Carnival has announced that they have time chartered the Carnival Fascination to the US Government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. The charter party is set to last for 4 months. As a result, all cruises on the Fascination are canceled through January 2018.
The Fascination was homeported in San Juan, so after the hurricane she was essentially left without a home. By utilizing her has a hotel ship, Carnival is able to provide a much needed base for rescue workers in the US Virgin Islands. She will berth in St. Croix.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is not new to Carnival. They apparently made a killing in charter hire when they chartered the Ecstasy, Sensation and Holiday in 2005 to FEMA for a whopping $236 million for six months. After hurricane Katrina, there was a severe shortage of available berths for rescue workers and government contractors. The government chartered the three Carnival ships, the Scotia Prince, which had been laid up in the area, as well as reactivating a few MARAD ships.
Full presser from Carnival:
In response to a request for proposal from the U.S government, Carnival Cruise Line finalized an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on October 11 for a four-month charter of the cruise ship Carnival Fascination. Per FEMA’s request, the ship will be docked in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and will provide housing and meals for relief workers. The duration of the charter is from October 15, 2017 to February 3, 2018.
As a result, Carnival has cancelled cruises that were scheduled to operate on Carnival Fascination which is normally homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Guests on cancelled voyages will receive a full refund along with a future cruise discount for the disruption in their vacation plans.
Carnival Cruise Line’s history is deeply linked to the Caribbean and our ships have been sailing within the region for more than 45 years. We are pleased to be partnering with FEMA on this charter in support of the ongoing relief efforts in the Caribbean. Likewise, we sincerely apologize to our guests who were booked on impacted cruises over the next few months. We know this change in plans is going to cause some disappointment and inconvenience and we thank them for their understanding.
Refunds will be automatically processed to the original form of payment within three weeks. We have reached out to our airline partners to request their cooperation in waiving change fees and will also be working with our guests on non-refundable airline change fees. Carnival Fascination will return to normal cruise service sailing year-round from San Juan to the Southern Caribbean on February 18, 2018 following a drydock in the Grand Bahama shipyard where she will receive a number of new features including Guy’s Burger joint and Blue Iguana Cantina among other highlights.