Diamond Princess: New Delivery Date

Line, shipyard officials still assessing damages to fire-ravaged vessel

By canceling the Diamond Princess’ summer and fall/winter schedule next year, Princess Cruises effectively sees a 2004 delivery date for the new generation cruise ship.

The ship was severely damaged in a fire at its Japanese shipyard last week. The line and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard officials were still assessing the damage at press time.

The vessel was to be turned over to Princess next May, but the cruise line this week canceled all of its sailings through February 2004.

Meanwhile, passengers booked to sail on the Diamond Princess in Alaska next summer will be moved to the same cabin category on the Star Princess, which offers virtually an identical itinerary. And passengers booked on the ship’s Mexico sailings next autumn will receive a full refund, plus a $25 shipboard credit if they rebook. Agents receive a $25 bonus commission per booking.

“The good news for affected Alaska passengers is that because it is still early in the booking cycle, we will be able to accommodate them on a compara-ble sailing on the Star Princess,” said Dean Brown, Princess’ executive vice president of customer service and sales.

The Star Princess will offer 18 Inside Passage voyages from Seattle from May 17 to Sept. 13, calling at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria.

Passengers booked on the Mexican Riviera cruises from Sept. 27, 2003 to Feb. 28, 2004 will receive full refunds if they cancel and will get a $25 shipboard credit if they choose to rebook on another Princess cruise. Agents also will receive a $25 bonus commission if they rebook their clients.