Carnival Cruise Line didn’t stick a brand new funnel on the fire-damaged Carnival Freedom, but cut the charred pieces off and have shipped the ship back to Port Canaveral to resume passenger service.
Dubbed a technical repair for now done in Freeport, Bahamas that was completed Friday, the ship returned to Florida and departed on a five-night cruise on Saturday with 3,384 guests on board.
“While the funnel may look a little different, the brilliant service and the incomparable Carnival crew are ready as always to give everyone the very best of times,” said brand ambassador John Heald.
The ship is headed to Nassau, Princess Cays and Grand Turk.
The work had canceled three of the ship’s slated sailings after fire gutted part of its funnel in a headline-grabbing incident in Grand Turk last month.
The inferno destroyed the starboard side of the iconic red-white-and-blue whale tail funnel on board the ship that had been on a five-night sailing that had departed Port Canaveral on May 23. The more than 2,500 passengers were rescued from Grand Turk by the Carnival Conquest, which returned the passengers two days later than expected back to Florida.
The cruise line still has not stated the reason behind the fire, or the expected cost for repairs, but more work will be done on the ship to return the iconic shape.
Initial work to the damaged exhaust stacks of the 110,000-gross-ton, 952-foot-long ship that debuted in 2007 had to be done in Grand Turk, after which the line sailed it to Grand Bahama for the two-week repair job. The ship for now will continue its four- and five-night Bahamas and Caribbean voyages from Port Canaveral.
The whale tail smokestack became an inferno when it arrived to Grand Turk pulling alongside Carnival’s new ship Mardi Gras. That ship’s passengers posted video and images of the fire, which Carnival said was quickly addressed without any injuries.
Freedom Cruiser – TURKS AND CAICOS.
The fire fighting group managed to extinguish the flames from the exhaust system in an effective manner.
no injured. congratulations for the teamwork. pic.twitter.com/Aw8sUwawDH
— Chester4x4 (@Chester4x4) May 26, 2022