After an engine room fire forced the Carnival Liberty to abandon its weeklong Caribbean itinerary, the ship was finally scheduled to leave St. Thomas — where it had been moored for days — on Thursday night.
Doral-based Carnival Cruise Line said the 10-year-old vessel was expected to arrive back to its home port of San Juan Friday morning. The cruise operator said authorities including the U.S. Coast Guard had cleared the ship to sail.
Of the 3,346 passengers on board, more than half had already left St. Thomas on charter flights by late Thursday.
The rest, about 1,500 guests, will remain on the ship and sail back to San Juan. They will have the option of remaining on board until Sunday morning, when they were originally scheduled to depart.
The ship left San Juan Sunday for a seven-day cruise, but fire broke out in the engine room during the first stop in St. Thomas on Monday morning. No one was hurt in the blaze, which was extinguished by automated fire suppression systems.
Passengers will receive a full refund on the current cruise as well as a 50 percent discount on a future voyage.