Celebrity Cruises Cancels Infinity Sept 13 Alaska Cruise Due To Pod Problems

Celebrity Cruises announced cancellation of yet another cruise –this one a 10-night Alaska voyage a month from now on the cruise ship Infinity — as a result of the pod problems that have plagued its Millennium-class ships.

Celebrity said problems with the electrical system of one of the ship’s two propulsion pods has forced reduction of the ship’s maximum cruising speed from 22 to 19 knots, making it difficult to maintain scheduled itineraries.

The company announced that when Infinity concludes its 10-night West Coast / Alaska cruise on September 13th, it will go into dry dock at in Victoria, British Columbia, for replacement of the pod.

The canceled sailing date is Sept. 13th. Celebrity expects Infinity to return to service on Sept. 24th when it is scheduled to sail on a 14-day repositioning cruise from San Francisco through the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale.

The ship will depart San Francisco one day later than scheduled and will skip Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Because the cruise has been shortened by one day, guests will receive a $500-per-stateroom onboard credit, a $200 future cruise certificate, and free overnight accommodations in San Francisco on September 23.

Celebrity’s four Millennium-class ships — Millennium, Summit, Infinity and Constellation — are each equipped with two Mermaid pod propulsion systems, and the ships have had to be taken out of service a dozen times as a result of bearings problems with the pods.

In 2003, Celebrity Cruises filed a $300 million lawsuit against Rolls Royce and Alstom Power Conversion, co-producers of the ship pod-propulsion system, to recover lost revenue and costs associated with failing pods.

Celebrity has been very proactive in reaching out to passengers booked on the cancelled cruises, and once again is offering guests booked on the cancelled Infinity sailing a full refund and a free Celebrity cruise from North America.

“We sincerely regret the disruption and disappointment this will cause our guests scheduled on this cruise,” said Celebrity Cruises President Dan Hanrahan. “There is never a good time to cancel a cruise, but we have tried very hard to offer the most advanced notice and affect the least number of guests possible. We will do everything we can to assist the affected guests,” Hanrahan said.