Industry giant Carnival is facing more complaints today in the wake of a marred relaunch of one of its older ships.
The 3,006-passenger Carnival Sunshine, which set sail today for the first time since a two-and-a-half month, $155 million overhaul in dry dock, is experiencing problems with some cabins as well as the closure of elements of its top decks because of unfinished work, according to passengers on the vessel.
A spokeswoman for Carnival tells USA TODAY the ship's new WaterWorks water park and SportsSquare recreational area are "still undergoing final finishing work," and the ship's main Lido pool is closed due to "technical issues."
Still, Carnival's Jennifer de la Cruz says problems with the 17-year-old vessel are isolated. "The (adults-only) Serenity pool, waterfall and adjacent whirlpools are open," she says, and "all dining venues, bars, lounges, entertainment, spa, youth areas, casino and other public areas of the vessel are operating normally."
De la Cruz calls problems with cabins on the ship minor in the wake of the overhaul and typical of those found on new and refurbished ships.
"As is sometimes the case with both new ships and major refurbishments, some minor issues are being reported with guest staterooms and those are being addressed on an individual basis," de la Cruz says.
The overhaul of the Carnival Sunshine, formerly known as the Carnival Destiny, was one of the biggest ever for an older cruise ship and included the addition of a partial deck and the expansion of two other decks. The makeover brought the ship 182 new cabins as well as new eateries, lounges and deck-top amusements.
The Carnival Sunshine is a sister vessel to the Carnival Triumph, which was left adrift in the Gulf in Mexico in February following an engine room fire. The overhaul of the Carnival Sunshine was extended by several weeks after the incident so the company could make changes to its engine rooms and fire suppression systems.
Carnival Sunshine is on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise out of Venice, Italy, that concludes in Barcelona on May 17.
By Gene Sloan, USA Today
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