The Carnival Ecstasy, site of a widely publicized fire July 20 off Miami, will return to service Sept. 18 rather than Sept. 11, as previously announced. A dozen cruises were canceled after the fire, which sent scores of passengers to treatment for smoke inhalation, and the ship has been undergoing repairs in Newport News, Va., ever since. The fire has cost Carnival up to $24 million in repairs and lost revenue, according to spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz.
Carnival has called on Ecstasy's sister ship, Imagination, to do the stricken vessel's scheduled Sept. 7, 11 and 14 Caribbean sails, which last three to four days each. The ships, each carrying more than 2,000 passengers, are virtually identical, even down to the cabin numbers, De la Cruz said.