Carnival Cruise Line has just announced the cancellation of two additional sailings of Carnival Panorama as the ship undergoes engine repairs to restore her maximum cruising speed.

The December 9 and December 16, 2023 sailings are now cancelled due to complications in reaching an appropriate dry dock facility, but the ship will return fully repaired for the holiday sailing departing on December 23.

Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked on two upcoming sailings aboard Carnival Panorama that, unfortunately, their cruises must be cancelled as the ship undergoes emergency repairs.

“While we have secured one of the limited number of dry dock facilities on the west coast for the work to be done, we do not have immediate access to the ship yard and will need more time to complete the work,” the notification email read. “Regrettably, two additional sailings are being cancelled.”

The impacted voyages – in addition to the four sailings already cancelled – are the December 9 and December 16 departures, both of which were to have been 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas.

All guests will automatically receive a full refund of their cruise fare, taxes, port fees, and any pre-paid onboard expenses, including gratuities, beverage packages, specialty dining, spa treatments, or shore excursions booked through Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Panorama Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Ritu Manoj Jethani)

Carnival is also offering reimbursement of air travel change fees up to $200 (USD) per guest, with supporting documentation of the cost and only if there is no other reimbursement offered through the airline or a travel insurance company.

Furthermore, all guests will receive a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) of their cruise fare so they can rebook on a future Carnival cruise to enjoy the vacation they must now unfortunately miss out on.

The extra cancellations are necessary because of the complicated nature of Carnival Panorama reaching dry dock. Few shipyards on the West Coast are capable of handling the repairs, but the ship is currently sailing toward Astoria, Oregon and the facilities there.

To reach the shipyard, however, the vessel must pass under a bridge that requires the removal of the whale tale funnel, which will delay when she can reach the dock, and repairs can begin.

“There is a bridge and one of the things we have to do is take the whale tale off to actually get under the bridge,” John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador, explained.

Carnival Panorama Cruise Ship (Photo Copyright: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock)

The whale tale will be reinstalled after the dry dock work is completed and the ship has passed beneath the bridge on her way back to Long Beach, California.

Heald also explained that the cruise line did look for other areas on the west coast where the repairs could be completed, but options were limited. Factors influencing dry dock availability include not only available space and scheduling but also the nature of the repairs and the ship’s size and technical requirements.

Carnival Panorama developed engine difficulties that impacted her maximum cruising speed during her November 4, 2023 sailing. At the time, two ports of call were cancelled in order to permit the ship to return to Long Beach for her scheduled debarkation.

Shortly thereafter, four cruises were cancelled as the ship needs to be removed from service for the repairs to be completed. This drastic step will correct the technical issue and allow the 133,868-gross-ton, Vista-class ship to resume sailing at her maximum speeds.

This is not the first time Carnival Panorama has had engine problems, as the ship had very similar difficulties in August 2021 as well as December 2022.

The ongoing propulsion challenges for the ship, as well as for her sister ships Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon, have led to questions about what’s wrong with the Vista-class ships, and what actions may be necessary – or even if it is possible – to permanently correct their engine difficulties.

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