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Carnival ships out of service longer than expected

By DAVID FISCHER Published: March 20, 2013

“This isn't going to take years of discussion and committee,” Chiron said. “These changes are going to be implemented immediately, and these are the first two ships to get it. It's actually very encouraging.”

In its earnings release last week, the Miami-based company said advance bookings for 2013 are behind the same point from a year ago. The company blamed Europe's economic problems for its inability to raise prices. North American prices are up slightly but those in Europe and Asia are lagging. Passengers in Europe are booking vacations much closer to the date of departure, Carnival said.

But vacationers have been wary about booking cruises ever since the Costa Concordia — also owned by Carnival — sank off the coast of Italy in January 2012. Passengers have returned to the seas, but many needed to be coaxed by deep discounts.

And the Triumph wasn't the only Carnival ship to experience problems this year. The company ended the voyage of the Carnival Dream last week after the ship's backup emergency diesel generator failed, causing problems with elevators and toilets. Instead of allowing the cruise ship to return to Florida, Carnival was forced to charter airplanes to fly home the ship's 4,300 passengers. The Dream's next trip, which was supposed to start Sunday, was canceled.

The company also said that another ship — the Legend — was having mechanical problems and skipped its stop at the Cayman Islands, heading straight to its final port in Tampa instead.

Carnival runs cruises under 10 brands including Holland America, Princess, Cunard and its namesake line.

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