Princess Cruises' newest ship, the Royal Princess, has had to cancel a Mediterranean cruise after it lost power for three and a half hours Sunday.
The ship, carrying 3,594 passengers and 1,336 crew, was on the seventh day of a 12-day trip from Venice. The incident began at around noon and lasted for at least three and a half hours, according to the cruise line. A back-up generator provided power for essential services such as toilets.
The incident, which occurred on a brand-new 141,000-ton ship, is the latest blow to the cruise industry, which is still reeling from well-publicized mechanical failures earlier this year. It also came a few days after the ship-wrecked Costa Concordia was dramatically righted off the Italian coast where it sank last year. Videos of the salvage operation went viral last week.
Princess says it plans to end the cruise when the ship arrives in Naples Tuesday, a day after previously scheduled. "The ship's technical team continued to evaluate the problem overnight and, upon further assessment, it became apparent that repairs need to be made to fully resolve the situation," the line said in a statement.
"We have dispatched a care team to Naples to ensure that all our passengers are provided with any assistance they may require. We are deeply sorry for this unanticipated disruption of our passengers' vacation plans, and we appreciate their patience and understanding of these circumstances."
The outage struck while the ship was sailing from Mykonos, Greece, to Naples, Italy. Princess doesn't yet know if it will have to cancel the next cruise, scheduled to leave Barcelona on Sept. 27.
The Royal Princess was named amid much fanfare in June by the pregnant Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in a Southampton ceremony. The vessel was heralded as a "new generation" design, with a dramatic glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship, private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water, the largest pastry shop at sea, and a special private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light.
Passengers on the canceled trip will receive a full refund along with a 25% credit on a future cruise.
By Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY
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