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Jason

Another cruise failure for Carnival. What were the chances?

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Carnival Cruise Lines is working to fly all passengers on one of its cruises back to Florida after the ship suffered a generator failure while docked in the Caribbean.

The experience on the Carnival Dream became something of a nightmare for some passengers Wednesday when power went off, some toilets stopped working, and no one was allowed to get off the vessel -- despite the fact that the ship was docked at Philipsburg, St. Maarten, in the eastern Caribbean.

Although power was restored and facilities were functioning again, the ship still couldn't leave port.

"During regularly scheduled testing of the ship's emergency diesel generator, a malfunction occurred," Carnival said in a statement.

"While personnel continue to work on the technical issue we are making arrangements to fly all guests home via private charter flights and scheduled flights from St. Maarten. Guests on the current voyage will receive a refund equivalent to three days of the voyage and 50 percent off a future cruise.

"We are also canceling the ship's next voyage which is scheduled to depart on Saturday, March 16."

According to the Carnival website, the ship can fit 3,646 passengers and a crew of 1,367. But Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said Thursday there were 4,300 guests aboard the Dream and about 1,100 crew members.

Kris Anderson, a passenger on the ship and reporter for CNN affiliate WREG, said Thursday passengers have been told they will be allowed off the ship to enjoy the island while flight arrangements are made.

On Tuesday, Carnival announced it was conducting "a comprehensive review" of all of its 23 ships following a fire last month that crippled one of its ships in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving passengers stranded for days while the vessel was towed back to land. Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill said the probe will focus on the prevention, detection and suppression of fires, engine room redundancies, and what additional hotel facilities might be provided and might run off the emergency generators.

His comments, posted on Carnival's website, were made at an annual cruise industry conference in Miami.

'Human waste all over the floor'

After the problems began Wednesday, CNN was contacted by passengers describing the conditions.

Gregg Stark, who is traveling with his wife and two young children, told CNN, "There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms and they're overflowing -- and in the state rooms. The elevators have not been working. They've been turning them on and off, on and off."

An announcement over the ship's public address system said the crew was trying to fix the problem and was working on the generators, according to Stark. A few hours later, another announcement was made, saying the problem was worse than originally believed.

"We are not allowed off of the boat despite the fact that we have no way to use the restrooms on board," Jonathan Evans of Reidsville, North Carolina, said in an e-mail early Thursday. "The cruise director is giving passengers very limited information and tons of empty promises. What was supposed to take an hour has turned into 7-plus hours."

But Thursday afternoon, Carnival told CNN that based on conversations with the ship's management team, a look at service logs "and extensive physical monitoring of all public areas, including restrooms, throughout the night, we can confirm that only one public restroom was taken offline for cleaning based on toilet overflow and there was a total of one request for cleaning of a guest cabin bathroom.

"Aside from that there have no reports of issues on board with overflowing toilets or sewage. The toilet system had periodic interruptions yesterday evening and was fully restored at approximately 12:30 a.m. this morning."

The Coast Guard was notified by Carnival that the Dream was experiencing generator issues. Carnival has not requested assistance from the Coast Guard, which has no jurisdiction in the ship's current location, Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios told CNN.

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss said Carnival's original decision to keep passengers on board was "for accountability purposes. The last thing we want to do is have someone get left behind in St. Maarten by accident."

The Dream, based in Port Canaveral, Florida, was on a seven-day cruise. The ship, 1,000 feet long -- about the length of three football fields -- sailed from Port Canaveral on Saturday.

It was scheduled to leave St. Maarten around 5 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Lessons from the Triumph

Last month, an engine room fire left the Carnival Triumph crippled and adrift in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,200 people aboard.

That scheduled four-day cruise stretched into eight days as tugs pulled the vessel into port in Alabama. Food was scarce and passengers sweltered in the heat with no air conditioning. People aboard also reported overflowing toilets and human waste running down the walls in some parts of the ship.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Carnival Corporation in the aftermath.

The Triumph is still undergoing repair at a shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, Carnival spokeswoman Joyce Oliva told CNN Thursday.

"We are now focused on the lessons we can learn from the incident and also what additional operational redundancies might be available," Carnival President and CEO Cahill said at the cruise industry conference this week.

Another ship, the Carnival Splendor, had a fire in 2010 due to "a catastrophic failure of a diesel generator," Cahill noted.

The comprehensive review of the fleet, he said, "is our highest priority."

He also emphasized that the vast majority of the time, cruises experience no such problems.

Anderson said when he booked tickets for his family to take the cruise, some friends ribbed him about choosing Carnival, given what happened with the Triumph. "I said, 'What are the odds of it happening to two ships in such a short period of time?'" he told CNN Thursday. "Look what happened now."

For more cruise news & articles go to http://www.cruisecrazies.com/index.html

By Ed Payne and Josh Levs, CNN

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more

http://www.cruisecrazies.com

Click here to view the article

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May in best interest to get some facts straight first.

This was posted on Carnival's Facebook page, I actually thought it did a good job of addressing many concerns:



Carnival Cruise Lines

about an hour ago.




Q: What is going on with Carnival Dream? What happened?

While at dock in St. Maarten yesterday, the ship’s engineering team conducted a regularly scheduled test of the ship’s emergency diesel generator. A malfunction occurred which has rendered the emergency generator inoperable. At no time did the ship lose power and the ship’s propulsion systems and primary power sources were not impacted. However, for a period of time last night, there were interruptions to the elevators and restroom services. Toilets and elevators are currently working, and have been since about 12:30am.


Q: Where was the ship when the problem occurred?

The Carnival Dream was at dock in St. Maarten during a regularly scheduled port of call visit and remains there currently. All passengers are safe and comfortable.

Q: Did the ship lose power?

At no time did the ship lose power and the ship’s propulsion systems and primary power sources were not impacted.

Q: Why is the ship not able to sail back to Port Canaveral?

While the ship’s propulsion systems and primary power source were not impacted, in an abundance of caution, we prefer not to sail with guests on board without an operational back up emergency generator.

Q: Are the toilets and elevators working?

Toilets and elevators are currently working, and have been since about 12:30am.

Q: Is it true that toilets were overflowing and sewage on floors, in hallways, etc.?

We have had multiple conversations with the ship’s management team. Based on the ship’s service logs and extensive physical monitoring of all public areas, including restrooms, throughout the night, we can confirm that only one public restroom was taken offline for cleaning based on toilet overflow and there was a total of one request for cleaning of a guest cabin bathroom. Aside from that there have been no reports of issues on board with overflowing toilets or sewage. The toilet system had periodic interruptions yesterday evening and was fully restored at approximately 12.30am this morning.


Q: Are guests allowed to get off the ship?

Guests have the option to get off the ship to visit the port of St. Maarten until their scheduled return home. We have also arranged complimentary water taxi service for guests who wish to explore other areas of the island.

Q: What is going to happen with the guests from here?

All guests are being flown via a combination of commercial and private chartered air to either Orlando, which is the closest air gateway to Port Canaveral, or to their final destination depending on their individual needs.

Q: Is it true that Carnival is flying everyone to Miami and putting them on buses?

No.

Q: What kind of compensation will they receive?

Guests on the current voyage will receive a refund equivalent to three days of the voyage and 50 percent off a future cruise.

Q: Are you cancelling future cruises?

We have cancelled the ship’s next voyage which is scheduled to depart on Saturday, March, 16. Guests scheduled to sail on this cruise will receive a full refund and 25 percent off a future seven-day cruise. Guests who re-book will have their current rate protected on the future sailing. Additionally, any non-refundable transportation related expenses will be reimbursed.

Q: How many passengers and crew are onboard?

There are 4,363 guests and 1370 crew on Carnival Dream.

Q: What are you doing to help passengers without passports?

We have already addressed this issue with the relevant authorities and the guests will not have an issue traveling without passports.
__________________

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EXCELLENT reply Peddler. And let's get a few things straight because I am getting tired of the "Carnival Bashing" that has been going on since the incident on the Triumph.

"According to the Carnival website, the ship can fit 3,646 passengers and a crew of 1,367. But Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said Thursday there were 4,300 guests aboard the Dream and about 1,100 crew members."
The Carnival Dream can sail with (NOT FIT) 3,646 passengers BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY but CAN hold up to 4,631 passengers which means it was some 985 passengers short of sailing at capacity! This vessel has sailed since May of 2010. If you do the math, if it sailed with 3,646 passengers per week since then (31 months) that would be 452,104 past passengers that had a great cruise vacation over those 31 months (including myself on the Dream in 2010). This vessel operates 24/7 for 31 months. Nothing is perfect and I am sure this would be a non-story if the Triumph incident didn't happen! Once again CNN edits a story to fit their own needs (viewer drawer). I have sailed on Carnival (including the Triumph & Dream) 5 of the last 8 times I have cruised and would NOT hesitate to sail with them again.

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Sarge , 8 of my 11 cruises have been with Carnival and am seriously considering two more and one is on the Triumph. There was little said about the Voyager laid up for two days earlier this year with engine problems...

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I did not see this when I posted above but I think CCL needs to review their maintenance policies. For me three times is hard to rationalize as coincidence. I am a big fan of CCL and think they offer the best bang for the buck out there so I hope this trend stops as its really bad pub for them.

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The figure I saw yesterday: 20 million people cruised last year and the Triumph only affected 4,000, and now only 4,000 more on Dream. Put it into perspective.

Edited by JohnG

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So, technically, the ship could function perfectly fine and no one would be any the wiser. I wonder if in the past, before being the focus of this harsh media spotlight, ships sailed with malfunctioning emergency backup generators? For that matter, how long have cruise ships even had emergency backup generators? It seems like the cruise line went above and beyond when considering the safety and comfort of their passengers but the media instead chose to make a story out of a single restroom being cleaned. Go figure. :rolleyes2:

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