When the Carnival Sunshine was delivered after a two-month, $155 million drydock, a large group of cabins wasn't fully ready for passengers.
On Saturday, Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill revealed the reason why.
He said vandalism to the plumbing and electrical systems "very late in the process" of building new cabins for Sunshine left damage that had to be fixed.
"Because of that, they were not delivered to the crew until almost the day before passengers were sailing," Cahill said. "We did not realize then there was all this damage done to the cabins. We were caught by surprise, quite frankly."
Cahill disclosed the incident in a question-and-answer session for media on the Sunshine, which is doing a nine-day cruise in the Mediterranean.
He would not talk about who was responsible for the damage. When it was suggested that only construction contractors would have had access to the ship, Cahill responded, "Right," but declined to elaborate.
The work on the Sunshine was done at the Fincantieri shipyard near Venice, where about 3,000 workers transformed the former Carnival Destiny into a substantially different ship. But a group of cabins in the forward section of decks 9 through 12 near the spa area weren't ready.
It took several cruises before all the workmen were off the ship, and Carnival had to displace passengers to make room for those contractors.
The WaterWorks area with water slides and other aquatic features also was unfinished, an issue Cahill attributed to heavy rains, which made it hard for the deck coatings beneath the slides to cure.Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.