After spending their Caribbean cruise at the West Indian Co. Ltd. dock, the passengers stuck aboard the Carnival Liberty since a Monday engine room fire put the kibosh to their trip are now being flown home from Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, the cruise line said via an announcement that appeared Wednesday on its website.
Given the limited availability of commercial flights, guests will primarily be transported via chartered aircraft, the announcement said.
WICO said in a Wednesday press release that 770 passengers will be flown to Puerto Rico Wednesday aboard chartered flights.
“Carnival Cruise Lines has decided to end the cruise early and assist passengers in returning to their home cities,” WICO President Joseph B. Boschulte said, adding that “170 passengers took a chartered flight to Barbados on Tuesday.”
Boschulte said the Carnival-chartered flights continued Wednesday with “six flights scheduled for San Juan. The cruise line will continue to facilitate departures until all passengers have left.”
The Carnival Liberty is expected to return to its San Juan home port later this week.
All guests are being provided with a full refund of their cruise as well as a 50 percent discount on a future cruise. This is in addition to a $150 per person credit that has already been applied to guests’ shipboard accounts.
There were no injuries to guests or crew as a result of the Monday fire, which was extinguished by the ship’s automated suppression system.
All except essential crew were evacuated following the fire and they spent the day at two St. Thomas hotels before being allowed to return to the ship Monday night. The cruise line provided shuttles to various St. Thomas attractions on Tuesday.
The Carnival Liberty departed San Juan on Sunday for a seven-day Caribbean cruise with 3,346 guests and 1,150 crew on board.