Carnival Cruise Ship Stranded Off Mexico Coast After Fire

Like something from a ’70s disaster movie, 3,300 passengers on board the Carnival Splendor found themselves stuck out to sea off the coast of Mexico after a fire in the engine room.

The ship had been running on auxiliary power since the fire occurred yesterday morning, and a statement on the Carnival site says the crew has been unable to restore additional power to the vessel. The company says tug boats are on their way to the ship, which is stuck around 200 miles southwest of San Diego.

As of this morning, passenger were left without “several key hotel systems, including air conditioning, hot food service and telephones are not available,” though the crew was able to restore toilets and cold running water to the cabins.

The stranded passengers will be receiving a full refund along with reimbursement for transportation costs. Carnival says they will also be throwing in a “a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount paid for this voyage.”

Says the Carnival president:

We know this has been an extremely trying situation for our guests and we sincerely thank them for their patience. Conditions on board the ship are very challenging and we sincerely apologize for the discomfort and inconvenience our guests are currently enduring. The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority and we are working to get our guests home as quickly as possible.

Carnival Splendor Update [Carnival.com]

Comments

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  1. JonathanR says:

    Thats some pretty good compensation.

    • danmac says:

      It’s not bad, but it won’t stop an avalanche of lawsuits seeking significantly more.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Unfortunately (or fortunately in this case?) cruise lines operate rather beyond the law. I don’t know if anyone could even file suit in then U.S. against Carnival. In particular in this case where it’s really a customer service issue, not significant legal issue like a death or harrassment.

        • danmac says:

          My thinking that there were going to be people who suffered significant emotional stress, which led later to mental anguish and a sudden inability to do their jobs.

          • DevsAdvocate says:

            Those people need to toughen the hell up. Beat them with a sack of valencia oranges, does the job and leaves no bruises.

            • stormbird says:

              And you have refreshing juice at the end. They’ll ask “Why did you do that? Why?” but they’ll know. They’ll know.

          • Billy says:

            Carnival, of course, can’t stop people from bringing cases, but that would be quite a stretch, no?

        • edman007 says:

          You can, they did buisness in the US.

    • areaman says:

      Wait. What about the people stuck on the cruise who are being burglarized because the people at the cruise company know they’re not home? Should they get an extra trip or get their stolen stuff replaced?

      • bsh0544 says:

        Why is that Carnival’s concern? The people were already on a cruise, possibly getting robbed. Unless Carnival’s published the name and address of everyone who won’t be home I find it hard to give them any responsibility for that.

  2. Grogey says:

    As long as there was running water and toilets I think I could tough it out until I got back to a port.

  3. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    The stranded passengers will be receiving a full refund along with reimbursement for transportation costs. Carnival says they will also be throwing in a “a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount paid for this voyage.”

    I read about this earlier and was wondering when Consumerist would post it.
    This is unfortunate. So far, IMO, Carnival is handling this very reasonably. The key is that they issue the refunds in a timely manner.

  4. sp00nix says:

    Adventure!

  5. 12-inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    “Currently several key hotel systems, including air conditioning, hot food service, and telephones are not available. Last night, the ship’s engineers were able to restore toilet service to all cabins and public bathrooms, as well as cold running water. The ship’s crew continues to actively work to restore other services.”

    Ouch

    • outlulz says:

      Well it’s fall and not really hot in the southwest right now so that shouldn’t be an issue. Losing heat would be worse.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        If you are in an interior cabin, this totally sucks. I’d sleep on the lido deck for the duration.

  6. dumblonde says:

    Carnival is providing great compensation for something that actually wasn’t their fault. Accidents happen. Good job, Carnival!

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      That has yet to be determined, I think. The engine fire could’ve been a freak accident, or it could’ve been because of negligent maintenance. The investigation will show.

      The important thing now is that everyone is safe – being stuck on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean with no toilets or hot water would SUCK.

    • Mom says:

      How is it not their fault. A properly maintained ship shouldn’t just burst into flames.

      • baquwards says:

        considering how new this ship is, (maybe 2 years old at most) I doubt that it is lack of maintenance, her systems are all very new.

    • dg says:

      It doesn’t matter WHO’S fault it is. It’s Carnival’s ship. Their customers aren’t getting what they paid for. Carnival gets to make it right and deal with whomever’s fault it is on their own time.

      Besides – by doing the right thing (refunding money) and going above and beyond (giving a free trip) – they’ve just earned the loyalty of EVERY customer on that ship. The lifetime earning potential of those customers is worth more than the trip costs…

  7. Liam Kinkaid says:

    ♪ There’s got to be a morning after. ♫

    • Portlandia says:

      I can’t decide weather the first version of this movie or the second was worse.

      I’m going to go with the first version….cheesy music and annoying characters.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        Has to be the 2nd. They knew the concept sucked and they should leave it alone, but the greedy bastards remade it anyway.

  8. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Will be interesting to see how this unfolds. They say they will compansate but I foresee a “Carnival Held me hostage and my money too!” article in the future!

  9. TheHat says:

    As long as they have alcohol I would be just fine.

  10. TheHat says:

    As long as they have alcohol I would be just fine.

  11. TheHat says:

    As long as they have alcohol I would be just fine.

  12. sp00nix says:

    Adventure!

  13. Portlandia says:

    I read this earlier and thought Carnival was being very generous with there compensation to the affected travelers.

    I still can’t believe Carnival is being this generous, but let’s hope it works out safely for all the passangers and crew.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      A screwup of this magnitude could easily sink Carnival’s reputation for good. Continued bad press about how they handle this situation could magnify the damage and make it more likely that consumers associate Carnival with this mishap. If they manage to keep everyone fat and happy, PR damage may be restricted to just the initial news reports.

  14. Angus99 says:

    Sew all the sheets together, rig a sail, and make tracks baby!

  15. Geekybiker says:

    Good for carnival on stepping up and offering real compensation without having to be sued first.

  16. D0rk says:

    I applaud Carnival for being nice and upfront with the compensation for this. As opposed to trying to cut the “victims” short and caving later to threats and backlash. It’s the least they can do considering you have over 3 thousand people in a massive hotbox with little to no circulation. I couldn’t imagine trying to sleep in a lower, interior cabin with no air circulation. I’d probably end up sleeping on a lounge chair on desk.

    • D0rk says:

      deck, desk. All the same to me because i’d probably be hitting the cocktail service during the downtime if I were in that situation.

    • Mom says:

      Given the weather right now, I’d be more worried about the lack of hot water and hot food.

  17. JayPhat says:

    I’ve seen this one before. Where’s Sandra Bullock at?

  18. sufreak says:

    Sounds a good chance to try ‘roughing it’ while on a cruise ship.

    IMO, Carnival did right by all passengers, and went above and beyond. Refund, travel costs home, and another free equivalent cruise. (sans for engine room issues).

  19. AllanG54 says:

    Let’s not forget the fire that started aboard the Carnival ship Ectasy a few years back. Their fleet is fairly new so I wonder if it’s just poor maintenance that gets them in trouble. For people that don’t know, they also own Holland-America, Cunard, and a few other smaller lines.

  20. MistahFixit says:

    “Kaylee, what the hell’s going on in the engine room!? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?”

  21. Doubts42 says:

    Good to see carnical is learning. When i and over 300 of my fellow passengers got violently ill aboard a filthy ship 6 years ago their response was
    “wow that sucks, want 10% off your next cruise?”

    • msbask says:

      I have no idea what your sickness was, but I’m really curious about how a cruise ship is supposed to prevent the infection of a ship full of people?

      You will always have idiotic sick people who insist on coming to work. I’m sure those same idiotic sick people will insist on visiting the ship’s casino, buffet, recreational facilites, pool, etc. etc. etc. How does a cruise line stop this? Or prevent it?

      • Doubts42 says:

        350 out of 400 people got sick from bad water on the same cruise. They knew they had had epidemic levels of illness on the previous cruise and did not notify passengers or take any steps to prevent it’s spread.

        Before we boarded they herded us all into a giant warehouse for 6 hours while they “sanitized” the ship due to “a few’ passengers complaining of “stomach problems” on the previous voyage.

        My “sanitized” cabin had a dirty gym sock in the bed under the covers, feces on the toilet seat, and face and fingerprints on the port windows from the kids who were there before us. I heard from cruise staff that several of the crew were just as ill and were being told they would be fired if they did not continue on with their duties because too many of them were sick to allow all of them to stay in bed. For 4 days of a 5 day cruise i was too ill to go ashore or even to the gift shop. As were my fiance and 3 out of the 4 family members that were sailing with us.

        the icing on the cake… ^ months after repeatedly telling us that they never gave a discount over 10% in any circumstances I got a letter from carnival n the mail. They were offering a promotional 15% off coupon for me because I had signed up for future cruise information.

  22. ThatsWhatSheSaid says:

    all the more reason i love carnival!

  23. Buckus says:

    At least they’re being pretty generous in compensation for the interruption. I mean, it could have been a “$50 off your next cruise” coupon…

  24. pirate27 says:

    Just so everyone knows, the Carnival Splendor has had a history of mishaps and bad luck. I wish there were a site that posts the history of a vessel. We traveled on the Splendor twice and loved it. However, we missed a port when the ship hit the dock and placed a 3 foot by 4 foot hole in the outer hull. We were in Puerto Vallerta an extra day and given $25 each shipboard credit. There was an incident before ours but I can not remember the details. For a fairly new ship the Splendor has had it’s share of mishaps. Is the Splendor cursed? I hope Carnival replaces the Splendor with another ship for the Mexican Riviera because we would like to go again on Carnival unless it is the Splendor.

  25. anticonsumer says:

    Carnival PR people will probably react well to an absolute failure on their part, like this, as one would expect them to do. Don’t expect much out of them if it is something that has only affected a few people…they’ll do nothing but give you a bunch of lip service. If you have taken one of these Mexican cruises, you already know the kind of tub these people are stuck in. I believe they have been running the same ships back and forth week after week for about the last 25-30 years. They are ready for the scrap heap.

  26. billin says:

    Is it just me, or do engine fires seem to happen with some regularity on Carnival cruise ships?

    Ecstasy in 1998
    Tropicale in 1999
    Celebration in 2000
    etc., etc.

  27. Jnetty says:

    “The U.S. Navy was also diverting the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan from training maneuvers to help. A plane was to drop off 35 pallets of supplies on the carrier that will be delivered to the cruise liner by helicopter, the Navy said in a statement.” MSNBC
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40084109/ns/travel-news/

  28. pirate27 says:

    Just so everyone knows, the Carnival Splendor has had a history of mishaps and bad luck. I wish there were a site that posts the history of a vessel. We traveled on the Splendor twice and loved it. However, we missed a port when the ship hit the dock and placed a 3 foot by 4 foot hole in the outer hull. We were in Puerto Vallerta an extra day and given $25 each shipboard credit. There was an incident before ours but I can not remember the details. For a fairly new ship the Splendor has had it’s share of mishaps. Is the Splendor cursed? I hope Carnival replaces the Splendor with another ship for the Mexican Riviera because we would like to go again on Carnival unless it is the Splendor.

  29. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    Sounds like a perfect opportunity for drunken debauchery and a massive, no-holds-barred orgy. The vacation of a lifetime.

  30. webweazel says:

    This wouldn’t bother me so much, although the lack of gourmet food tidbits 24/7 would have me bummed quite a bit. No, the biggest bummer is they’re going to offload the passengers in Mexico and stick them on a bus for transport back to the US. I’ll stay on the boat, thanks.

  31. captainsharon says:

    I feel that since the passengers have totally missed their planned vacation the compensation offered is not adequate. A two week cruise would be more appropriate or cash money if they are unable to have vacation time again.

  32. Torchwood says:

    As they say on Cruise Critic, ship happens. While it is a inconvenience now, it’ll be one interesting story a few months from now. And, just think, they are spared from the on-ship art auctions, promotions for Tanzanite, ship Survivor, and on board talent contests.

  33. Whimsey6 says:

    It will be interesting to see how Carnival compensates the people who are booked to cruise on the Splendor in the upcoming weeks. I bet a lot of folks can wave bye bye to that special Thanksgiving cruise…

  34. dush says:

    They get a complimentary future nightmare.

  35. oldwiz65 says:

    If I was on the ship now it would be the last time I ever got on a Carnival ship, even with a free cruise offer. I bet it’s awful now in the crew areas down deep in the ship with no AC.