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2 1/2 Hour Power Failure on Liberty 3/22


mfs2k

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Last Wednesday night, March 22, there was a shipwide power failure at approximately 10pm on Carnival Liberty enroute to Panama, from its stop, earlier in the day, in Costa Rica.

 

For some, it was no big deal, for others, it was an uncomfortable experience.

 

I was one of the ones a bit uncomfortable.

 

As I said, the power failure began at approximately 10pm. We were just finishing our coffee in the Golden Olympian Dining Room (830pm seating) when all the power went out, and within a few seconds, the emergency lighting went on.

 

Within a few minutes, John Heald, the Cruise Director was on the PA System announcing that it was a minor power problem, and the engineers were working on it and power was expected to be restored soon. he said that this sort of thing happens occasionally on ships and there was nothing to be worried about.

 

I turned to my waiter and asked if he's ever experienced this before, and he shook his head, no.

 

I work for a hotel in NYC and went through the power failure in 2003. I know emergency generator power only will last so long (and we had no idea HOW long that would be on the ship). I also know that emergency power is only driving selected systems, and other, non essential systems, are not backed up. Again, its what we, as passengers, didn't know, was what made me nervous.

 

I suggested to my friends that we go to an open deck and leave the dining room immediately. Frankly, I didnt want to be in and environment with uncirculated air and prefered to breathe fresh air under the circumstances.

 

We went out to the Lobby, and out on the outside promenade area. There were people in the main lounge. The first thing we noticed was the ship was not moving. We couldn'f feel the vibrations of the engines. That was eerie.

That also made me a bit more nervous. It wasnt just the lights, but the propulsion too...

 

Now, I know the engineers probably were determining why the power went off, and they knew what was going on, and chances are, they were gradually restoring systems so as not to overload the system, but we couldnt be sure. We only knew what we were told.

 

John repeatedly came on the PA system to give us updates. At one point, he told everyone not to smoke cigarettes because the ventillation was off (In retrospect, this was a bit ironic because this was the same night as the Star Princess Fire).

 

Despite all the announcements, there was no mention of the ship's engines being off and that we were apparently drifting.

 

John definitely did his job at trying to keep everyone calm.

 

It's a little disconcerting, however, when you can only rely on what you are told. Passengers really dont know exactly how long the ship would be on emergency power..... There's probably a limit to how long the emergency power can last, and passengers dont know what that limit is. There is that sense that things are beyond your control. For me, I don't like that feeling.

 

Its also uncomfortable because IF problem was really serious, Im not sure they would have told us that right away. It's John's job to keep the passengers calm and to not panic. He succeeded.

 

I think I would have preferred if John adressed the fact that the ship was not moving. Ive concluded that propulsion must come from the same power source. IF anyone wants to clarify, that would be great.

 

There are SO many systems that require power - vacuum flushing, a/c, ventilation, water purification, sewage treatment, lights, elevators, refrigeration, etc.... One wonders which systems were affected more than we heard about... I was a bit worried about all that food for 4,000 or more people that needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

 

By 11, power was gradually seen coming back to certain areas. Lights, a/c, ventilation, etc... By 12:15 or so, we were underway at half speed. When I went to bed at 12:45, we were moving at 10 knots.

 

The next morning, we were due to arrive in Panama at 7am. We didnt arrive until 9:30am. As a result, the ship excursion to travel the Panama Canal was cancelled because the later canal slots were filled with other boats. I think there were a lot of disappointed people. I wasn't one of them. We had booked a private tour and the tour guide was waiting for us when we arrived.

 

Anyone have any comments?

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Modern cruise ships don't have engines in the traditional sense, they have a series of power generators (not unlike your hotel emergency generator), and everything on the ship (inluding the screws that drive the ship) are powered by electricity.

 

I have no idea what reduntencies are built into the design. I would hate to think that all those generators were wired through a single point of failure. :confused:

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Modern cruise ships don't have engines in the traditional sense, they have a series of power generators (not unlike your hotel emergency generator), and everything on the ship (inluding the screws that drive the ship) are powered by electricity.

 

I have no idea what reduntencies are built into the design. I would hate to think that all those generators were wired through a single point of failure. :confused:

 

Ok, now I'm confused. I thought ships were propelled by diesel engines, which in turn created electricity?

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Did they serve free drinks during the electrical outage. :p

And of course we'll find out in 9 months if it had any real effect! ;)

Did anyone ask for a free trip to Hawaii, shipboard credit of $1000 or more or upgrade to a catagory 12 suite????

Sorry couldn't help myself!

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Hey at least you got announcements on the goings on. Here in Florida when our power is out for 3 weeks or better after a hurricane we have NO IDEA when it will come back on.

I'm sure if they were drifting that bad they would of dropped anchor????

 

Yes definitely a mountain out of a mole hill here,

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Ok, now I'm confused. I thought ships were propelled by diesel engines, which in turn created electricity?

 

I thought they were powered by electric motors that was generated from diesel engines :confused:

 

Given everything that went on with cruise ships last week, I'd take the power failure in a heartbeat.

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I thought they were powered by electric motors that was generated from diesel engines :confused:

 

Given everything that went on with cruise ships last week, I'd take the power failure in a heartbeat.

 

Who knows. Perhaps we should put this on the *must find out* list come Oct. Think they'd be upset if we went to play in the engine room? :D

 

No kidding. Personally, as long as it wasn't during a hurricane I think a power outage would be neat.

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No, I don't think they are making a mountain out of a mole hill. They just expressed their opinion over the situation. No big deal!!!!!!

 

Well said. I just love the cruise line apologists. I didn't take it as anything other than her telling us what happened and how she felt.

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Uncertainty makes everyone uneasy - some are just more prone to worry than others. I wouldn't flame the OP. I also don't think the passengers needed to know every little detail of the incident. Many of the passengers were probably in bed and missed the whole event - did they need their sleep disturbed by a rambling dissertation that meant nothing to most aboard???

There was a problem, it was fixed and the ship was underway in less than 3 hours. Those that missed their excursions were more than likely compensated and still had the option to join other tours. In my book it was "No Big Deal".

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Well said. I just love the cruise line apologists. I didn't take it as anything other than her telling us what happened and how she felt.

 

1. I'm a "He", not a "Her"

2. Yes, I was just telling you what happened and how I felt. I don't think I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. Nor have I made any complaints to anyone.

3. No ship credit was offered, however, the day prior, we received a $25 pp ship credit because we missed Costa Maya due to rough seas when we were supposed to dock. That pier has no seawall apparently.

 

There was a problem, it was fixed and the ship was underway in less than 3 hours. In my book it was "No Big Deal".

 

Easy to say in retrospect. At the time, as I said, there was the uncertainty how long the problem would last.

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WOW! I am sorry to hear about the power going out. I can understand you reasons for being upset. I will admit, I would be a little freaked out if all the power went out, while at sea, especially during the night. I guess I would drank more.;)

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Easy to say in retrospect. At the time, as I said, there was the uncertainty how long the problem would last.

 

Yes, but probably passangers and crew both. Too bad you never found those ships plans, you could have helped them isolate the problem. :)

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I hate it when threads go on like this. I thought these boards were to help. Everyone does react different and since 911 some would be more concerned than others. Glad everything was ok and it wasn't anything worse. We were on the Liberty March 4 and had a wonderful time. Didn't have any incidences like this!!!

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I'm sorry to hear that it was a bad experience. It seems like there has been a lot of cruises lately that have not gone well (trying to be P.C.). I think both posters from the cruise laid out how things went very well.

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I was onboard as well. I was in the casino and it was a little freaky. People were screaming. I knew the second we lost power that my trip throught the panama canal the next morning was going to be screwed and I was right. I was very dissapointed as this was going to be the highlight of my trip. So did, I whine, complain, or cry? Nope, had the most fun I have ever had in my life! When the power was out, they were still able to serve drinks. There was a guy in the casino bar wearing his life jacket! I laughed so hard. Carnival didn't like this one bit and made him take it off. What a great time. I am looking for the next big cruise and will go with carnival I'm sure.

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I was on the Liberty March 4 as well. No problems.

 

Being stranded in the middle of the ocean with no electricity sounds exciting to me though. I would love to be out on Lido deck with no lights.

 

Were the stars beautiful?

 

When life hands me lemons, I make lemonade...

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