Here We Go Again: Engine Room Fire Cripples Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship

Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship FireThis 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. 

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship FireThere 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.

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Comments (22) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Clay - February 10, 2013 6:21 PM

Everyone gets a full refund and travel costs according to Carnival's Facebook account. That's unusual, isn't it?

Eileen Flynn - February 10, 2013 7:10 PM

My thoughts are with the passengers and I hope that they get back to port safe and sound.
Based on my experience with Princess Cruise line, owned by Carnival, I know that Carnival will not want to offer adequate compensation to passengers who are going through an ordeal on the Triumph. Princess refused refunds to passengers who did not board a cruise on 10/27/13 which sailed into Hurricane Sandy -- a voyage to hell. Carnival/Princess' customer service is a combination of cheap and shabby. The best chance passengers have to get compensated is to band together and make demands before the ship docks. After the cruise is over and people are on their own the corporation will play hard ball and deny legitimate complaints as if no one but the complainant has a problem with the cruise line. Strength in numbers!

Oliver - February 11, 2013 12:02 AM

Problem is this cruise ship had propulsion issue in the past 3 cruise and didnt make second port, they knew something was wrong with the boat but decide to ignore it.

Olivier - February 11, 2013 12:06 AM

Not unusual because carnival knew the ship had propulsion issue in the past three cruise they didnt make the second. So why is this ship still sailing?

Steve - February 11, 2013 1:27 AM

The ship had issues on my cruise and the one before mine. They should have never allowed the ship to continue another cruise with propulsion issues for a third time.

Gary Keyes - February 11, 2013 1:47 AM

My wife and the Women in her family, ie Mother, Sister, Sister In Laws, Nieces are all on this Cruise. The news reports and Carnival news reports are not giving true reports of the conditions abord the ship! Emergency power is only running lights in the hall. No A/C, running wster, showers or toilets. They sre being told and issued plastic bags to use the bathroom in. Wife said she was awaken at around 5:30 Satuday morning with the fire alarm. I didn't receive notification till close to noon! Csrnival is saying Wednesday before they're back to Progreso. Unbelieveable that Carnival has no Emergency Response Plan in place

Nanny - February 11, 2013 10:24 AM

I was on the ship on Jan 28th and they had problems with one of the engine at that time. We were unable to make the 2 scheduled stops.

mathew - February 11, 2013 10:36 AM

I was actually on board this ship the Cruise right before this one (feb 2 thru feb 7) and it had problems then too. during the last night around 8pm the ship started to tip violently to one side. we were in the formal dining room and plate carts were smashing into tables loudly. very very scary. and water started pouring in to the main atrium through the roof pouring down the glass elevators. They came over the intercom minutes later saying that the ship had accidently listed a little because of high winds but nothing was wrong.

Allie - February 11, 2013 1:46 PM

No one is mentioning the staff on this cruise. What kind of care is being taken of them? How will they accommodate the staff while the ship is being repaired?

Leslye - February 11, 2013 4:08 PM

We were on this ship Jan 24-28...Already having problems then. A turbo went out on the way to Cozumel but they told us they slowed the boat down due to rough waters and the way home an engine went out causing us to return to port over 5 hours late. And then proceded to bring to ship back out that same day knowing there was problems!

Curious - February 11, 2013 6:50 PM

Are there any maritime regulations that prohibit taking a large passenger ship to sea while it has known propulsion/ engine problems?

While the news media hasn't yet reported on the serious problems affecting the Triumph's three previous cruises, numerous blogs (including this one) have posts from people who experienced the problems first-hand.

Could a prosecution be forthcoming?

Ann - February 11, 2013 10:00 PM

We cruised on the Triumph in mid December and were delayed in Cozumel. A specialist from London was flown in while in port. Evidently there was not a safety concern but an issue that only affected the cruising speed. They took care of us and I know these things happen. I can't help but wonder if this issue is related.

Tony - February 12, 2013 1:19 AM

Thankyou Carnival for informing my wife and I by telephone from there offices in Miami to us in West Australia regarding our sons welfare working on the Triumph as acrew member we feel for all the passengers and crew but let us not forget no injuries no deaths.Let us not rabbit on about the past the present is more important.

Jim Walker - February 12, 2013 4:30 AM

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Edwin Tillinger - February 12, 2013 11:37 AM

We sailed on the Carnival Cruise Triumph on Jan. 28 and this is what I wrote to the company on Monday Feb.4th when we got back we had the same engine trouble that the ship has been having for months now lucky that the fire did not happen when we were on the ship a little more then a week ago. I have not heard anything back from the company yet and with the recent trouble chances are I will not hear back from them. Sailing days Jan 28-Feb 2 2013. On SAT Jan.27 got text saying that because of engine trouble that we would only be going to Cozumel or Progresso. Then on Sunday we got text saying that ship would be late getting in and would be boarding around 2:30pm. So we arrived at 1:30pm we went through pre boarding and then they annouced that we would not be boarding until 5:30pm and that they gave us $15 dollars to go and get something to eat in Galveston we then got back around 3:15pm and they were already boarding, We bought the Fast to Fun so that we could be some of the first on board. I feel that the lack of communication caused us to have a poor start on the cruise. Then after we got underway they told us that we were not going to Cozumel, They should have told us that before cruise began because I read on a blog that this ship had the same trouble in Dec. and they went to Progresso if I would have known for sure that we were not going to Cozumel i might have cancelled cruise because Cozumel has so much more to do then Progresso. Also they only gave us a 50 per person credit for not going to Cozumel this is not satifactory to me even thought we stayed over night in Progresso which has no night life. This was really like a 3 day cruise we should have gotten more of a credit for this. I used to work for the airlines and they would have taken better care of there passengers if they had mech. trouble and would have had to cancel one of there stops. I just feel that we were not compensated enough for the inconvience that Carnival Cruise created by not being up front and lack of communications. I will say that the Crew handled it very well it is not there fault for Carnivals lack of concern and communication but they had to take most of the up set passengers. I was really happy with the ship and Crew they deserve a pat on the back. When I booked this trip I had friends tell me that Carnival is like the Motel 6 compared to other Cruise lines. I did not listen to them and I really dont agree with them but with your lack of concern or communications it is hard for me not to confirm they beliefs. I have contacted my Travel Agent on this matter, I am sure you will be hearing from her on this matter. I would really like to go on another cruise but I have some reservations.
Thanks for your listening

Edwin Tillinger - February 12, 2013 12:08 PM

We were on the Triumph that went out on the Jan. 28 and returned on Feb. 2nd we also had engine problems i guess they have been having this problem for a couple of months. The ship was late getting in because of engine problems once we got underway they informed us that we would not be stopping in Cozumle but would be going to Pregresso( not good ) I am so happy that the fire did not happen when we were on ship I feel for those that are on the ship now. Carnival knew of this problem and did not inform any of us. They just kept running this ship and collecting our money knowing that we were not getting what we paid for. I Think Carnival needs to make this up to those on the ship and now and those that have been inconvienced over the past months with this ship but I dont think they will do this.

David Finn - February 12, 2013 7:57 PM

Looks like the Triumph will be in port for quite some time. I think that the Coast Guard should get involved and inspect the ship and not allow it till they are satififed that repairs have been totally made to the engines and any thing associated to the propulsion system.

David Finn - February 12, 2013 7:57 PM

Looks like the Triumph will be in port for quite some time. I think that the Coast Guard should get involved and inspect the ship and not allow it till they are satififed that repairs have been totally made to the engines and any thing associated to the propulsion system.

Michael Stewart - February 13, 2013 10:44 AM

My sister and her husband are on this ship (no longer a cruise). They were only able to call out on their cellular phone when another cruise ship docked along side to provide supplies.

During the brief call, my sister indicated that the conditions are disgusting. Her husband requires medication (they were supposed to be back on Monday) for an intestinal condition or he become very ill (they don't have the medication on board).

Last we spoke to "him", they had to wait 4 hours in line to get a hamburger.

I am recommending a "Class Action Lawsuit" against Carnival. The right thing to do, is pull the other cruise ship along side, and pull "Everyone" off this ship while it being towed. To force everyone to stay an addition 3 days (5 days total) on a dead ship, in these conditions is criminal. The ship drifted 90 MILES (a ship this big, drifting this distance in incredible), before the first tug arrived.

Fabio Andrade - February 13, 2013 1:11 PM

Im surprised nobody from the previous trip said anything about the episode where the ship tilted so bad that plates and cups and bottles all over the ship fell even in the cabins, and that the restaurant host said on the mic, tha they came in contact whit a reef. One of the misic bands hows at deck 8 had to be delayed due to water coming from the pools that came out flodding the uppr deck due to the inclination experineced. And minutes later the captain decided to speed up to full throtle in the middle of an electric storm due to fog expected at our arrival to Galveston.
It was a very shaked night.

Shirley - February 14, 2013 12:16 PM

My best friend is on this cruise from hell. She underwent surgery for breast cancer in January and her doc did clear her for the cruise; however I am so worried about her health with the deplorable unsanitary conditions onboard and then for Carnival to say they are going to bus these people to New Orleans instead of offering them a place to stay, take a shower and have a good meal-just adds insult to injury (at least that's according to the latest news reports from Rueters). If this ship already had problems it NEVER should have sailed, but I've seen how they herd you in and out like cattle. I hope every passenger files a suit against them or they have a class action suit-I'm not about filing lawsuits for things that can be prevented, but this was pure neglect on Carnivals' part and to say they are sorry for the inconvenience isn't enough.

Andreas Moser - February 15, 2013 3:21 AM

Stuck on a cruise ship in the Caribbean for a few days, without any real danger to life or limb? Wow, what a disaster. - If only those people knew how refugee boats are being dealt with: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/how-europe-welcomes-refugees/

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