This morning, the Carnival Triumph lost propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire disabled its main engines. The cruise ship’s fire suppression system kept the fire from spreading.
No injuries have been disclosed. Carnival says that all guests will receive a full refund and transportation expenses.
The next cruise scheduled is for tomorrow, February 11th. Passengers have been told that the cruise will not depart and they can cancel and receive a full refund or wait and see if the ship will sail later on a shortened cruise.
News sources say that the fire broke out while the cruise ship was sailing about 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, after sailing from Galveston on February 7th.
The ship's generator power is working but the cruise ship has no propulsion to return to port in Galveston. Some news sources are saying that tugs were deployed.
Carnival has experienced more than its fair shares of fires. The best known incident was the fire aboard the Carnival Splendor in November 2010. The ship lost all power and had to be towed to San Diego (photo below right). The U.S. Coast Guard investigated and said that the Carnival Splendor CO2 firefighting system was a "recipe for failure."
It will be interesting to hear about how this fire started. The Triumph is an old ship, coming on line in 1999.
There have been lots of fires and explosions on the major cruise lines in the last two years, including the Queen Mary 2, MSC Musica, Ocean Star, another fire aboard the Queen Mary 2, Bahamas Celebration, Costa Allegra, Azamara Quest, the Allure, the Carnival Breeze, Crown Princess, and the Adventure of the Seas - not to mention the smaller river cruise ships.
Cruise ship fires are not uncommon. There have been over 90 fires on cruise ships since 1990.
That's a little more than 4 a year.
Expect the cruise lines and cruise cheerleaders to down-play this latest fire but don't be fooled. Read our article "Ten Years of Cruise Ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything?"
Photo credit: Carnival Triumph - Wikipedia / Scott L.