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

Costa neoRiviera Loses Power in Port

Costa neoRivieraThe Costa neoRiviera suffered a loss of all electricity during a port call in Abu Dhabi earlier this week, according to the Cruise Arabia & Africa website. 

The website states that the Costa cruise ship switched to emergency power for several hours after the ship's power was lost.

"According to staff aboard the ship, who asked to remain anonymous, a fault with one of the ship’s aft generators caused the loss of power."

Photo credit: Piergiuliano Chesi, CC BY 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

December 26, 2016 Update:  A reader states (below) that the Costa neoRiviera is experiencing propulsion issues. The ship is scheduled to cruise to Sir Bani Yas (in the Persian Gulf), southwest of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Carnival Vista Suffers Propulsion Problems

CArnival VistaI just received a message from a reader of Cruise Law News that Carnival announced that the new Carnival Vista is having propulsion problems.

Carnival stated on its Facebook page that the Carnival Vista is experiencing what it calls a "technical" problem with its propulsion system which is "affecting only its maximum cruising speed."  

On November 19th, the Carnival Vista is scheduled to sail a repositioning cruise from New York to Miami, Florida. Grand Turk was originally scheduled for November 19th.  Carnival announced that it is replacing Grand Turk with the nearby port of Nassau due to the propulsion issues. 

The reader commented: 

"New ships are like new cars and they all can have mechanical issues but it is really sad to see a ship less than 6 month old having propulsion issues. I'll be interested to hear what is causing this as it seems to happen far too often. And substituting Nassau, the armpit of the Caribbean, is rather like a slap in the face to unsuspecting cruisers who thought they were going to be in the relatively safe Port area of Grand Turk."

These comments are spot on.  

Another Carnival cruise ship, the Carnival Liberty has been in the news recently for these same reasons. 

The Carnival Vista was last in the news for wiping out a small dock in Messina, Italy two months ago.. 

Carnival Vista Grand TurkHave a comment? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

November 19, 2016 Update: The Vista sailed to Grand Turk after all. Today the Carnival ship called on Grand Turk and was assisted into port via tugs. Some passengers say that the cruise ship needed tugs becuase of high winds while others say that the ship is experiencing propulsion issues and difficulties with its azimuth pods and/or bow thrusters.

Photo credit: Top - Antonio from Trieste, Italy - TRIESTE NAVI, CC BY 2.0, commons / wikimedia; bottom - Marine Traffic AIS.

Emerald Princess Experiences Power Failures

This afternoon, a passenger on the Emerald Princess informed us that the cruise ship was experiencing power issues similar to the Grand Princess which suffered similar power failures en route to San Fransisco returning from a cruise to Mexico (which we mentioned yesterday).

AIS, like Marine Traffic showed the vessel speed as the cruise ship headed to the port of Laem Chabang in Thailand at around 19-21 knots hr and then down to 2 knots on several occasions yesterday evening. 

The Emerald Princess was built in Fincantieri, Italy and was launched in June, 2006.

The Emerald Princess lost power during an Eastern Caribbean sailing after leaving Fort Lauderdale in JUly 2010.

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

Emerald Princess via Marine Traffic

Grand Princess Temporarily Loses Power

Grand Princess via Marine TrafficLast night, I mentioned on our Facebook page that a cruise passenger aboard the Grand Princess informed us that the Princess ship temporarily lost power. The passenger, who wishes to remain anonymous, stated:

"I am on the Grand Princess and we have a power issue and the Captain just made an announcement that they are working on it. We are not moving in the water. Yikes."

The Grand Princess was sailing off the Coast of California, heading to San Fransisco. The passenger went on to state that:

" . . . the power went out and the emergency lights went on. It was then that the ship stopped moving. They got the power back on and we began to continue but they were clearly having power problems all night. The power would flicker and change color like in a brown out. Then everything went back to normal by bed time. I think that we are arriving in SF on time . . " 

One person left a message on Facebook, stating:

"I was on this ship a month ago for 10 days (Mexican Riviera trip from SF). That was my first and LAST cruise. The ship is old and run down (Buckets collecting water in hallways, intermittent plumbing issues, etc.) so I'm not surprised this has happened . . . It's going into dry dock in December. If you ask me it should have been refurbished about 5 years ago . . ."

The Grand Princess is a relatively old ship, launched in 1998.

AIS tracking systems like Marine Traffic showed the cruise ship, which had been proceeding around 11-12 knots, losing power briefly last night. 

Power outages like this are not uncommon, even on newer ships. The last Princess Cruises ship to lose power involved the Caribbean Princess which drifted in the Irish Sea for several hours last August.

This particular ship, the Grand Princess, lost power in November of last year, after a fire in an engine room switchboard.

The ship was reportedly 20 miles off the coast of Hilo, Hawaii at the time of the incident, which forced the cruise ship to temporarily switch to emergency lighting and operate with limited air conditioning, according to USA TODAY

Between these two incidents, there have been around twenty significant power and propulsion failures involving all of the major brands as well as lesser known cruise lines in the last two years. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America Line, Costa, Thomson, Viking, Paul Gauguin, Fathom, Oceanwide Expeditions and Phoenix Reisen have all suffered instances involving power and/or propulsion failures. 

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

October 30, 2016  Update: Princess Cruises released the following statements: "At 1800 local time on October 28, Grand Princess was en route to San Francisco when the ship experienced a temporary loss of propulsion. It was determined the loss of power was caused by a small water leak which entered the propulsion electrical transformers in the engine room. Repairs were made and operation of both propulsion motors was quickly established so that the ship could proceed to San Francisco as scheduled. Departure today from San Francisco for the next voyage should not be affected. Grand Princess was on day six of a seven-day voyage." 

Thomson Majesty Loses Power

Thomson MajestyI received the following information early this morning (Miami time): " My parents are on Thomson Majesty. Last night on the way from Livorno to Corsica, the cruise ship lost all power . . . It was drifting in the Med, with passengers in pitch black, without the use of toilets, without any great communication from staff."

The cruise ship regained power but returned to the port in Livorno. AIS websites like Marine Traffic show that the ship drifted for several hours late last night before returning to Livorno. 

Power failures in the cruise industry have been relatively common lately. The Thomson Celebration suffered an engine failure in July as the cruise ship was departing the port in Valletta, Malta.

October 22, 2016 Update:  Receiving word that there was a fire in the engine room. The cruise ship will head straight to Barcelona, skipping Corsica and Marseille. I am aware of no official statement from the cruise line.

October 23, 2016 Update: After undergoing unspecified repairs, the cruise ship finally left Livorno today heading for Barcelona. ,

A couple of passengers have commented that there appears to be a gastrointestinal outbreak on the cruise?

October 24, 2016 Update: In the article Majesty back on course after engine room fire, Thomson Cruises trots out the "it-was-a-small-and-immediately-extinguished-fire-with-quick-minor-repairs" explanation. Written by cruise fan John Honeywell, the article minimizes the considerable delay and inconvenience to the passengers. It even denies that the sister ship, Thomson Spirit, ran aground in the harbor of Portimão which we reported a day earlier.

October 30. 2016 Update: A Facebook group has been "created for and on behalf of passengers of the Thomson Majesty who were on the cruise on Western Mediterranean from 18th to 25th October 2016 and others who were affected by the incidents experienced." The group is member-only so you have to ask for permission to be added to the group. 

Paul Gauguin Cruise Ship Loses Propulsion in Bora Bora

Paul GauguinThe Paul Gauguin cruise ship reportedly lost propulsion and has been stuck in Bora Bora for the last several days, according to an article in Cruise Critic.

The popular online cruise community publication says that "Paul Gauguin has been stuck in Bora Bora for the past several days because of a propulsion issue, which interrupted its Society Island itinerary but didn't affect ship services for passengers."

A technician from France is supposedly meeting the cruise ship and the ship may sail as early as today.

In the last three months, there have been as many as seven occasions, including this one, where a cruise ship lost power and/or propulsion. The Thomson Celebration, Carnival-owned Fathom's Adonia, Carnival Elation, the expedition cruise ship Ortelius, Viking Sea and Caribbean Princess all lost power and/or propulsion.

Photo credit: By DonFilipo at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain.

Caribbean Princess Loses Power in Irish Sea

Caribbean PrincessToday. the Caribbean Princess lost power off the Irish coast, according to several passengers on Twitter. One passenger tweeted: "what an exciting day stuck off the Irish coast with engine troubles and missing port of Dublin but quiet and sunny.

The editor of Lloyd's casualty services tweeted "#CaribbeanPrincess with 4464 POB heading WNW towards #Irish coast at 3 knots after #fuel pump issues."

Princess Cruises confirmed the lower loss, again via Twitter, stating that The "Caribbean Princess lost propulsion approximately 25 nautical miles southeast of Dublin in the Irish Sea. The ship has electrical power and is operating full ship/hotel services, inc. air conditioning, galleys, lighting & toilets."

Princess later said: Our Fleet Technical experts, working in collaboration w/ the Captain and Chief Engineer aboard the ship, have successfully . . . restored propulsion."

One of the passengers, who initially tweeted about the problem, added: "#CaribbeanPrincess -Helicopters circling and tug from Anglesey and 9 hours later we're off again!

The Caribbean Princess is the fifth cruise ship to experience power loss and the sixth cruise ship to experience engine problems in the last nine weeks. Carnival-owned Fathom's Adonia temporarily lost all power leaving the port of Miami two months ago. The Carnival Elation drifted for an hour in the dark after the cruise ship lost power as it was heading back to port in Jacksonville. The expedition cruise ship Ortelius lost power in June and had to be towed to port. Later in June, Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas experienced engine problems. Last week, the Thomson Celebration suffered engine failure in Malta while leaving the port of Valletta and had to drop anchor to avoid hitting the breakwater.  

August 4 2016 Update: The Irish Times writes that It is understood the incident was initially treated as a potential security alert,due to fears of a terrorist incident at sea. However, Princess Cruises, the US company that runs the vessel, said it was 'never considered to be anything other than a technical glitch.'

August 15 2016 Update: The Irish Times reports today in an article titled Inquiry into why cruise ship lost power with almost 4,500 on board in Irish Sea that Bermuda will be investigating why the Caribbean Princess lost power earlier this month.

Photo credit: By Yankeesman312 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.   

Carnival Elation Losses Power Again

Three years ago this month, the Carnival Elation suffered a problem issue with one of the two units used to propel and steer the cruise ship and had to resort to the use of a tug to make it back to port in New Orleans.  That was at a bad time for Carnival.  The cruise line was at a low ebb in terms of public relations when four of Carnival's ships, the Triumph, Elation, Dream and Legend, all faltered in the course of a couple of weeks, experiencing propulsion, electrical or mechanical problems at sea. 

Last night around 1:45 A.M., the Elation lost power. According to passengers tweeting about the iCarnival Elationncident, the Elation drifted for an hour in the dark as the ship was heading back to port in Jacksonville.

News4Jax reports that notwithstanding the captain's announcements, "panicked passengers grabbed life vests and ran to the deck." WJXT news reporter Heather Leigh posted photos on Twitter showing cruise passengers descending stairs on the cruise ship with life jackets in their hands.

News4Jax reported that "passengers said that were very concerned and that they never really got an explanation as to what was happening and why."

The news station said that according to the U.S. Coast Guard, "an air compressor went out on one of the air conditioning units. When the crew tried to reset the system, it shorted out the power to the propulsion system. It didn't last longer than an hour and they ended up using power from the emergency generators to get back into port."

Some passengers commented that they smelled something burning on the ship, as mentioned in the video below. Once the power was established back on the ship, it turned on and off repeatedly.  

This is the second Carnival owned cruise ship to develop power problems in less than 24 hours. Yesterday evening, the Carnival owned Adonia, operated by Carnival brand Fathom, lost power to its elevator, air conditioning and bathroom systems for 30 minutes. The U.S. Coast Guard ordered it to return to Miami for an inspection. 

Photo credit: P. Alejandro Diaz - CC BY 2.5, commons / wikimedia.

 

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 / . 

Blackout Reported on the Costa neoRomantica

neoRomanticaSeveral passengers on the Costa neoRomantica have mentioned to me that the cruise ship experienced a power loss during last week's cruise. Here's one comment:

" . . .  i was on the Costa Neoromantica on her last cruise between Savona and Marseille. At the entrance of the Marselle port, the ship was in total blackout during 1h10. And she leave again 2 hours after the beginning of the technical problem. During the blackout, the ship restart 2 times but with no success. The 3 time was the good.

Passengers don't panic but the ship drift at the beginning of the blackout because the wind was very hard. The ship tilt really a lot. The anchors were dropped.

Finally, the ship arrived in the Marseille Port with 2h15 late. The ship just out of a drydock 15 days in Genoa."

Costa neoRomantica (formerly the Costa Romantica) was completed in 1993 as a sister ship to Costa neoClassica. In 2011, the cruise ship underwent a major refurbishing in excess of $100 million, including the addition of two new decks. After the refurbishing, the ship was renamed neoRomantica.  

 

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

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Gerd Fahrenhorst

Propulsion Problems: Mis-Adventure of the Seas Limps Back to San Juan

Royal Caribbean Adventure of the SeasLast Wednesday, Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas canceled two port calls after the ship’s cruise ship' "fixipod" propulsion unit device lost oil as the ship headed to port in St. Kitts.

Royal Caribbean says that it placed oil booms around the ship to contain the leaking oil, and its engineers began addressing the problem.

Since then, cruise passengers and family members ashore have expressed concern with what happening with the ship and whether there will be a delay or changes in the itinerary of the cruise which leaves today.  

Their concerns intensified after the cruise ship lost all propulsion last night.

There have been on line discussions whether the "fixipod" will be repaired before the ship goes into dry dock on March 30th. The ship has limped back to San Juan at very low speed this morning. It looks like there have been additional issues which slowed the ship down further. At this point it looks like today's cruise may going forward (still anyone's guess) but it's less than clear how much of a delay there will be in boarding and/or sailing.

As usual, the discussion seem to be only when the ship will sail, not whether it's safe to cruise on a ship with 5 - 6 days of propulsion problems.

Cruise Critic members have expressed frustration over what they perceive as a lack of communication by Royal Caribbean. One member posted:

"They've posted NOTHING on the agent site, consumer site, their FB page, nor either the Public Relations nor regular twitter feeds, and I've asked!

And, no one knows diddly when you call...."

Fixipod Azipod On March 21, Royal Caribbean posted this one tweet:

"Adventure is sailing a modified itinerary due to a delayed departure from St. Kitts for required work on the ship's fixipod."

But nothing since then. It's surprising that a multi-billion dollar corporation which spends literally hundreds of millions a year in a big marketing campaign can't figure out how to utilize Twitter and Facebook (both are free) to communicate with their guests and the public.

I have not heard anything about whether the cruise line intends to compensate the passengers for the missed ports of call. Anyone know?

If you were on the cruise, please leave a comment or join the discussion on Facebook. If you have photos or a video of the tugs bringing the ship into port in San Juan, please send us a copy! 

March 24, 2014 Update: This is the most inept PR handling of a cruise problem I have ever seen. Read about Royal PR #FAIL: Royal Caribbean Keeps Adventure & Navigator Passengers in the Dark.

 

Photo Credit:

Top: CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia

Bottom: Kvaerner Masa (image of Voyager of the Seas)

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

Carnival Triumph: "Frazzled Wires" Caused Smoke & Power Loss

Carnival TriumphCarnival told a television station last evening that after an "electrical breaker failed," the Triumph cruise ship lost power. This "affected ventilation in the ship's incinerator, sending smoke into limited areas of three decks."

Well, that's not what the Cruise Director told the passengers last evening on the ship.

According to a passenger, the Cruise Director said that "frazzled wires" caused the smoke.  This was broadcast over the intercom throughout the ship. The smoke from the electrical fire entered the ventilation system. 

Here's what the Cruise Director said in the video below:

"I'm telling you the truth right here. So folks, if there is a bit of smoke anywhere near you, head on up to the open decks. Just a couple of wires have been kind of frazzled. So big apologies about that. Once again, absolutely folks nothing to worry about at all. We're getting the power restarted as soon as possible and we will be off and on our way. Thank you very much everybody."

Carnival also claimed that the power was off for a mere 8 minutes. Passengers are also disputing that too, saying that the propulsion was shut down for over an hour. 

It seems like the "incinerator smoke" excuse is as bogus as the "8 minute" power loss excuse.

I'm still receiving a lot of information from the passengers who were on the cruise so check back on this story. 

Photo Credit: Carnival Triumph - Reuters

 

How Long Was Power Failure on Carnival Triumph? "8 Minutes" or 1 to 2 Hours?

Carnival Triumph Power LossYesterday a television station in Louisiana reported that the infamous "poop cruise" ship Triumph suffered a power story.

Carnival told KATC that the power outage was extremely brief - "8 minutes."

Because it was Friday evening, no major news stations covered the story. We published a short article and reported the Carnival quote that the outage was allegedly just "8 minutes." I placed quotes around eight minutes because it sounded bogus to me. 

I thought that as soon as the passengers got off the Triumph, we would hear a different story that what Carnival was saying.

All of the popular cruise bloggers, who are essentially cheerleaders for the cruise lines, repeated the Carnival quote - "8 minutes." The bloggers took the Carnival PR statement hook, line and sinker. They "reported" on the brief power loss as no big deal. 

This morning, passengers are beginning to leave comments on our article. The first person said the power was out for almost one hour. The second person said there was considerable confusion with the crew telling them to put on their life jackets and go to the muster station while other crew members told them to take their life vests off and report to the Lido deck. A third person said that the outage was 1 to 2 hours and there was substantial confusion. A fourth person said the power was out for one hour but the crew handled the situation well.

Another person said there was burnt and frazzled wiring which caused the smoke. Carnival said yesterday that it was just some smoke from an incinerator. 

Carnival Triumph Power LossYou can read the comments here.

The cruise lines' problems with their image and reputation have more to do with how they act and what they say after a problem like this than the problem itself. Being dishonest about a loss of power on the high seas is a serious breach of the public's trust. 

If the cruise line is lying about the length of the power outage the question arises whether it is lying about the cause of the power loss too?

If you were on the cruise, does anyone believe that the power was for just eight minutes?  How long was it?

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

Update: Carnival Triumph: "Frazzled Wires" Caused Smoke & Power Loss"

Carnival Triumph Loses Power Again - "For 8 Minutes"

Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship KATC reports that the infamous "poop" cruise ship, the Triumph, lost power today as the Carnival cruise ship was sailing from Cozumel, Mexico back to Galveston, Texas.

According to KATC, Carnival says that the Triumph lost power "for eight minutes" after an electrical breaker failed. Carnival says the loss of power "affected ventilation in the ship's incinerator, sending smoke into limited areas of three decks."

Everyone will remember the Triumph which floated around in the Gulf of Mexico last year after an engine room fire knocked out power to the ship. Whatever happens with this infamous cruise ship will forever be closely monitored. Carnival denies that a fire broke out on the ship and denies that a fire caused the electrical outage. We have heard these denials before, like this case and this one too.

Carnival notified the U.S. Coast Guard of the incident. 

KATV reports that passengers are still on the deck waiting for the smoke to clear.

Whether a fire broke out or not, what caused the breaker to fail?

If you are on the cruise, we'd like to hear the passenger's view of what happened. Was the power out for just "8 minutes?"

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

February 1 2014 Update: Passengers getting off of the ship are stating that the power was out for an hour.  Also passenger records Cruise Director announced  that "frazzled wires" caused smoke.  

 

Photo Credit: Dave Martin / AP

Propulsion Problems Plague Allure of the Seas

Over the past six weeks, we have received emails from Royal Caribbean crew members saying that the Allure of the Seas has suffered propulsion problems. The crew members have been told by their supervisors to tell the cruise passengers that nothing is wrong.

Well this evening the story broke on Cruise Critic that Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Suffers Propulsion Issues.

According to Cruise Critic, Royal Caribbean has admitted that it has experienced a significant reduction in the cruise ship's speed which has caused delays and shortened calls during its cruises. A Royal Allure of the Seas Cruise ShipCaribbean spokesperson said:

"Allure of the Seas currently has a small restriction on her top speed. All equipment is fully operational, and there is no impact on the maneuverability of the ship or on the safety of our guests and crew."

A Cruise Critic member said: "When we were checking in the day before, they handed us a sheet of paper indicating that the Nassau short stay will now be shorter by one hour, on top of a delayed arrival in St. Thomas two days later. The reason stated was technical issues with the ship's top speed. I was also told while on board that they want to slow down a bit to save fuel."

The cruise line changed recent itineraries by shortening stays in Nassau by one hour and St. Thomas  by three hours. The Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Cruise Critic:

"I won't be able to provide you with additional details. But yes, the plan is to get Allure back up to top speed."

Can you imagine owning the world's largest and most expensive cruise ship that already has problems maintaining the speed advertised when sold? 

Are you a crew member or have you sailed recently on the Allure of the Seas? Do you have information about the propulsion issues?  Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia (Zache)

"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

After a Series of Power Outages, is the Royal Princess Really Ready to Cruise?

On Sunday we reported on the 3 - 4 hour power failure aboard the Royal Princess when it was sailing in the Mediterranean between Greece and Italy.

The Princess cruise ship finally limped into Naples (where it remains today, see Princess Cruises web cam) and the cruise line canceled the remainder of the cruise.  Several thousands of passengers were flown home from Naples.  

The BBC reports that the Royal Princess next cruise is scheduled for Friday, September 27th from Barcelona, but that cruise was in doubt given the power failure and need for repairs.

Today, Princess released a press statement indicating that the Royal Princess will be starting its Royal Princess Web Camnext cruise this Friday from Barcelona and that the cruise is scheduled to be a 12 day event ending in Venice. The cruise line said that the necessary (although unspecified) repairs would take place as the ship sailed from Naples to Barcelona. 

Princess finally disclosed today that the cause of the power outage may have been an electrical breaker. 

Several readers of this blog brought to my attention that the power failure this weekend is not the first power outage the Royal Princess has suffered since its inaugural cruise in June. A Cruise Critic member posted a review of the Royal Princess indicating that the new ship had a power failure last month. Here's what the member posted:  

The new Royal Princess cruise is full of technology, state of the art entertainment facilities, an amazing showroom, a breath-taking sea bridge, and a service level that reflects Princess fleet of large cruises. However, I was surprised that when we sailed out of Athens on August 20 at around 9:30pm that the power went out on Black Out twice in a row in the cruise ship which on the second time caused the ship to stop or halt completely offshore for at least 30 minutes until power was restored.

On the second black-out we heard an announcement "Assessment Team to Bridge" however passengers were not fully informed of what happened and why the standby generators failed to bring power up for the first time which probably caused engines to over heat and thus open decks 4 and 5 for ventilation especially that the ventilation and A/C systems did not work and kitchen fumes came out.

Next morning the Captain gave us assurances that all systems were restored and that the ship had an emergency reserve system to sail safely to the nearest port. I guess this was an embarrassment to the manufacturers of the boat and electrical systems especially that the boat is brand new!

Professor Ross Klein's website has a similar post about a power outage from a cruise passenger which you can read under an entry on August 23.

There is no indication regarding the cause of the power outage last month or whether the cause was the same for both outages.

The 12 day cruise starting this Friday is also the start of a thirty day cruise. On October 9th the Royal Princess will begin to head west for a cruise across the Atlantic to Fort Lauderdale.

Let's hope that the proper repairs to the problems are made and that there are no power outages during the transatlantic cruise in October.

Why Did Royal Princess Lose Power? And Why Won't Princess Cruises Tell Us?

We were one of the first to report that the Princess Cruises' Royal Princess cruise ship lost power last weekend.  Princess was cooperative telling us that the cruise ship lost power, and it quickly added that emergency generators supplied power for toilets and so forth, that the cruise ship and its guests were not in danger, and the the ship's captain was keeping the passengers informed.

But Princess never explained the most basic issue: what happened? Why did the ship lose power?

We have reported on all type of cruise ship fires over the years, including engine room fires, engine room explosions, electrical shortages and so forth.

Royal Princess Cruise ShipRarely do the cruise lines offer information regarding the most basic information why a cruise ship fails. 

Today the media has finally reported on the power outage. Newspapers which mentioned the story received the same, most carefully crafted, press statement which Princess sent to us. The statement said that a momentary power outage happened out in the Mediterranean, and that the brand new, and supposedly most technologically advanced Princess cruise ship (owned by Carnival), lost power and was derelict for 3 - 4 hours on the high seas.   

But no news accounts contain basic information regarding why the ship lost power. "Everything is OK" the cruise line promises. But there is no explanation why power was lost. We know that the Royal Princess limped back to Naples. The cruise is canceled. Repairs are needed. But what happened? 

The lack of transparency is a trademark of the cruise industry.

Why would you would believe a cruise line if it discloses only half of the truth?

One reader left the following comment to our article, saying:

What is Carnival's problem? Bad design? Poor construction? Sloppy maintenance? Bad training? All of the above plus other things I haven't thought of? 

Unfortunately I have nothing to tell this curious reader. 

Princess Cruises' lack of transparency creates doubt and uncertainty among its own cruise fans in an environment where the cruise lines have repeatedly demonstrated that they are less than forthcoming about the most basic of facts.

If a Delta or American Airlines jet lost power, the companies would tell us why. Cruise lines don't. It's a major reason why cruise lines have a reputation for being secretive and dishonest.      

 

Photo Credit: Princess Cruises via Daily Mirror

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

Sun Princess Joins Ranks of Disabled Cruise Ships

USA TODAY and the Mirror newspaper in the U.K. report that Princess Cruises has canceled today's sailing of the Sun Princess, citing a power problem.

The Sun Princess is an 18 year-old cruise ship which just had a $30 million make-over. It was scheduled to sail a 14-night voyage from Singapore to Freemantle, Australia.

The power failure limited the cruise ship's ability to operate cabin lighting, air conditioning, vacuum toilet systems, and galley.

Sun Princess Cruise ShipPrincess Cruises said: "While Sun Princess was alongside at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore, there was a malfunction to the ship’s switchboard resulting in limited onboard power hindering our ability to run all hotel operations."

"Regretfully, we've made the decision to cancel the cruise scheduled to depart today in order to carry out the necessary repairs."

The cruise ship will now resume service on September 3, 2013. 

The Sun Princess is the second vessel just this week that has been disabled by mechanical problems. Celebrity Cruises' Millennium is currently disabled in Ketchikan, Alaska due to propulsion issues. 

The problems come during a year when major lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean experienced a rash of fires and mishaps which disabled their cruise ships. Many cruisers, particularly first time cruisers, are raising concerns regarding the safety of cruise ships.

The passengers will receive a full refund and a credit on a future cruise.

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Lemeki Lenoa
 

Carnival Ecstasy Briefly Loses Engine Power

Carnival Ecstasy Power OutageThe popular cruise fan site Cruise Critic is reporting that the Carnival Ecstasy's return to Port Canaveral this morning was delayed due to a brief power failure last evening.  

Cruise Critic states that the Ecstasy lost power for around 12 minutes while sailing back to Port Canaveral at the end of a five-night Bahamas cruise. 

Carnival released a statement, saying that  "All hotel services and propulsion were quickly restored and the ship is currently underway on its way back to its homeport."

Carnival attributed the power outage to a "mechanical failure."

The Ecstasy is an old Fantasy class cruise ship launched in 1991. Carnival has been under criticism for neglecting maintenance on its ships.

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia / Sparrowman980 

 

Pod Problems: Carnival Legend Limps Back to Tampa

WTSP in Tampa reports on the plight of the Carnival Legend cruise ship which left last Sunday from the Port of Tampa under full power but will return limping home tomorrow.

There's a problem with one of the cruise ship's two propulsion pods that is substantially reducing the Legend's speed.

Carnival canceled the ship's port stop at Grand Cayman.

Ironically, the Legend came to the aid of the fire-stricken Carnival Triumph last month. 

 

 

Carnival Elation Joins Club of Disabled / Impaired Cruise Ships

Carnival Elation Cruise ShipWith Carnival under a microscope, the cruise line continues to experience bad PR as yet another Carnival cruise ship experienced a mechanical failure.

The Chicago Tribune reports that last weekend, the Carnival Elation had to get a tugboat escort down the Mississippi River after a mechanical problem.

In the last 2 months, four of Carnival's ship suffered full or partial power failures, the Triumph, Dream, Legend and the Elation

It's early in the year, stay tuned.

March 16 2013 Update:  That didn't take long: Yet Another Carnival Cruise Ship Flounders - P&O Ventura Suffers Propulsion Problems
  

Photo Credit: Vacay.ca / Why You Should Say No to a Vacation Cruise 

Fuel Pump Explosion & Power Outage on HAL's Statendam

Cruise List broke a story today about a power outage which occurred on Holland America Line's  Statendam cruise ship last Thursday. 

The Cruise List blog explains that last Thursday evening his proprietary application which searches for cruise information on Twitter picked up a tweet about a “fuel pump explosion” that caused a “two hour Power Outage on the Statendam.”  He re-tweeted it but later deleted it when he received a direct message from the person originally tweeting the information, begging him to delete it for Cruise Ship Power Outagereasons not explained (he sounds a lot nicer than me).

Cruise List then left a post on Cruise Critic asking if anyone knew about an incident on the Statendam. Yes, several passengers responded - the cruise ship indeed "lost all power and were serving cheese sandwiches in the main dining room."

This incident seems to have passed without much consequence other than the inconvenience of cheese sandwiches. But the Statendam is almost two decades old - it is one of the older ships in the modern cruise line industry.

As the last couple of years have demonstrated, power failures on cruise ship are a very serious matter. Engine room fires and explosions which disable cruise ships, for a few hours or to the point that the ship is disabled at sea, are hardly rare. Consider these incidents in the last three years:

  • The Sun Princess lost power earlier this month;
  • The Costa Allegra lost all power off the coast of southern Africa earlier this year and had to be towed back to a port;
  • The M/V Plancius adventure cruise ship lost power and was stranded in the South Atlantic;
  • The Azamara Quest lost most of its power this year following an engine room fire near Bornea;
  • The Cunard QM2 suffered what is described as a catastrophic explosion and lost power on the high seas;
  • The MSC Opera lost power in the Baltic Sea, with passengers describing the ordeal as "shocking, scary, with dark hallways and backed up toilets," according to the BBC.
  • The Norwegian Dawn lost power in the Caribbean; and
  • The most famous recent power failure occurred aboard the Carnival Splendor. The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier had to send helicopters to drop relief food to the cruise ship and a fleet of tug boats had to push and pull the Splendor to San Diego for extensive repairs.  

Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship Stranded - Power OutageThe cruise industry tries to keep explosions and power outages quiet, to avoid images like the Carnival Splendor cruise ship (right) stranded at sea or videos like this.  

The Statendam captain's blog mentions nothing about the power outage. I'm sure that that's not a reflection of him as much as a corporate policy prohibiting any mention of something like this.

It's important for the cruise community to keep an eye out for potential safety issues that the cruise lines would prefer you not know.

Hats off to Cruise List, which states that it "was created as a place where you could go to see what was going on aboard ships without a sales pitch." 

Sun Princess Loses Power

Sun Princess Cruise Ship A reader of Professor Ross Klein's website Cruise Junkie states that the Sun Princess cruise ship lost power for a few hours last week.

The Princess Cruises ship was apparently at the end of a 104 day "world cruise," from Sydney Australia and back.

The Incident allegedly occurred around 4:30 in the morning of Tuesday, August 27, 2012, when the cruise ship was in the Tasman Sea west of the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.  The reader states that the vessel lost all power, after a transformer had blown.  The cruise ship then floated around without any power for around three and one-half hours.  After the transformer was repaired around 8:00, the cruise ship continued sailing back to Sydney. 

Power failures like this have plagued the cruise industry over the last couple of years, with similar incidents affecting Azamara, Carnival, Costa, Cunard and Royal Caribbean ships.

Power failures during calm seas may pose nothing more than an inconvenience to the passengers, but it is a dangerous prospect if a cruise ship loses power during rough seas.

This cruise ship, built in 1995, experienced power failures in 2005 and 2007.

Anyone with more information about what happened, please leave a comment below.

 

Photo credit: Wikipedia / Lemeki Lenoa