Princess Cruises announced on Tuesday August 9th that that it would be cancelling 11 upcoming cruises between September and November aboard cruise ship Diamond Princess (IMO 9228198) because of staffing difficulties. The ship had been scheduled to resume sailing on September 1st from Los Angeles – already one of the last in the Princess fleet to return to service. Princess Cruise Line had hoped/expected to have its entire 15-ship fleet in service for the first time since March 2020, when the cruise industry out of the USA effectively shut down overnight.
Princess wrote in a letter to travellers booked for the upcoming cruises that “like others in the global travel industry, we have experienced some labour challenges”.
The cruise line had cancelled voyages through to November 13th.
When fully operational the Diamond Princess carries a crew of about 1,100, with accommodation for 2,670 passengers.
However, the cruise line industry, like aviation and airports, has discovered that the thousands of workers who were laid off to save company cash are not 100% available to return. Many have found work elsewhere that they find more consistent with a home family life, while others have left the workforce altogether.
Diamond Princess had recently repositioned from Singapore to Los Angeles in preparation for its return to service.
In January 2020 the Diamond Princess was the subject of worldwide attention after it was quarantined by the Japanese during one of the first outbreaks of Covid-19 aboard a cruise. For a short period it was one of the major centres of what would become a global pandemic in terms of serious illness and fatalities.
2004-built, UK-flagged, 115,906 gt is owned and managed by Princess Cruise Lines Ltd of Valencia, California, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Syndicate) on behalf of Princess Cruise Lines Ltd (a Bermuda Company). It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Carnival Corp.