MIAMI -- Celebrity Cruises cancelled the March 28 sailing of the Millennium to temporarily move the vessel into the Infinity's scheduled Panama Canal itinerary.

The Infinity will enter dry-dock to replace the thrust-bearing units in its propulsion system.

The ship swap means that passengers booked on the Infinity's March 28 and April 11 voyages will be accommodated on the Millennium, with its identical size.

And when the Infinity leaves the dry-dock it will adopt Millennium itineraries for three Caribbean sailings on April 4, 11 and 18. The vessels will return to their published sailings April 25.

Celebrity president Jack Williams said the swap "will cause the least disruption for the majority of our guests."

This is the fourth time the Infinity will head for an unscheduled dry-dock session because of propulsion problems; last year the line canceled a Millennium cruise because a thrust-bearing unit showed "premature wear."

Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCCL) sued the manufacturers of the Mermaid propulsion pods and said all four of its Millennium-class ships have had at least one mechanical or electrical problem with the pods.

Celebrity said the cancelled cruise is expected to have a negative impact of 0.02 to $0.03 per share on parent company RCCL's earnings.

Passengers on the cancelled sailing will receive a full refund and a voucher for a free Celebrity cruise to the Caribbean of seven days or less that must be exercised by Nov. 30, 2005.

Travel agents commission is protected, and they will receive a $50 per cabin rebooking bonus. Celebrity established a special desk, at (888) 837-5676 to assist guests and agents.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].

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