Last updated: 12:12 PM ET, Fri September 11 2015

Carnival Liberty Cleared to Sail, Returns to Homeport in San Juan

Impacting Travel | Carnival Cruise Line | Patrick Clarke | September 11, 2015

Carnival Liberty Cleared to Sail, Returns to Homeport in San Juan

Carnival Cruise Line announced Thursday night that the Carnival Liberty was given permission to sail and scheduled to arrive in its homeport of San Juan, Puerto Rico Friday.

In a statement issued at 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday, the cruise line announced that the remaining guests on board would sail on the ship from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to San Juan, receiving the option to remain on board through the conclusion of the seven-day cruise Sunday morning. 

"Approximately 1,500 guests are presently still on the ship with the remainder having disembarked in St. Thomas to return home primarily via charter flights arranged by the cruise line," Carnival said in the statement. "All necessary authorities including the U.S. Coast Guard have provided permission for the vessel to sail."

Thursday morning, the cruise line announced that the Carnival Liberty will resume regular cruise service from San Juan beginning Sunday. 

Prior to Thursday's departure, the Carnival Liberty had been docked in St. Thomas since Monday morning, when a fire broke out in the vessel's engine room. 

The more than 3,300 guests on board were forced to disembark as a result, but no injuries were reported and the blaze was contained and fortunately didn't impact hotel services. As a result, the ship's amenities remained functional throughout the week and guests were welcome to stay in their cabins or explore the port at St. Thomas.

Carnival apologized for the unexpected disruption to the week-long Caribbean cruise, which was in just its second day when the fire occurred, and has since announced that affected guests will receive a full refund in addition to 50 percent off a future cruise.

In the meantime, a $150 per person credit has been added to guests' shipboard accounts.

The investigation into Monday's fire is ongoing. 

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