Worst Cruise Ship Ever: Disabled Splendor To Ruin 20,000 More Vacations

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Mike Blake / Reuters

Mike Blake / Reuters

If you are one of the 20,000 vacationers who booked on the cruise ship Splendor this holiday season, then you may have to find alternative plans or even stay home for Christmas.

Cruise operator Carnival has announced that the vessel will be out of working order until early 2011. “We realize how much guests look forward to their vacations and know that they are very disappointed by this news,” acknowledged Carnival CEO, Gerry Cahill in his statement of apology to all Carnival customers affected by the cancellations.

(See pictures of cruise ships in The Allure of the Largest Cruise Ship in the World.)

This comes a week after the news that emergency tugboats had to tow the cruise liner and it’s 4,500 passengers 200 miles from where it was left stricken (off the coast of Mexico) to San Diego harbor. A freak fire in the engine room at 6 am last Monday resulted in the loss or damage of most power supplies on board Splendor.

(Should they have got the train instead? See more in Top 10 Train Movies.)

Carnival say that they’ll provide full refunds to all passengers scheduled to sail on the affected voyages and as a good will gesture, will offer a 25% discount for use on a future booking. Travel agents have also been contracted to try and divert customers onto alternative cruises where possible. NewsFeed wonders whether Carnival’s engineers could have taken initiative from TIME’s 50 Best Inventions of 2010.

The good ship Splendor will miss out on the Christmas buzz but should back to sail the high seas on the Mexican Riviera on January 16.