After the funnel on the Carnival Freedom cruise ship caught fire on March 23 due to a possible lightning strike, the cruise line has announced that the following two cruises are cancelled for repairs.

Carnival Cruise Line has now been forced to cancel two cruises of the Carnival Freedom after the ship’s funnel caught fire on Saturday, March 23, approximately 20 miles off the coast of Eleuthera Island, Bahamas.

With severe weather conditions impacting the region, the ship had already cancelled its scheduled call to Princess Cay and instead made an unscheduled call to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island on Sunday, March 24.

During Carnival Freedom’s call in Freeport, the damaged funnel was further inspected, and the cruise line said that the damage was more severe than first thought. Thus, the ship’s March 25 and 30 departures from Port Canaveral, Florida, were cancelled.

In a statement to Cruise Hive, Carnival said, While we continue to investigate multiple eyewitness reports of a lightning strike, our technical team completed a thorough assessment during the ship’s visit to Freeport today.  Regrettably, the damage is more than we first thought and will require an immediate repair to stabilize the funnel, resulting in the cancellation of the March 25 and March 30 cruises from Port Canaveral.

Carnival Freedom Fire (Photo Credits: Heath Barnes & Randalyn Rogers)

Carnival Freedom is returning to its homeport of Port Canaveral overnight to disembark passengers from the March 21 sailing, which is a four-night Bahamas itinerary. The ship will then head back to Freeport, where the Grand Bahama shipyard is based, for repairs to the funnel.

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Carnival added,The funnel has been stabilized for the ship’s return to Port Canaveral overnight to disembark guests, and then it will go to the Freeport shipyard on Monday afternoon to begin the required repairs.

With the Conquest-class vessel being out of action for the following two sailings, those guests booked, are being offered compensation. The cruise line is giving a 100% future cruise credit that can be used for a future cruise with Carnival.

In a letter to impacted guests, Carnival said, “We sincerely regret the impact to our embarking guests, as we know they have been looking forward to their spring break vacation.

We are providing all guests on both cancelled cruises a full refund and a 100% future cruise credit so they can come back and enjoy a future cruise with us. We also greatly appreciate the terrific guests who are currently sailing on us for their outstanding cooperation and support,Carnival added.

Carnival Freedom In Port Canaveral (Credit: Port Canaveral)

The March 25 sailing was set to be a five-night western Caribbean itinerary, including calls to Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The cancelled five-night Eastern Caribbean March 30 voyage was set to make calls at Grand Turk and then Amber Cove, before returning home.

Carnival has not announced any cancellation of the April 4 departure from Port Canaveral. As long as repairs to the damaged funnel run smoothly, this sailing will likely go ahead as normal.

this is now the second time that Carnival Freedom has needed a repair to its funnel due to a fire. In May 2022, while docked in Grand Turk, the ship’s funnel caught fire, which resulted in cancellations and the vessel sailing with an oddly looking funnel until repairs could be made during a dry dock.

Carnival Freedom Funnel

That dry dock was completed in October 2023, where the ship had a new funnel installed, along with an expanded casino, the new Heros and Trubutes bar, routine maintenance, a Pickleball court, and the new red, white, and blue livery.

Carnival Freedom is a 110,000-gross-ton cruise ship that joined the fleet in 2007. She has a guest capacity of 2,980 at double occupancy and 1,150 international crew members. Since entering service, the vessel has undergone four dry docks.

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