Even as the Royal Princess was unloading passengers from its aborted Mediterranean sailing in Naples, Italy, Tuesday, Princess Cruises announced that the ship's next voyage will continue on schedule from Barcelona on Sept. 27.
The Royal Princess lost power for three and a half hours Sunday, leaving the new ship with minimal services. The vessel, carrying 3,594 passengers and 1,336 crew, was on the seventh day of a 12-day trip from Venice, Italy. A back-up generator provided power for essential services such as toilets.
The cruise line said repairs were necessary, and ended the cruise in Naples, where it arrived Tuesday, a day late. It says it will fix the problem while the ship sails to Barcelona to resume its schedule.
The line offered full refunds to passengers on the canceled trip, along with a 25% discount on a future cruise. It also made flight arrangements to get passengers home.
"We have appreciated our passengers' patience and understanding as they've waited to receive their onward travel details being arranged by our shore team. Again, we are sincerely sorry for this unexpected disruption to their vacation," the line said in a statement.
The incident, which occurred on a brand-new 141,000-ton ship, was 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.
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.
By Larry Bleiberg, Special for USA TODAY
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