Change of plans: Carnival ship is going on charter to FEMA

Carnival Cruise Line said its ship operating out of San Juan, the Carnival Fascination, will be chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), wiping out four months of cruises. "We are pleased to be partnering with FEMA on this charter in support of the ongoing relief efforts in the Caribbean", the cruise line said in statement. The ship will be berthed in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to house and feed Caribbean relief workers.

In response to a request for proposal from the US government, Carnival finalized the charter agreement with FEMA October 11.

The cruise line advised travel agents their clients would "receive a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as air purchased through our Fly2Fun programme, pre-purchased shore excursions, beverage packages and Fun Shop items".

Carnival Cruise Line, which recently announced it would resume San Juan cruises on Carnival Fascination in a few days, has been forced to scrap the plans.

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Passengers are being notified and refunds will be processed within three weeks. Carnival is also working with its airline partners to request change fee waivers and assist in regards to those that are non-refundable.

Carnival Cruise Line said the ship will return to year-round service from San Juan beginning February 18 following a drydock at Grand Bahama Shipyard where new features will be added, including Guy's Burger joint and Blue IguanaCantina, among others. "This means the ship's departures from October 15, 2017 through January 28, 2018 will be cancelled".

The report also points out that other Carnival ships have been used by FEMA in the past after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

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