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The wife and I just returned from Galveston where we spent the last week on the Triumph. Overall a great week and I will write up a full review shortly. However I've been getting questions from friends/FB people about the incident which we referred to as "the blackout". I'm not going to tell you what exactly happened but I will recount our experience and what we saw. Overall it was pretty much a non-issue.
Around 3:30 the wife and I were up on the Lido deck by the after pool. The sound/feel of the engine stopped and we could feel the ship start to decelerate. An officer, maybe the captain, got on the intercom and announced something that sounded like it was in Italian. Someone in the crowd asked what he said and someone else said "He said they lost power". About that time I noticed the fire doors close to the elevator area. None of the carnival staff appeared all that concerned though the pizza chef closed up his shop. The bar staff continued to walk around and talk with guests. The ship began to vibrate as they deployed what someone said was the "thrust reversers" and the ship came to a dead stop rather quickly.
I went where I could see the smoke stack and thick brown smoke was billowing out both sides of the whale tale. It was much darker than normal exhaust. About this time the cruise director Jen came on the speaker and said they were having technical difficulties that caused a loss of power. (No kidding was a response I heard.)
The "captain" got on the speaker again called out "Alpha team to the incinerator room deck 0" and then repeated it. A few moments later he came back on a gave the crew further instructions on staging locations on Deck 0 and some things I could not understand. About this time I could smell fuel oil or diesel on the lido deck area. It did not smell burning to me nor was any smoke visible on the deck. However the whale tale continued to poor out brown smoke.
At this point I decided it was best to be in our cabin and pondered such questions as "What do you need to wear if you have to abandon ship?" Again a quick check of the crew showed them to be looking more annoyed than alarmed so I was ok with that. But I didn't want to be on deck in a swimsuit if things went south.
We we downstairs to our cabin in the aft of Deck 7. (An L shape 7419) Emergency power was on and the lighting strips on the floor were lit. All the fire doors were shut. I marveled at the people trying to summon the elevators. Our cabin was dark except for the emergency light and the fact that its a balcony cabin. Jen gave updates every 10 minutes or so. She assured us there was not a fire but smoke from the incinerator room. I could smell a faint smell of the fuel oil.
I was amused that during one of her announcements some kind of alarm klaxon was going off in the background and you could hear people talking excitedly in what I think was Italian while she urged everyone to be calm. I have no idea where she was exactly in the ship however. We poked our heads out of the balcony and it was like a prairie dog camp with everyone else sticking their heads out over the side and talking to each other. We had been traveling approx north and the wind/current began to blow us southeast.
On a positive note a big school of jellyfish came up next to the boat and we could watch them float around. Not something we would have seen otherwise.
After about 20 minutes in the cabin the ventilation system came back on. The lights/ventilation/sanitary system came on and off a few times. After about 1 hour from the start Jen announced that full power has been restored and they would be starting the propulsion system soon and would slowly come up to speed. After a few more minutes we could feel the engines again and the ship slowly came back around to the north and regained speed.
We then ventured around the ship and noticed that the power fluctuated a few more times and the emergency power came back on in the hallways. We avoided the elevators for a few hours. We went up to the secret deck 9 right above the bridge. Several bridge officers (one of which I believe was the captain) were standing around talking on the phone and to each other. They did not appear upset or stressed. The captain stopped and greeted us warmly as we walked by. The world then returned to normal and we continued on our way.
I spoke with several of the staff throughout the evening including our waitress. They did not act excited about it, just kind of like it was no big deal. I did see one lady about an hour later walking around the lido deck with her life jacket in hand. Way to be prepared.
As I said after that everything was fine, dinner was served on time and the shows went on. We arrived in Galveston this morning about 4:30 instead of the scheduled 8:30. Jen said it was because they wanted to beat the forecasted morning fog, however I suspect this was to get a few extra hours of repair time in.
So do we know for sure what happened? No but Jen talked about it at the show that night and she spoke about what a great crew they had on the Triumph and how hard the crew had worked to get everything back in order. My impression was that nothing really bad happened but that we might have come close to something really bad. At no time was anyone in any danger and if the hour adrift was the worse thing that happened to anyone then you had a great trip. As Jen said during one announcement, "Things happen at sea". We're not the least bit upset by it, we felt it was handled professionally. However if Carnival feels like they need to give us a do-over cruise to make up for it I'd be happy to submit a list of days we're available and we'd be more than happy to sail the Triumph again.
Last edited by notyours75; February 1st, 2014 at 05:54 PM.
Thank you for taking the time to give your first hand account of what happened. I agree that a lot of people will blow this out of proportion when they weren't onboard. The cruise director was probably on the bridge when making her announcements. We had a bridge tour on NCL back in May and they showed us the station there where the CD and Captain made announcements there. I would think all of the ships would be similar.
__________________ Donna - Mobile, AL
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Jen is a great trooper. One of my favorite CD's and she was on the tent cruise debacle last year, and was praised greatly for her encouragement and support. Personally, I think she should write a book, because her ships always seem to have a little "something" going on.
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We were in 7419 the last 2 Octobers..Was the rusted out hole on the inside of the bathroom door still there ?
Yes, was really the only thing wrong with the cabin. The rest of the bathroom looked like it was brand new then that.
As for the 8 minutes I think that is the amount of time that Carnival is saying the ship was completely without power. After about 10 minutes some lights started coming back on, etc. Propulsion was out for over an hour and was the last thing they powered back up. So technically they are being truthful, they just didn't have "full" power after 8 minutes but they did have some power.
Excellent and honest account - thanks for sharing!
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You mention that the fire doors closed. Were these able to be opened if you needed to get through one to get back to your cabin?
Yes they are the same doors they close at the beginning of the cruise to keep you out of your cabins until 1:30 (Unless you are FTTF/Plat/Dia which is another review) They are heavy doors but you can open them and then they just close behind you. They are normally held open with magnets so I suspect when the ship lost power they closed automatically.
There were no staff directing anyone on the upper decks that we encountered, most were going about their normal business. I suspect the real action was on Deck 0. Would be interesting to hear from someone on the lower decks what their experiences were. I did not hear any passengers talk about smoke in their cabins or even anyone seeing any smoke besides that coming from the smoke stack. Jen did make a mention in one of her announcements to go the Lido deck if you needed some fresh air, I assume it meant there was smoke somewhere in the ship. It just never made it up to Deck 7 Aft where we were. I am not sure of the exact location of the incinerator room on Deck 0.
Thanks for taking the time to post what happened. It was interesting to read a first hand account, not just what the media has said.
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I was on this cruise as well. Carnival is not lying. Full power was only down about 8 minutes which is as long as the registers were down! You bet they powered those babies back up very quickly. Lol Thanks for writing this review and setting it straight before the story got out of hand.
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Carnival Valor - April, 2015 (Southern Caribbean: San Juan, St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, San Juan)
Carnival Triumph - January, 2014 (Western Caribbean: Galveston, Progresso, Cozumel, Galveston)
Carnival Magic - September, 2013 (Western Caribbean: Galveston, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Galveston)
Carnival Triumph - September, 2012 (Western Caribbean: Galveston, Progresso, Cozumel, Galveston)
Grand Princess - April, 2005 (Western Caribbean: Galveston, Belize, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Galveston)
I was on board and in the Lido hot tub when it happened. Announcements were hard to hear. The hot tub was still running the entire time and the blenders were working after about 10 minutes. I remained at the hot tub with a few other cruisers and we kept on drinking & soaking the sun up. Our waiter Lovejoy told us: "I'm no worried, mon. I have ice, and the blenders are good. What do you want to drink?"