Carnival Nightmare? Power Failure on Carnival Dream at Dockside Sends Passengers Home

CarnivalDream_t607The story sounds disturbingly familiar – a Carnival cruise ship with generator problems, overflowing toilets and passengers sent home from an interrupted cruise. The good new is that the generator failure on the Carnival Dream, the largest cruise ship operated by Carnival Cruise Line, occurred on Wednesday while the ship was dockside at Philipsburg, St. Maarten, in the eastern Caribbean.  The power has said to be restored to the ship but the ship is still unable to sail.  Passengers onboard the ship will be flown home rather than completing the remainder of their cruise back to Florida.  The ship’s next voyage which was scheduled to depart on Saturday, March 16 has also been cancelled.  The ship is reported to have suffered some sort of damage to its electrical system following a test of the emergency generator.

Last month, the Carnival Triumph suffered a total power failure after a fire in one engine in the after engine room.  The ship was left adrift in the Gulf of Mexico and passengers spent four days without power before the ship could be towed to Mobile, AL.  In late 2010, the Carnival Splendor, sister-ship to the ill fated Costa Concordia, suffered a similar fate in the Pacific when an after engine room fire disabled the ship which was without power for three days until it was towed into San Diego. In just over the last two years, at least eight diesel-electric powered cruise ships have blacked out by damage to their electrical distribution systems. Five of these ships; the Carnival Splendor, the RMS Queen Mary 2, the Costa Allegra, the Carnival Triumph and now the Carnival Dream; have been operated by Carnival or its subsidiaries.

Thanks to Irwin Bryan and Phil Leon for contributing to this post.

This entry was posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carnival Nightmare? Power Failure on Carnival Dream at Dockside Sends Passengers Home

  1. Since I am a Deck Officer and not an Engineer Officer I have little practical experience in performing engineering tasks. However to obtain a British Masters Foreign-going Certificate of Competency (one of five (5) Nations that I hold) in the 1960′s there was a pretty comprehensive Engineering examination.

    It was designed to teach us Deck Officers an appreciation for the Engineers workload and help us understand when the Engineers came to discuss their problems. Particular points were the changing over from ships power to shore power and back and changing over to emergency generators and back after tests.

    With the continual problems in Carnival ships which seem to involve these operations is it possible there is a basic design fault in all the ships, or is it that personnel are operating equipment incorrectly causing these shut downs or is it a software glitch.

    The stinging letter to Mr. Arison from Senator Rockefeller is cause for great concern but the list of accidents from USCG in and to Carnival ships is appalling. In the period from 2008 to date they total ten (10) times more than I experienced in my entire 60 years at sea.

    With something this clearly very wrong the fleet should “stand-down” until the problem is solved and passed by USCG. This before there is an accident with huge loss of life which is on the verge of happening.

    In the meantime the entire fleet’s U.S. issued Passenger Certificates should be withdrawn.

    Good Watch.

  2. First let me say I am a Deck Officer not an Engineer Officer. However to obtain a British Masters Foreign-going Certificate of Competency in the 1960′s one had to pass an Engineering examination. The idea was to teach future Masters an appreciation of the Engineering workload and to help understand the Engineers when they came with their problems. Several points were particularly brought out changing from ships power to shore power and back, changing to emergency generators and back after testing. It seems these are the problems in all the Carnival ships. Could it be a basic design fault, or personnel not operating equipment properly, or a software glitch. Before there is a major incident with large loss of life considering these ships have 4000+ people on board the entire Carnival fleet should “stand-down” until the problem is solved. Their U.S. issued Passenger Certificates should be withdrawn until the fleet is Inspected and Passed once the problem is actually solved in all the ships. The stinging letter to Mr. Arison from Senator Rockefeller is well deserved but most appalling is the list of incidents from the USCG. These in the period 2008 to date is ten (10) times more than I experienced in 60 years of sea-going. The continual problems in the Carnival fleet appear to be electrical and any fire involving electrical equipment can and will spread rapidly to all parts of the ship. Such a fire would bypass fire doors and divided compartments quickly over-whelming the abilities of even the best ships crews as firefighters. As a former cruise ship Safety Officer I known that the Carnival crews are average to below average in this ability as in other shipboard safety operations.

    Good Watch.

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