Oceania Cruises' Regatta Loses Power Near Hawaii

Regatta OceaniaCruise veteran Linda Coffman reports on her blog that Oceania Cruises' M/S Regatta experienced a power loss this morning while cruising near Hawaii. According to Ms. Coffman, the power was restored and guest services have been restored.

"At approximately 2:00 a.m. local time in Honolulu, HI (7:00 a.m. local time in Miami, FL) Oceania Cruises' M/S Regatta experienced a failure of its power generation plant. All guests and crew are safe and accounted for. The power plant has been restored and all guest services are fully functioning. The ship is currently making its way back to Honolulu to effect a technical assessment and the vessel's current ETA alongside in Honolulu is 1 p.m. local time. At the time of the power loss, the vessel was approximately 20 miles off the coasts of the island of Oahu."

No other information has been disclosed.

There is no information available regarding the cause of the power loss.

Power losses of cruise ships at sea is a relatively common occurrence. In 2016, there were at least 18 power losses of cruise ships operated by the major U.S.-based lines. 

Does anyone on the ship have additional information?

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Photo credit: Kalle Id - CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

AIS Image: MarineTraffic

Regatta Hawaii

Carnival Dream Limps Back to New Orleans Following Engine Problems

Caarnival DreamNumerous passengers have informed us that the Carnival Dream has incurred power problems which have necessitated the Carnival cruise ship to skip the port of Cozumel.  

The ship is now heading back to the home port of New Orleans at a reduced speed (although I am also receiving comments from passengers that the Dream has either lost all propulsion or stopped several times to conduct tests).

The popular Cruise Hive website was the first blog to write about this issue.

Last year, there were 19 cruise ships which experienced partial or complete loss of propulsion due to engine problems, including problems with the Carnival Elation, Carnival Legend, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Vista as well as the Carnival owned Adonia, Caribbean Princess, Emerald Princess, and Costa neoRiviera

This year has seen a number of Carnival cruise ships experience engine problems, such as the Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Splendor.  

Carnival has not yet responded to a request for a comment.

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Longbowe at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

Update August 11. 2017 @ 5:00 P.M.: Statement from Carnival:

"Carnival Dream is presently experiencing a technical issue which is affecting its maximum cruising speed. All other systems are functioning normally. As a result, Carnival Dream was unable to call in Cozumel today and will be returning to New Orleans for arrival on Sunday as per its normal schedule.

Guests sailing on this voyage were provided with a $50 per person onboard credit. The ship did make its scheduled calls in Montego Bay, Jamaica and Grand Cayman earlier in the voyage.

We sincerely apologize for this disruption to our guests' vacation plans and for any disappointment this has caused."

Update August 12. 2017 @ 9:45 A.M.: Statement from Carnival:

"The problem on the Carnival Dream has been fixed and the ship is heading to New Orleans where it will arrive on Sunday as scheduled." 

Carnival Fantasy Suffers Propulsion Problems

Carnival Fantasy A number of news sources are reporting that the Carnival Fantasy is experiencing a mechanical "technical problem" affecting its propulsion system, which limits the ship's maximum. Carnival said that because of this problem, the Fantasy will not call on its scheduled port stop, Cozumel, Mexico, and will remain at sea for the duration of the cruise.

Instead, Carnival will take the ship on a three-night "Cruise to Nowhere." 

Carnival offered its booked guests the option to cancel and receive a full refund, or stay on board and sailing on the "cruise to nowhere." Passengers who decided to stay on the cruise reportedly will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare, a $50 onboard credit and a 50 percent toward a future cruise.

The Fantasy is 27 years old. 

"Cruises to nowhere" are illegal under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) of 1886 unless the cruise line obtains a special waiver.

Recently, several cruises on Carnival and other lines have been affected by what the companies characterize as "technical issues" with the ships' engines.

The Carnival Paradise and the Carnival Splendor faces similar problems in the last six weeks.  Celebrity Cruises canceled or shortened cruises at the last minute on the Celebrity Summit two weeks ago. 

Fave a comment? Please leave on below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Ron Cogswell - CC BY 2.0, commons / wikimedia. 

Viking Sea Stuck in Barcelona

Viking Sea Power LossToday, I received a message that the Viking Sea was in Barcelona, Spain waiting for repairs to fix an unidentified engine problem. 

I received this message: "Don't know have you been informed about Viking Sea being stuck in Barcelona for more than 10 days, while all guests were disembark, almost same thing like Star last year in Talin . . . "

Online AIS shows the Viking ship at the port in Barcelona today after leaving the port of Barcelona last night heading (apparently toward its next port of call, Toulon) but then turning around and sailing back to Barcelona.

Viking has informed its guests that they are free to stay on the cruise ship until January 8, 2017.  The company is apparently assisting the passengers with excursions. The guests can leave the ship and catch earlier flights home although many seem inclined to enjoy their unexpected time in Barcelona. 

In August of this year, the Viking Sea lost power in Malta.

In August of 2015, the Viking Star lost power in an engine after leaving Tallinn and resulted in the cancellation of the cruise.

There is no indication whether future cruises will be affected nor is there any word regarding compensation to guests for the canceled cruise.  

 

Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Orion Suffers Power Failure

Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Orion suffered power failure as the expedition ship was leaving Antarctica. It suffered engine failure while returning to the port of Ushuaia in Argentina.

The ship has now returned via the Drake Passage to port in Ushuaia after sailing at reduced speed.

Lindblad Expeditions canceled its December 27th sailing as well as cruises in January. 

"A team of engineers has been dispatched and is on their way to Ushuaia to assess the full impact of the technical issues. Once the evaluation is completed, we will release additional information," Lindblad Expeditions told Cruise Critic.

Online AIS shows a bizarre tracking pattern as the Orion is back at port in Ushuaia.

Lindblad Expeditions was last mentioned here in March 2013 when the National Geographical Sea Lion struck a submerged rock causing damage to the hull of the vessel and a propeller. The 62 passenger vessel was departing the Las Perlas Islands, 70 miles from Panama City, when it struck a rock, causing it to undergo repairs in dry dock.National Geographical Orion Power Failure

Carnival Liberty Suffers Power Loss

The Carnival Liberty cruise ship experienced unspecified "technical problems" which affected its propulsion and delayed its return to and departure from Galveston yesterday. The problem is substantially slowing the cruise ship.

The Liberty should have arrived early yesterday morning to Galveston, however Carnival stated that there was a technical problem that slowed the ship and needed to be fixed. The repairs were expected to delay the ship's departure.

Carnival is still sailing to Cozumel but has canceled the cruise to Progeso, Mexico.

Local newspapers reported that passengers will get a $50 credit on their shipboard account, a 25 percent discount on a future five-day cruise, and a $25 per person credit to help pay for meals on Monday given the late departure time.

This problems come after a weekend where two two Carnival owned cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, the Grand Princess and the Emerald Princess, experienced temporary power outages. 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

November 1, 2016 Update:  AIS shows the Carnival Liberty still in port in Galveston.  Carnival reportedly canceled the cruise as of this morning. 

Carnival sent this statement this morning:

LIBERTY TECH ISSUE

NOVEMBER 1 – 9:40 am EDT

"The cruise ship Carnival Liberty, which is homeported in Galveston, Texas, is experiencing a technical issue which is affecting the ship’s maximum cruising speed. The issue is only affecting the ship’s speed and all other systems are operating normally. The ship arrived in Galveston yesterday and since then we have been working with outside technical experts which we brought on to help us confirm our repair plan.

Guests had boarded the vessel yesterday in anticipation of sailing, however, outside technical experts, together with the ship’s technical team, conducted a deeper inspection of one of the diesel generators overnight and uncovered an additional problem not previously known. It has now been determined that one of the alternators cannot be readily fixed. This means the ship will not be able to maintain the sufficient speed needed to operate the itinerary as planned and unfortunately we must cancel today’s cruise.

Guests scheduled to sail on this voyage will receive a full refund of their cruise, along with a 100 percent future cruise credit and $90 per person reimbursement representing a previously promised onboard credit and stipend for meals in Galveston yesterday.

While repairs are ongoing, the itinerary for the ship’s next two voyages will be modified, as well. The Nov. 5 five-day cruise will include a full day call in Cozumel, however, the call in Progreso will be cancelled. The Nov. 10 four-day cruise will include a call in Progreso instead of Cozumel. Guests sailing on these voyages will receive a $50 per person credit to their shipboard accounts and a 25 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise. Guests also have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund. Voyages departing Nov. 14 and beyond are scheduled to operate their normal itinerary.

We sincerely apologize to our guests for this disruption in their vacation plans." 

November 5, 2016 Update: CARNIVAL CANCELS SECOND CRUISE, DEPARTING SATURDAY.

Novenber 10, 2016 Update: Carnival modifies the itineraries for the Liberty’s cruises through the month of November.

 

Fred Olsen's Black Watch Catches On Fire

Fred Olsen Black WatchAccording to the Cruise Capital website in the U.K., "a fire broke out aboard Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch this morning as the ship made its way to Madeira."

The fire, which started in the auxiliary engine room reportedly damaged three engines used to generate power onboard the cruise ship.

Cruise Capital said that the fire was extinguished by the crew. The site stated that "the four main engines are undamaged by the fire, but further investigations will need to be undertaken, before an attempt to restart them later today. Repairs are expected to be made en-route to Madeira."

The Fred Olsen line issued a press statement: “Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that there was a fire on board its cruise ship, Black Watch, this morning, in the Auxiliary Engine Room, which was extinguished by the crew. There have been no injuries to guests or crew. The Captain is keeping guests fully informed at all times."

A few hours ago, the cruise line provided an update on Twitter stating claiming that the Black Watch's "two main engines are now fully operational, and the ship is en-route to Funchal, Madeira."  

The Black Watch is an old ship, built in 1970-1971. It carries 820 passengers after it was refitted several times. It was formerly Royal Viking Line's Viking Star, Norwegian Cruise Line's Westward, and Royal Cruise Line's Star Odyssey.

Hat Tip to Cruise Hive for reporting on the fire.

July 2 2016 Update: According to Cruise Hive, cruise passengers are flying home.  "After assessing the impact, the cruise line stated 'cabling damage has prevented the other two main engines from running, and it is anticipated that the repairs will cause disruption to guests during the recabling. Therefore, we have made the decision – in the best interests of guests’ comfort and enjoyment – to fly them home from Funchal. Our intention is to charter a private aircraft for our guests back to the UK over the next few days, at Fred. Olsen’s expense.'”

July 3 2016 Update:  "A Huge Fire."  The first comments from a family on the fire-stricken cruise ship according a U.K. newspaper. Passengers on the Fred.Olsen Black Watch cruise ship were 30 minutes from using lifeboats.

July 5 2016 Update:  Fred Olsen cancels the nine-night Norwegian Fjords cruise from Tilbury on July 8, according to Cruise Critic.

An unhappy passenger says: (on our Facebook page)  "Fred Olsen public relations...telling lies.
There were no free phone calls home, we were treated like cattle...420 old and infirm passengers had to pack one small case in the dark after 4 days of no electricity, no water for 12 hours, then cold water only, camping style food etc. etc.
The journey took from 6:30 am until 11 pm via coach, 3 hour ferry, coach, 3 hours standing queuing in a tiny airport, then plane, coach...
No senior execs at airport just 2 young women who usually sell excursions doing their best,, no wheelchairs or assistance provided.
I could go on.
It was horrendous.
I tried desperately to care for a disabled husband with the help of a friend with the endless on and off transport, queuing for hours, travelling on coaches with no air conditioning, no access to water or food for 8 hours..
What else have they lied about?
Wonder if I will ever see my luggage again or receive compensation.
And how did a fuel pipe leak unnoticed for so long that a huge fire had to be tackled for 5 hours by heroic young waiters and other staff?
Never again."

Photo Credit:  By Ra Boe - selbst fotografiert DigiCam C2100UZ, CC BY-SA 2.5,

Empress of the Seas Experiences Engine Problems

Empress of the SeasA number of cruise sites are reporting that Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas is experiencing problems with one of its engines, causing the cruise line to alter the cruise ship's current itinerary.

The popular Cruise Critic site says that the ship called on Nassau yesterday and visited CocoCay today but did not call on Grand Cayman as originally planned. The ship will call on Key West on Wednesday as planned. Cruise Critic quoted Royal Caribbean saying that the cruise line "will work on the issue, (while) the ship is sailing at a reduced rate of speed."

There is no indication from Royal Caribbean when the problem will be fixed or whether future sailings will be altered as well.

Royal Caribbean is offering an onboard credit in the amount of 10 percent of the cruise fare paid, per cabin.

This gesture will not sit well with some  cruise passengers currently on the Empress of the Seas, I suspect. Bahamas is not a particularly popular port in contrast to the Cayman Islands. The ship was transferred to Royal Caribbean from Pullmantur Cruises after a 50 million dollar cosmetic renovation first in a shipyard in Spain and later in Freeport, Bahamas. The delay resulted in at least a dozen cruises to be missed, much to the aggravation of families booked on the canceled cruises. Its a shame if there are passengers aboard who were on previous canceled cruises.

We last mentioned the Empress of the Seas in an April Fool's spoof.   

Photo credit: Jsausley CC BY-SA 4.0.

Maasdam and Summit Lose Propulsion

MaasdamCruise ships losing power or propulsion have been a dime a dozen in recent years.  

But two major cruise ships losing propulsion and being stranded in an U.S. port seems just a tad unusual. That seems to be the situation with the Holland America Line's Maasdam and the Celebrity Summit cruise ships this weekend.

The HAL Maasdam lost propulsion for in Boston Harbor on Saturday July 4th and got an extended view of the fireworks display, But the ship was still stuck in port as of Sunday morning with engineers working on the engines. 

The Celebrity Summit petered out yesterday in New York with reports being that there was either an unspecified motor breaking down or there was some type of problem with the ship's Azipod propulsion system, according to the popular Cruise Hive publication.

There was a lot of discussion on social media about the incidents, but fortunately no fires or rough weather reported that could have turned these minor incidents into real trouble. 

Photo Credit: Caught in Southie / . 

Costa Fortuna Broke Down in Tortola

A newspaper in the Caribbean reports that  Carnival's Costa Fortuna cruise ship with over four thousand passengers and crew members was stuck the Road Harbour on the main Island of Tortola in the Virgin Islands after it arrived on the early morning of Sunday 22, 2015. 

The ship was scheduled to last Sunday at around 6:00 PM. However, the port authority says that it developed an unspecified "technical problem" while anchored in the harbor.

Costa FortunaA "technical problem" seems to be code for a mechanical issue with the ship's engines and propulsion systems. Engineers flew to the port to assess the ship for repairs. 

Passengers have to be ferried into port. 

Carnival has not issued an official statement. 

AIS systems seem to show the cruise ship has sailed and is in St. John's Antigua today. It looks like the ship sailed earlier this week to Philipsburg and St. Kitts.    

Anyone have information to explain what happened with this ship in Tortola?

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Ed g2s

Freemantle - Brisbane Cruise Canceled: Princess Cruises To Finally Fix Sea Princess Engines

The Sea Princess is back in the news.  Following widespread coverage of "cruise from hell" articles about a noro-infected  cruise from Freemantle where the ship was nicknamed "Pandemic Princess," Princess Cruises announced that the sailing to Brisbane was canceled in order to address "technical problems" causing the ship to lose speed. 

Perth Now reports that Carnival Australia spokesman, which is responsible for the Sea Princess, stated that “all guests will receive a full refund of their cruise fare plus a 100 per cent future cruise credit.”

Passengers had complained during earlier cruises that the Sea Princess had been suffering from Adonis Sea Princessreduced speeds which shortened times in certain ports of call and required changes in the ship's itineraries including dropping Bali and Broome.

A poster commented on the Cruise Critic boards: "this ship has been limping along slowly and arriving late to ports/missing ports for months. Princess handled this situation badly."

Another person commented: "Really disappointing. All summer long people have been saying that Princess should just bite the bullet and cancel a couple of cruises down the line and fix this ship. People would have had at least a couple months' notice. Instead, they now have 1900 passengers kicked off on the second day of a cruise that never left port. What a mess."

It's currently unknown how many cruises will be affected.

The Sea Princess is an old ship. It was built by Fincantieri, Italy and began sailing in 1998. It was transferred to P&O Cruises in 2003 and renamed the Adonia (photo above right). It was transferred back to Princess in 2005.  

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Cruiser1210 Creative Commons

Engine Problem Forces Grand Princess to Return to Seattle

KIRO TV reports that the Grand Princess cruise ship experienced a problem with one of its engines and was required to return to port in Seattle for almost four hours.

The U.S. Coast Guard said that a port-side engine "died" on the cruise ship around 4:50 PM after the the ship left Seattle heading on an Alaskan cruise. 

KING 5 news station says that a tug had to assist the ship back to port.

Grand Princess

The cruise ship has two shafts and two fixed propellers.

Princess Cruises spokesperson Julie Benson said in a prepared statement:

“Grand Princess has returned to the Port of Seattle, in consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, following an earlier issue with one of the ship's motors. At no time was guest safety impacted as the ship had propulsion and steering control. As a precaution the ship is returning to port for a safety check and we hope to depart again later this evening. We will keep passengers fully informed.”

The KIRO television station reports that Ms. Benson also said "several similar incidents" have happened with Grand Princess before.

A passenger, identified as David Meers, was critical of the cruise line's lack of communications. He reportedly said “thirty or forty minutes into the cruise, the ship listed to one side. Shortly after that, we turned around. We started asking the crew members what happened, and nobody seemed to know anything.” 

It was 40 minutes after turning around that the captain announced there was a propulsion alarm that required them to go back to Seattle. For the next 4 hours, the passenger said there was little communication at all, about any possible changes to their itinerary or whether customers would be compensated for the delay. He said “it certainly left a lot of confusion, among the folks that we were asking. And most of the passengers around us were also very confused.” 

To Princess' credit, the cruise line communicated with this passenger via Twitter saying: @DavidMeers Hi David, we apologize for the delayed start to your vacation (1/2) and later @DavidMeers Grand Princess is returning to port for an inspection due to a technical issue, and we hope to depart later this evening (2/2).

After the unspecified repairs, the cruise ship left Seattle around 10 PM. 

The passenger's last tweet?  @PrincessCruises Glad it wasn't more serious. All is well that ends well. Enjoyed the beautiful Seattle skyline again.

The mechanical problem seems to have been fixed with the ship sailing at 22 knots to Alaska.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Ivan T. 

Costa Deliziosa Loses Power in Valenzia

SeaTrade Insider reports that the Costa Deliziosa cruise ship suffered a power failure and blackout in Valencia, Spain yesterday which shut down the ship's electrical systems. After a few hours, the engineers were able to restore power and essential services. However, the cruise ship will not try to sail back to Italy. Costa stated that the cruise ship will remain in port until the cause of the outage is identified and corrected. 

Costa is apparently arranging for charter flights to return the passengers to Rome. 

Costa Deliziosa Cruise ShipLate today Costa told cruise passengers scheduled to sail on a 13-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome), leaving tomorrow, that the cruise is canceled.

Of course there are thousands of people who are currently flying to Rome thinking that they will board the cruise ship, which remains in Spain.

Cruise Critic mentions that the passengers on the current, abandoned cruise will receive a 50 percent refund on the cruise fare and a 100 euros of onboard credit per passenger as compensation. A couple on the Cruise Critic message board says that for the canceled May 29th cruise, Costa offered either a 50% refund and another cruise or a full refund and 250 euro voucher each to be used before the end of the year.

Although a cruise ship going out of service unexpectedly at the last minute is a major inconvenience for the passengers, it is a real hardship for the crew members who earn tips. They will receive no income for the next two weeks.

The Deliziosa is four years old, and is owned by Carnival Corporation.

May 21 2014 Update: Members of Cruise Critic are saying that: "instead of the 21st, their departure from Savona will be on the 23rd, therefore the cruise will now be instead of 13 days only 11 days
(they will get a new itinerary later). Because of that they will get a refund of 25 % and 100 Euro bord account."

Celebrity Constellation Loses Power, Again

Celebrity ConstellationCruise Fever reports that a Celebrity cruise ship lost power yesterday morning for about one and one-half hours while the ship was at port in Key West.

Cruise Fever says that the Celebrity Constellation lost power Sunday morning from approximately 7:15 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. A writer for Cruise Fever was aboard and first reported on the power failure.  

Over 7 weeks ago, the same ship experienced a power loss at the same port. You can read about that incident here: Celebrity Constellation Suffers Engine Problems in Key West

If you have information to share, please leave a comment below.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Megadri

Celebrity Constellation Suffers Engine Problems in Key West

Cruise expert Professor Ross Klein's web site indicates that the Constellation cruise ship was forced to spend an extra day in Key West.

Professor Klein reported yesterday about a passenger's complaint that the "Constellation scheduled to leave Key West yesterday, Dec. 15 @ 5pm. Repair needed and waiting on part(s). At 8:05am, December 16, still no evidence of upcoming departure. Scheduled to be 'at sea' day on the way to Cozumel."

The repairs were needed after the Celebrity cruise ship experienced engine problems.

Cruise line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said that the Constellation had "technical issues" with one of its gas turbine engines during its departure from Key West on Sunday afternoon.

The Key West Citizen indicated that the ship's departure was delayed until 10 p.m. Monday while crews made repairs. The ship carries more than 2,160 passengers.

The newspaper explained that because of the mechanical delay, and the time and speed needed, Constellation was unable to make its scheduled port of call into Cozumel, Mexico, on Tuesday. Instead, it will call on Nassau, Bahamas, on Wednesday. 

The Key West newspaper characterized the Celebrity Constellation as an aging member of the Celebrity fleet. It made its initial cruise in May 2002.

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Ship

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Megadri

"Technical Issues" Delay Sun Princess' Departure from Sydney

A reader of our Facebook page "Cruise Law News" informs us that the Sun Princess was delayed ten (10) hours departing Sydney last tonight.

The cruise ship's captain, Andrew Froude, issued a letter which was distributed to passengers informing them that the ship was experiencing technical issues which have prevent our ability to operate at full speed."

Passenger were informed that the cruise ship would be missing the Bay of Islands.

You can see a copy of the captain's letter below.

If you have additional information regarding what is happening on the Sun Princess, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

Sun Princess Cruise Ship

Royal Princess Loses Power in the Mediterranean

Royal Princess Cruise ShipCruise Fever reports that Princess Cruises' newest cruise ship, the Royal Princess, experienced a loss of power in the Mediterranean as the cruise ship was sailing between Mykonos and Naples. Here's what Cruise Fever is saying:

The cruise ship lost power around 1:30 P.M. local time.

Emergency generators started. 

Toilets and emergency services are functional. 

The captain is providing updated information. 

"Power is in the process of being restored."

So far I do not see any news organizations reporting on the incident. Cruise Fever states that there has been no indication regarding why the Royal Princess lost power.

The incident has the potential to be another major embarrassment for the cruise industry, following a series of engine failures and engine room fires. The Royal Princess is Princess's newest cruise ship which was debuted with great fanfare in June 2013. It is owned by Carnival which is struggling with its image following the Splendor and Triumph engine room fires / failures where the Carnival cruise ships had to be towed back to the U.S. 

Here's a statement from Princess Cruises this evening as of 6:00 P.M.:

"Today at approximately 1:30 pm local time, Royal Princess experienced a power outage. Power has since been restored and the ship is currently en route to Naples. During the power outage, an emergency backup generator was used to provide essential services, such as toilets. The ship is not in any danger, and the Captain has been keeping passengers regularly informed about the situation. The ship is currently on the seventh day of a 12-day Mediterranean cruise that departed Venice on September 15. There are 3,594 passengers and 1,336 crew members onboard." 

As you can see below, Princess Cruises' web cam for the Royal Princess cruise ship seems to show a lighted ship as of 19:12 GMT heading for port in Italy.  

Cruise Critic posted the following information about the incident:

Cruise Critic member funnyfingers heard from family members onboard that "they were without power for 4.5 hours and had to cancel the Naples stop" . . . 

A Princess Facebook fan posted on Princess' page today that "the ship has had many other problems in the past eight days, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning, and last night we were delayed leaving Mykonos for over four hours because they couldn't get the anchor up."

September 23 2013 Update: The ship will be taken out of service for repairs. The remainder of the cruise is cancelled. The passengers will be disembarked in Naples and flown home. Princess has promised to provide a refund of the cruise fare and a 25 percent credit. The power outage on Sunday reportedly lasted for at least 3.5 hours.

September 25 2013 Update: After a Series of Power Outages, is the Royal Princess Really Ready to Cruise? 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / barryskeates

Royal Princess Web Cam

Engine Problems Disable Celebrity Millennium in Alaska

Millennium Cruise ShipA newspaper in Alaska is reporting that the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship, which was suppose to have sailed on Friday from Seward, will be stuck in port until at least Tuesday due to engine problems.

The cruise ship arrived four hours late to Seward on Friday after experiencing an electrical problem with one of the ship’s two propulsion systems while at sea. 

The newspaper says that over 2,000 passengers are stranded. Many people were left scrambling to find a way back to Anchorage. Rental cars are scarce and buses dedicated to pre-booked excursions are not available to the majority of the passengers. The scheduled port stops in Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway will be missed.

Celebrity is saying that it will refund the passengers' ticket fares plus provide a credit toward another cruise in the future. 

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Captain-Tucker

Story Credit: Professor Ross Klein's website CruiseJunkie.com

Regent Seven Seas Voyager Experiencing Propulsion Problems

A passenger aboard the Regent Seven Seas Voyager cruise ship is stating on Cruise Critic that the ship is experiencing propulsion problems:

"We are trying to make our way to Shanghai and the ship has propulsion issues again. Our arrival is delayed 6 hours due to the propulsion issue and because we have missed high tide. We personally have lost 1 of our tours due to conflicting times, unfortunately it is one that was a big motivator for this trip. They have not mentioned to anyone on board that this is the 2nd time in the past couple of months the ship has had propulsion issues.

Regent Seven Seas VoyagerNot too impressed with the situation.

As well we are now missing 1 of our ports. Sounds vaguely similar to a couple of months ago on this ship."

There is also a comment on Twitter by a person who apparently communicated with a family member on the Voyager:

"Just talked to family onboard RSSC Voyager. 6 hrs late into Shanghai-propulsion problem. Skipping stop in Xiamen to get to HK."

If this information is accurate, then this is the sixth cruise ship which has experienced a engine / propulsion problem in the last two month.  Five of Carnival Corporation's cruise ships have suffered engine / propulsion problems: the Carnival Triumph, Dream, Legend & Elation and the Carnival-owner P&O Ventura.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia (GroszekGroszek)

Is Carnival Dream Turning Into the Carnival Nightmare?

CNN reports this morning that passengers aboard the Dream contacted the news channel, stating that there are power outages and overflowing toilets on the cruise ship which is in port at Philipsburg, St. Maarten, in the eastern Caribbean. The ship was supposed to leave port yesterday at 5:00 PM.

CNN quotes a passenger from North Carolina saying:

"We are not allowed off of the boat despite the fact that we have no way to use the restrooms on board . . . The cruise director is giving passengers very limited information and tons of empty promises. What was supposed to take a hour has turned into 7-plus hours."

Another passenger tells CNN: "There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms and they're overflowing -- and in the state rooms. The elevators have not been working. They've been turning them on and off, on and off." 

CNN quotes the U.S. Coast Guard saying that Carnival notified it that the Dream is experiencing "generator issues." 

The incident occurs while the cruise industry is conducting its annual convention, "Cruise Shipping Miami." Carnival President Gerry Cahill told the convention audience that disabled cruise ships are "very rare."

Early this morning Carnival released a statement saying: "At no time did the ship lose power but there were periodic interruptions to elevators and toilets for a few hours last night . . . At present the ship has full power and all hotel systems are functioning normally and have been functional since approximately 12.30 a.m."

If the ship never lost power why is it still in port 16 hours past schedule? 

A webcam link posted by a Cruise Critic member shows the Dream still in port as of 9:00 AM this morning.

The Dream's webcam is here.

Reuters quotes Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss in Miami saying “Right now the passengers are being kept on board the ship for accountability reasons.  They were scheduled to leave today so the captain has decided to have everybody remain on board at this time.”

If you are on the ship or have information to share, please leave a message or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (Kuloskulos)

Dead Ships & Endangered Passengers - Cruise Lines Ignore International Maritime Organization Guidelines

Yesterday the New York Times published an insightful article about the failure of the cruise industry to design their cruise ships with redundant engine systems such that if one set of engines is knocked out by a fire or explosion, another set of engines in a separate compartment would provide power to the cruise ship.

Entitled "Lack of Backup Power Puts Cruise Passengers at the Ocean’s Mercy," the article explains that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) proposed guidelines calling for cruise lines to to equip cruise ships with backup engines and generators. The redundant engine systems and back up systems are are needed not only to maintain electricity, refrigeration, and toilet operations, but to Carnival Triumph Engine Room Firemaintain power to prevent the ship from pitching violently in strong waves.

Just yesterday I spoke with a retired Coast Guard officer about what happens when a ship at sea loses all power. He expressed concern of how the cruise ship would be evacuated if the vessel loses power. There would be no way to lower the lifeboats!  

The newspaper explains that pursuant to the IMO recommendations, any cruise ship built after July 2010 is required to have redundant engine systems. But the cruise industry largely chose not to add backup systems to new cruise ships.

The IMO, a United Nations organization, has no authority to impose sanctions when cruise lines ignore the IMO's guidelines.

A naval architect, Larrie Ferreiro, is quoted in the newspaper explaining that a cruise line can design the ships either to put more equipment or more people on it: “The more passenger cabins you can fit into that envelope the more revenue you can get." Only 10% of the cruise ships have redundant systems, according to the NY Times.

In the unregulated world of cruising, this means that 90% of the cruise ships out there may become "dead in the water" when an engine room fire breaks out. That places passengers and crew at unnecessary risk of injury or death at sea.   

 

Photo Credit: Carnival Triumph engine room - US Coast Guard   

More Problems for the Problem Prone Saga Sapphire - It's a Smoker!

A Cruise Law News reader has alerted us to a major engine problem for the Saga Sapphire cruise ship which has broken down during a cruise through Norway.  A passenger aboard the stricken cruise ship writes:

"The Saga Sapphire is currently struck with motor-problems again - this time whilst on a Norwegian Cruise - and has been unable to leave Trömso Fjord for the last two days. Efforts to repair the ship succeeded - after a further 4 miles the ship has broken down again."

Newspaper accounts in Norway corroborate the passenger's account.

Nordlys newspaper in Norway confirms that the cruise ship's generators failed and repairs were Saga Sapphire Cruise Ship - Engine Failure - Norwayattempted in Trömso, without success.

You can see, from a photograph from the Norwegian newspaper, the Saga Sapphire smoking heavily. Something's definitely not right with this ship.

The Norwegian newspaper contains a rather humorous account of the situation where several of the 600 passengers asked the cruise ship's agent about the heavy diesel smoke pouring from the ship's engines and wondered: is it was normal to have such large emissions? The agent said "no it's not the worst thing I have ever seen."  To which a passenger responded, "what is the worst thing you've seen?"

Of course, the situation is not humorous to the passengers who paid for a nice vacation cruise.  They have been sailing part of the time in a tender vessel. 

The cruise ship's captain has a blog  - called the Saga Sapphire Captain's Blog - which has remained silent for the past 5 days.  A lesson for any cruise line:  If you have a cruise ship blog, be sure to write about the good times and the bad times in an equally transparent manner.  Otherwise, it makes matters worse.  It appears that you are covering things up.  (please note that Captain Philip Rentell has since updated his blog, and seems to have a good nature approach in his assessment of the delays).

The last entry from the Captain in the ship's blog five days ago mentions "even worse weather, high winds, driving rain and temperature forecast to feel like only 1 degree Celsius."  Yikes.  I don't want to be on a cruise ship in crappy weather with crappy generators.  That may take the situation from not funny to dangerous.

This is not the first time that the Saga Sapphire has encountered engine problems.

In April, we reported on problems during its maiden voyage which was cut short due to the failure of one of its engines.  

As you can see in the video below, the Saga Sapphire was smoking heavily two months ago, during its maiden voyage.

Hopefully the cruise ship can get the generators running.  But if so, it looks like a smokey cruise. Gas masks anyone? 

 

 

June 30, 2012 Update:  As you can see from the comments below, some of the passengers are upset with the botched cruise, the general condition and state of affair of the Saga Sapphire and the compensation offered by the cruise line.  One passenger sent me the photograph below of the cruise ship leaving Tromso - I'm not sure I have ever seen any ship smoking like this! 

Saga Sapphire Cruise Ship Smoking

August 10, 2012 Update: The Telegraph in the U.K. has an article today Saga Reassures Customers Over Newest Vessel.  Not much substance to the article but this is what the company is saying. 

 

Photo credits

Top:  Northern Lights-tipping via Nordlys

Bottom: Saga Sapphire cruise passenger

Fire Breaks Out Aboard Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship

Tonight I began to receive text messages from passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas stating that a fire broke out in the engine room.  Heavy black smoke billowed out of the stacks. There was initial panic by some passengers. The cruise ship made emergency announcement and altered its course so that the prevailing winds would not blow smoke into the ship.  

There are no reports of injuries to passengers at this time.  The Allure is continuing its cruise and there apparently remains propulsion, electricity, lights, and air conditioning.  The ship is heading from St. Maarten back to Fort Lauderdale, and is somewhere east of Turks and Caicos.  

We do not have a statement from the cruise line at this time.

Allure of the Seas - Cruise Ship FiresIt has not been a good year for the cruise industry, as everyone knows. Just last month there was a disabling fire in the engine room of Royal Caribbean's Quest cruise ship operated by its subsidiary Azamara.   In February, there was a disabling fire aboard the Costa Allegra.

Cruise ship fires are not uncommon. There have been 79 fires on cruise ships since 1990.  This one makes 80 in 22 years.  Almost 4 a year. Read our article "Ten Years of Cruise ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything?"

If you are on the cruise and have info, photos or video, please leave a message.

Update April 20, 2012:  Several readers pointed out that my reference to and photos on the webcam were dated April 19, 2012 (yesterday).  The webcam is not active now. I deleted the image.  Sorry for the misleading reference to normal events yesterday - but why is the webcam not showing what's going on tonight?  I suspect the cruise line shuts the web cams down during emergencies.

Update April 21, 2012:  Here is the official cruise line PR statement:

"At approximately 7:45 pm (ET) Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas experienced a small and short lived engine fire. The ship's high fog system was immediately activated, which contained and extinguished the fire. There were no injuries to guest or crew. The ship is sailing towards Port Everglades, Florida, where it will arrive on Sunday, April 22 as scheduled."

Royal Caribbean wrote a masterful PR statement.  "Small" fire which lasted "short" time and was "immediately" extinguished.  But let's have some real information?   What caused the fire?  Why did a new ship touted as having new generation technology catch on fire in the first place?   All fires start out "small."  A small fire on a huge ship in the middle of the sea is not a good thing. The 2006 fire aboard the Star Princess started out with a single cigarette smoldering in a towel and then barely erupting, yet it led to 100 cabins being destroyed, one death and multiple injuries.

Did An Explosion Occur Before the Fire on the Allure of the Seas?

We have received some inquiries asking whether an explosion took place in the engine room before the fire broke out.  Does anyone have any information about this claim?  It was mentioned that: "This morning it was reported on the Swedish shipping forum Landgangen that Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship Fire - Explosion - Ship FireALLURE OF THE SEAS experienced an engine explosion/failure last night. According to a Swede who is currently on board, first a loud bang was heard, followed a few minutes later by a tremendous shaking sensation throughout the ship."  Can anyone aboard verify this?  

The Vessel Tracker web site contains a comment that there was a "bang" that preceded the fire and that the vcruise ship drifted between one and two hours before continuing back to South Florida: 

"Passengers of the 'Allure of the Seas' were alerted by a bang on 7.45 p.m. on Apr 20, 2012, followed by development of smoke. Soon afterwards fire instructions were given to the crew. Shortly thereafter the captain informed the passengers that there had been an incident in the engine and that all watertight bulkheads had been closed. The entire section 6, apparently the section that includes Viking Crown Lounge, was evacuated. Some passengers on board were shocked, however, no one was injured. The ship drifted between one and two hours before continuing with the only one functioning machine left after the small and short-lived engine fire was extinguished by using the ship's high fog system which had been immediately activated to contain the fire."

Did the cruise ship really drift for this long?  This could have been very serious if the explosion and fire occurred during a storm.   

Update April 22, 2012:  Some passengers disembarking the Allure today (see comments below) state that there certainly was an explosion in the engine room, initial panic and less than optimal communications.  One passenger commented that Royal Caribbean was down-playing what happened. I am sure that other passengers will leave comments as they are now off of the cruise ship and will be describing what they observed from their home computers.  

A reader brought to my attention that there is an interesting thread of comments on the cruise critic message board by passengers who disembarked, including this one:

"Just got off the Allure and I have to disagree that there was NO panic. The crew were visibly scared as we're many of the passengers. Our cabin steward told us that our hallway had many families in tears and begging for life jackets. We were in the main dining room for our lobster dinner and when you feel a 225000 ton ship shake like that you know something big just happened. The crew were trying very hard to appear in control and they did a good job, but you could seem them passing notes to each other and the concern on their faces. We were finished our dinner, but skipped out on desert because I really couldn't eat much after hearing Bravo bravo bravo and water tight doors closing. We saw many in tears and I felt the need to get my kids away from that and the ridiculous people that laughingly and loudly started talking about the titanic and going down with the ship. We strolled the the Royal Promenade and tried to appear normal for the kids. Communication was good and they did a great job of handling things quickly, but there were lots feeling very unsettled. Very glad it ended quickly."

Another passenger said there were "nervous" people but no panic.  The passenger also commented: " . . . no power from the engines as it appeared we were drifting - this occurred for at least an hour maybe two . . . "  

It will be interesting to hear what other passengers observed . . . anyone have photos or videos of initial reaction of passengers and crew? . . . Please leave a comment below:    

Safety Deficiencies, Engine Problems Mar Saga Sapphire Cruise Debut

My favorite London cruise blogger - John Honeywell a/k/a @CaptGreybeard - penned a couple of excellent blogs this weekend explaining that the maiden voyage of the Saga Sapphire cruise ship, already delayed due to refurbishment over-runs and striking workers, has cut its maiden voyage short due to the failure of one of its engines.

It tuns out that the new flagship for Saga Cruises is stuck in Valencia, Spain waiting for engine repairs. Not an impressive start.  

Engine problems, can you imagine that on a cruise ship? Add the Sapphire to the club of recent engine failure cruise ships: Splendor, Celebration, Caribbean PrincessQueen Mary 2, Allegra, Quest. & Plancius.  But Captain Greybeard doesn't stop there. He reports that:

"It has also emerged that Sapphire's week in Southampton was not without incident.

An inspection by officials from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency uncovered a total of 55 "deficiencies" on board, ranging from lack of training in fire drills, to an incomplete lifeboat inventory. The faults were not considered serious enough for the MCA to detain the ship.

The Marine Accident Investigation Bureau is also holding an inquiry into an incident in which two crewmembers went overboard from a lifeboat during a drill on March 29."

More bad news for the bad news cruise industry.  Watch the smoky cruise ship's debut below.  Ah, the smell of bunker fuel: