Posted March 14th, 2013, 12:12 PM
Just finished reading the 17 page (maybe longer now) thread on the Carnival boards. What seemed like a relatively minor problem has ended in passengers being disembarked in St. Maarten and flown home.
From what I was able to gather, the issue involved the back-up generator. Some elevators and toilets were apparently being powered by that emergency generator. (I'm not sure why, but apparently this process if fairly standard, according to a former cruise employee who weighed in.) The sewer and elevator service was restored relatively quickly. They've reportedly had full power on the ship since just after midnight last night. The over-flow of toilets has to do with the unique vacuum operation on ships. There is some debate about whether a power outage causes whatever is in the bowl to leak out, or if it is a function of people trying to REFLUSH when the original flush is unsuccessful. A second flush without power supposedly ADDS water to the bowl without the vacuum removing the dirty water, thus overflowing the contents.
I read that ships are not allowed to sail without a functioning emergency generator. Since the Dream's back-up generator could not be repaired where she sits, the ship could not complete it's itinerary. The next cruise, scheduled to depart on Saturday, has been cancelled.
This was apparently nowhere near as serious as the Triumph issue. It would not have been as serious, even if Dream had been at sea. Nonetheless, it's not going to be good for Carnival PR. I've cruised on Carnival six times and, while I've become a Loyal Royal in recent years, I would not have hesitated to book a Carnival cruise if I found one with a significantly preferable itinerary. Now, however, I'd be unlikely to book a Carnival cruise. I have many other options. Maybe this is just a nightmare of coincidental bad timing. But the Splendor fire, Concordia disaster, the Triumph fire and now Dream (a NEW ship), all occurring within a couple of years, is simply too much for me to shrug off.
Just my opinion, but I believe Carnival has a long road ahead trying to restore consumer confidence.
77 days at sea...and counting!
2003 - Carnival Sensation
2005 - Carnival Valor (western Caribbean)
2006 - Carnival Inspiration
2006 - Carnival Valor (eastern Caribbean)
2007 - Carnival Destiny
2008 - Carnival Imagination
2008 - Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
2009 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas
2010 - Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas
2011 - Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas
2014 - Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
2016 - Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas