MARCH 14, 2013 — If it hadn’t happened within less than a month of the the Carnival Triumph debacle, Carnival Cruise Line’s latest problem cruise would likely have gotten attention in only a few obscure travel blogs. Unfortunately for the cruise line, though, the media paid maximum attention when news broke that passengers on the cruise ship Carnival Dream were being flown home after the ship remained in St. Maarten following a generator problem.
So, just days after posting CEO Gerry Cahill’s latest update on the (much more serious) involving the Triumph [see earlier story], Carnival again had some explaining to do and posted the following Q&A on the Carnival Dream incident:
Facts on Carnival Dream
Mar 14th, 2013 at 02:15 pm
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?
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 1,370 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.