Carnival cruise problems hit home

GLENDALE — Some Montrose Travel customers who had planned trips on the troubled Carnival cruise ship Splendor have either canceled or are waiting in limbo, agents said.

The ship, which lost power after an engine room fire, leaving customers adrift, returned to port in San Diego via tugboat on Thursday morning after a 72-hour ordeal.

Montrose Travel will continue to monitor developments regarding repairs made to the disabled cruise ship after agents had to cancel a booking set for Sunday.

A couple who booked the trip will have wait a little longer, said their travel agent, Melissa Truskett.

Plans for another group, which had reserved four or five cabins on the ship for a trip next week, are in limbo until Carnival fixes the ship, said Rhonda Holguin, general manager of the travel agency.

"We don't know when the ship will be ready," she said.

Carnival agreed to fully refund cruise and airfare costs for the couple and other passengers scheduled to set sail Sunday for Mexico, Truskett said. The cruise line has also offered those passengers a 25% discount on a future cruise, she added.

The ship's engine room caught fire Monday off the coast of Mexico and stranded its crew and 4,500 passengers at sea for three days.

Meanwhile, food supplies dwindled and toilets backed up, according to numerous passenger reports.

The ship remained docked in San Diego on Friday.

"There are crews working around the clock to determine what the problem is," Carnival spokeswoman Aly Bello said.

The cruise line is expecting an update on the ship's condition early next week and will notify future passengers of any changes.

Meanwhile, the travel agency is not planning to book any trips next week on the ship, Holguin said.

"But it is not deterring our ability to book cruises," she said.

While damage to the vessel has put a damper on this week's trips, Truskett said her clients have not been deterred by the complications and plan to reschedule.

Her clients, she said, have traveled several times with the cruise line.

"They are not concerned," Truskett said.

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