Carnival Cruises Lines has cancelled a further 12 sailings after mechanical problems affected four of its vessels in recent weeks.
Carnival Triumph, which was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for four days in February following an engine room fire, will now remain out of service until at least June 3. The decision to delay its return will see 10 cruises cancelled.
Furthermore, the re-entry into service of Carnival Sunshine (formerly Carnival Destiny), which is currently undergoing a refurbishment, has been put back until May 5, forcing two sailings to be scrapped.
All passengers booked on the affected cruises will be offered a refund, plus reimbursement of any other non-refundable travel costs, such as flights, and 25 per cent off a future holiday.
The stranding of Carnival Triumph last month ed to significant criticism of the cruise operator. Passengers complained of unsanitary conditions and food shortages, and it took several days to tow the boat back to the US.
One month later the vessel Carnival Dream was unable to leave Philipsburg, St Maarten, due to a mechanical failure, forcing the company to fly hundreds of holidaymakers home from the Caribbean island, while problems have also affected Carnival Legend and Carnival Elation.
The world's biggest cruise company responded to the spate of incidents by announcing a fleet-wide review last week.
"The changes we are implementing are focused primarily on improvements to support continued power and hotel services should unexpected issues arise," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival's chief executive.
"We sincerely regret cancelling these cruises and disrupting our guests' vacation plans."
The Telegraph, London