The Daily ARTA E-News bulletin reports that Carnival Cruise lines will provide assistance in relief efforts for hurricane Katrina. FEMA has contracted to dock the ships Ecstatsy and Sensation in Galveston and the Holiday in Mobile. USA Today reports that the goal is to use them to house up to 7,000 refugees.
The International Herald Tribune reports that the ships will be used mainly for the elderly, the disabled and those with medial needs. Limited information is available on cabin accessibility for refugees with mobility impairments.
Both the Ecstasy and the Sensation contain 4 cabins "fully modified" for passengers with disabilites and 20 "modified" cabins. The Holiday has 6 "fully modified" and 15 "modified" cabins.
According to the agent I spoke to at Carnival's Special Services office, "fully modified" means:
FEMA has contracted with Carnival to charter the Ecstasy, Sensation and
Holiday for six months to house victims of the hurricane. Employees of Carnival will staff the three ships.
The Ecstasy and Sensation have a capacity of 2,606 each and the Holiday can hold 1,472. The two sister ships have been taken out of service effective today and will be berthed in Galveston while the Holiday will be pulled from service on Thursday. It will be berthed in Mobile.
This has necessitated Carnival to make some schedule changes. The Elation will operate a one-time six night cruise departing September 4 and then take over the Ecstasy's itinerary September 10. The Conquest will move to Galveston and operate its scheduled itinerary from that port. All passengers whose cruise has been cancelled with receive a full refund and will be able to rebook on any Carnival ship. They will receive a $100 per person shipboard credit. Agent commissions will be protected. Those passengers scheduled to sail on the Ecstasy will be shifted to the Elation which is a sister ship and will keep the same cabin.
Carnival CEO Bob Dickinson said "We trust our guests will understand that the decision to enter into these charters was the right one. This inconvenience to our guests will provide desperately needed housing for thousands of individuals."
Further Reading:Posted by rollingrains at September 6, 2005 05:33 PM