problems Continue to Plague Alaska Cruises

As you may know, after an electrical problem was encountered in one of Celebrity Millennium's motors on August 8th, the ship limped into Seward, Alaska at the end of the voyage it was just completing. Repairs were made while Celebrity Millennium remained in Seward from August 9-12, at which time the ship departed for Vancouver, BC, where it arrived last Friday. That sailing was virtually a "cruise to nowhere" as it stopped at no ports of calls.

Passengers who chose to sail on that non-stop cruise to Vancouver received a full refund plus a future cruise certificate for 100% of the fare they had paid. According to Celebrity reports, fewer than 100 of the passengers who had already arrived to embark in Seward chose to cancel and they received a full refund and a 50% future cruise credit, along with air and hotel costs.

With no known issues, the subsequent Celebrity Millennium cruise embarked in Vancouver on Friday, August 16, but was forced to returned to Ketchikan, Alaska on Sunday night, August 18th (after making a port call there that day), due to mechanical problems that surfaced in one of the ship's two propulsion units.

Celebrity Cruises issued the following statement regarding the situation:
"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 issue onboard Celebrity Millennium. 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. Because of this, it will be necessary to cancel the remainder of Celebrity Millennium's current sailing. We are offering guests currently onboard Celebrity Millennium with compensation and assistance with travel arrangements.
We realize how disappointing this cancelled sailing is to our guests, and we share in their disappointment.
Updates and additional information for travel agents or others with contacts sailing on the August 16 cruise can call  1.888.829.4050. Those calling from outside the U.S. can call 1.305.539.6000 ext. 48155."
Late last night Celebrity issued another statement, this one more dire for booked passengers hoping to see Alaska's wonders aboard Celebrity Millennium on upcoming sailings:
We have important news for guests who are booked to sail on upcoming cruises on Celebrity Millennium. Please read this update.
"A mechanical issue has made it necessary for us to perform unscheduled repairs on Celebrity Millennium. As a result, we are sorry to inform guests that we have had to cancel the following sailings:
• August 23, 2013 – cancelled
• August 30, 2013 – cancelled
• September 6, 2013 – cancelled
• September 13, 2013 – cancelled
We are deeply sorry for this unexpected and disappointing development in our guests’ upcoming vacation.
If you are booked on one of the cancelled sailings, Celebrity Cruises will provide you with a full, 100% refund. For your convenience, all monies paid will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment within the next three weeks. Celebrity Cruises will also provide you with a future cruise certificate. This certificate may be used for a future cruise on Celebrity Cruises.
Guests booked on the August 23 sailing may call 1-888-829-4050 for additional information. Those calling from outside the U.S. can call 1-305-539-6000 ext. 48846.
Guests booked on the August 30, September 6 and September 13 sailing may call 1-888-281-9343 for additional information. Those calling from outside the U.S. can call 1-305-539-6000 ext. 48155."
With that announcement, the Alaska cruise season has officially come to a premature end for Celebrity Millennium.

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