The second cancellation of Sun Princess just days before departure raises questions

Princess Cruises announced the cancellation of this Sun Princess’s February 18 departure, marking the second postponement of the ship’s new inaugural sailing.

The news is a letdown for booked passengers, especially those who had already headed to Europe before this weekend’s scheduled cruise.

Sun Princess rending cruise ship sailing in the ocean in 2024.
(Rendering via Princess)

On Tuesday, Princess Cruises began informing passengers that the rescheduled maiden voyage for February 18 will not push through. While the cruise line assured guests that the ship was complete, it mentioned that the vessel still wasn’t ready to leave the Fincantieri shipyard.

“While we will be taking delivery of our new Sun Princess on February 14, the ship must remain alongside in the shipyard to allow for additional technical work to be completed and we regret to announce that we have no other option than to cancel the February 18 voyage,” the email said.

The newest Sphere-class vessel was scheduled to leave for a 10-day Mediterranean cruise.

With the February 18 voyage axed, the two days listed for Sun Princess are February 28 and March 9.

Cruisers question Princess Cruises’ transparency

sun princess fincantieri shipyard italy
Sun Princess during the construction process in 2023. (Princess Cruises)

It has been well-documented that shipyards are still struggling to deal with supply chain issues following the pandemic. Over the past year, a handful of new launches have been delayed, such as Icon of the Seas, Carnival Jubilee, and Norwegian Viva.

Aside from mentioning that “additional technical work” was required, Princess Cruises hasn’t shared many details regarding Sun Princess’ construction.

A few people expressed dissatisfaction with the cruise line’s lack of online communication. A concerned netizen from California wrote, “There is no way that Princess just magically figured out today that a cruise scheduled to launch in 4 days was a no-go! They knew when they canceled the first cruise that subsequent cancellations were likely.”

Another from Fort Lauderdale pointed out, “Yes the shipyard is responsible for the delay, but Princess is responsible for how they handle it. They have an entire team at the shipyard that works close in hand with shipyard management.  They should be well aware of shipyard delays well before 4 days prior to sailing.”  

Princess Cruises is providing a full refund, a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) incentive, and a $200 compensation for flight changes, just as it did for the initial cancellation.

Sun Princess was part of a two-ship order placed by Carnival Corporation in 2018.

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