Carnival SplendorA crew member on the Carnival Splendor informed me that on the morning of March 24th, “we had emergency alarm on pa of a fire then several more announcements saying it was not a fire just smoke coming out of an electrical locker still peoples cabins had smoke and force people to wait till going back the general emergency was not sounded as the smoke as they said was controlled and everything was ok anyway announcements went from 5 am till past six.” The crew member wishes to remain anonymous.

The crew member added that the alarm included “a call for the alpha team to go to the scene. Was an electrical locker . . .”

“We also had a small fire during dry dock very small quickly contained. But that makes a small fire and a fire with smoke alert in two weeks. And the ship just came out of drydock so should be ship shape.”

There has been no mention of this incident in any newspapers or magazines. The fire/smoke incident was mentioned by a cruise passenger on Twitter:

The incident was also referred to on a Facebook page (“Carnival Cruisers…Past, Present, Future”) and there were around 20 comments.

The Carnival Splendor was disabled due to fire in a highly publicized incident in November 2010.  The ship had provisions flown to it from a U.S. aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan. The Carnival cruise ship had to be towed to San Diego. A month after the fire, the Coast Guard issued two Marine Safety Alerts regarding the CO2 firefighting system on the Splendor ship which failed to operate.

Two and one-half years later, the Coast Guard released its final report on the fire. Although the Coast Guard was highly critical of the maintenance of the cruise ship engine and the cruise line’s firefighting technique, the Coast Guard had conducted an annual Control Verification Exam the day before the fire and permitted the poorly maintained cruise ship to sail with passengers.

Another interesting point is the time line of the fire in 2010. The fire was not finally and completely extinguished for over nine hours. This is a far cry from the initial reports from the cruise line which tried to reassure the passengers that the fire was not a big deal and was under control.

Marine experts say there is no such thing as a “small fire” on a ship at sea.

I have asked Carnival for an explanation and will publish what it says if it responds.

We have heard the only-smoke-no-fire excuse before, like a fire on the Carnival Pride last year.   Carnival even tried to convince the passengers in the Splendor fire that what they smelled was just a “flameless fire.” You can hear “there’s-smoke-but-no-flames-or-fire” lies on this anouncement recorded on this YouTube video of the Splendor fire which disabled the ship.

Have a thought?  Please join the discussion on our Facebook page.

March 27, 2016 Update:  Passengers on the cruise have contacted me saying that the toilets would not flush and the air conditioning would not work in many cabins on the cruise ship.

Photo Credit:  Sparrowman980 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

  • Tim

    I feel much safer with the Maritime Crew,aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships! Freedom of the Seas, was a “Small Fire also.

  • Brent

    Jim can confirm this but I believe the Freedom fire went from nearly the bottom of the ship to the top.

  • Ashley Paquette

    This is the cruise ship we just got off. The next morning we missed our port due to “strong winds and strong currents”. We also had to expedite our trip and make an unscheduled stop in cozumel due to a medical emergency which was mysteriously cancelled while we were in cozumel. I heard the alarms all night. I experienced a broken ac unit. No information was given out about any of the incedents.

  • Michelle

    I just got off the Splendor, as well. In reference to the comment above about the unexpected stop in Cozumel that was cancelled, the cruise director mentioned it was because a passenger needed medical attention and would be dropped off. Right as we were getting to Cozumel, he said on the PA system we wouldn’t be stopping anymore because the passenger had passed away. Super weird, I still don’t know what happened. I’m really curious.

  • Karrie

    The cancellation of Cozumel was explained, inappropriately over the general PA system, that the patient who was being medically evacuated to Cozumel had passed away.

    We also experienced loss of water (several times).

  • April

    Just got back from this cruise. First and should be my last, the medical emergency was later announced on PA as a passed away guest. Seems creepy to me and my family.

  • Mary

    I just got back from this cruise today, as well. I am very disappointed about the cruise, this is not my first time cruising with Carnival but I think it will be my last one. One of the things I got very upset was not being able to dock in Costa Maya because the captain didn’t try enough, especially if there was a medical emergency on board and then instead wanted to rush to Cozumel which caused the passenger to passed away. I think the situation wasn’t handled appropriately and then just giving us $12.58 for not stopping in Costa Maya, which I believe I paid more than that for each port. Then, one night they decided to cut the water off without even notifying anyone. Also, the hallway of my stateroom was flooded it because 3 stateroms next to mines were flooded it. It was an awful experience, I don’t think I will cruise with Carnival again

  • Brando

    I just got off the Splendor today. It was all around a strange experience. From the fire early in the morning to the sudden death of a passenger with no explantation to what had happened. Honesty is best in this situation. Carnival should have been more straight forward with what had occurred. It seems that this captain did not know exactly what he is doing.

  • Filo

    Just returned from this cruise also. Alpha code was explained as only being smoke. Our ac also did not work properly for 2 days. Water in sink was coming out in spurts and splashing everywhere. The announcement of a death on board SHOULD have been handled better. Perhaps just saying that medical emergency was handled and no need to dock in Cozumel. Cause of death should be reported so that other passengers do not have to worry about contagious diseases or something else.

    Definitely not cruising with Carnival again.

  • Mason

    I was on the ship that had all he events happen on it and I was wondering, why couldn’t the coast guard come out to the ship and grab the patient if he was that bad? If it was a family member that chose not to do that than that is understandable but I’m just a bit confused on why that didn’t happen. Once I heard the announcement that the patient passed away that idea came right into my mind.

  • Thomas

    I had the same experience as everyone here, but a bit worse. My room actually flooded. It was a cruise for my 50th and it was disappointing to say the least. Does anyone have any info on the passenger that passed away? I heard several stories, but unconfirmed.

  • Cathy
  • Sophie

    I was on the Carnival Splendor on March 20-27 and experienced all the incidents reported. The smoke/no fire in an electrical locker reportedly occurred on Deck 1 – probably midship. I was staying on Deck 2 midship and my husband and I perceived a smell of electrical burn. Floor fans were placed in the hallways of midship Deck 2 to dissipate the smell. As far as the deceased passenger is concerned, I was told by a crew member that he started feeling unwell (description suggested the first signs of a heart attack) during dinner time. His condition worsened overnight. The passenger was in this condition for at least 7 hours (time elapsed between the first and the last announcement related to the evacuation of that person). Even if the winds were too strong for a helicopter to pick up the sick passenger or for the ship to dock, they should have attempted to use a tender boat or the pilot boat that was navigating around the ship. If this passenger indeed suffered a cardiac incident, we could speculate that he could have been saved, receiving adequate care in a large hospital on mainland (why heading to Cozumel, hours away, when we were so close to the mainland?). If it had been my family member, I would have demanded an evacuation attempt by boat to the mainland with transfer to Cancun airport, 2 hours away from Jackson Memorial by flight. It took approximately 7 hours to reach Cozumel waters at what they called “full speed” (around 21 Kn.) There was indeed a 5-hour water shut down, from 1:00 a.m. to 6 a.m. the next night, without any announcement being made. The line at the Guest Services counter was long with people asking explanations or presenting complaints. I heard of a person stranded in the shower at 1:00 a.m. with no water to rinse himself. I was only aware of one water outage, as I slept through the other nights. The AC was repeatedly shut down at night time during the cruise. I was able to notice it, because I had a bottle of coconut oil that would become liquid at temperatures above 75F. The oil would solidify during the day and be liquid in the early morning. I may cruise again, but never on the Carnival Splendor. I was planning to book another cruise during the summertime with Carnival, but I altered my plans after this unsettling experience. I would not put a foot on the Splendor. This ship has encountered too many mechanicals, after going through dry dock maintenance.

  • Tina

    We just got back from this cruise as well. I will say that being an experienced cruiser with Carnival, NCL and RCCL I will not likely sail with Carnival again. The captains lack of communication with the passengers caused chaos on the ship. Starting around 4AM requesting the emergency crew then shortly after an announcement of sealing the fire doors in the hallway. There was no proper instruction regarding the passengers located on decks 1 and 2. We were located on deck 8 and had 2 balcony staterooms. You could hardly understand what the Captain was saying. The passenger that we learned over the loud speaker that passed away was a very sad situation. There was absolutely no help for this passenger. We could not dock in Costa Maya due to heavy winds and the current. However, two other ships were able to. The televisions did not work in both of our staterooms, the wifi was terrible and the water was shut off multiple times during the sailing. The list really does go on and on. How in the world this ship continues to have such issues is beyond me. The Captain needs to be reprimanded for his lack of ability to communicate.

  • Mike

    I was also on the Carnival Splendor with my wife from March 20-27. We had a great time despite all the craziness and delays. I couldn’t understand a word the captain said during any of his announcements throughout the cruise, they should have just stuck with the cruise director making announcements. We did not hear the fire alarm everyone is talking about cause we had a little too much fun the night before after winning the Carnival Quest. Night of champagne, the club and shots it’s no wonder we didn’t wake up to the alarm!! The night they shut off the water, I was able to get through to house keeping and was told it was due to an emergency pipe replacement. We first noticed in the bathrooms on 5 by the comedy club and then saw it was affecting our room as well. It was probably too late in the evening to make an announcement over the loudspeaker. Yes it was annoying, the damn toilet sounded like it could suck me in, but water returned to normal by morning. As for missing Costa Maya, that did suck but we still had a fun day at sea, we weren’t refunded much but that’s cause the amenities we pay for on a cruise were still available to us. In regards to the passenger that passed, we don’t know much, but it is a shame he couldn’t get the care he needed. Someone at our dining table became ill in Roatan, suspected parasite, and ended up seeing the passenger who passed while in the clinic. Overall, we still had a blast. It is what you make of it.

  • Steve

    I am the guy that got the parasite in Roatan. That sucked I puked till I Bleed. I saw the guy that died in medical. I got a shot in the coolie and it made me sleep for 13hrs.
    I still feel like I’m on the boat with dizzy spells. What’s that about?

    Things that Sucked:
    Current and high winds missing a day in Mexico.
    The Chateaubriand
    No water had to use my $5 bottle of water to rinse my toothpaste out. .
    The Pinot noir at the casino bar that made my gf puke her $150 steak dinner out
    The captains ability to speak common tongue.

    Things that I like.
    Winning the quest.
    My balcony
    Steakhouse dinner.
    Making new friends.

    Thank you for a unforgetable time.

  • josh

    We were on the cruise as well. Everything above is true.

    I like turtles too….lol classic

  • April Busse

    I was also on the splendor on these dates. We asked Mario ( at the front desk) some of these very questions. He had an answer for everything of course! In addition to the fire and the death I felt as if they were very under staffed or didn’t utilize the staff they had. The pizza place was supposed to be open 24 hrs a day. They were several times really late at night we would go and the lights and everything were shut down. The ice cream machines weren’t kept up! We wenter to get towels at the towel station at 8 am ( when the opened) no one showed up til 8:45. The shops on board didn’t open until the second evening. Our balconies were dirty the 1st day after the boat had been on dry dock! Dinner took over two hours!!! These are just a few of the things. I have sailed with carnival before and this trip was NOT what I experienced on carnival before!!! It’s too bad because we were traveling with first time cruisers and we really talked it up…now the first timers are thinking that was there last cruise!!!
    I really hope carnival looks into this because the splendor probably needs to be retired!!!!

  • Robert

    (8:30 p.m. EDT) — A medical emergency has caused itinerary changes for Carnival Valor’s seven-night April 2 Caribbean itinerary, according to a statement from Carnival.

    Following the emergency, which necessitated the ship’s return to Grand Turk on its seven-night March 26 sailing, Carnival Valor returned to its homeport of Port Canaveral at about 5 p.m. Saturday, several hours behind schedule.

    All passengers booked on the April 2 sailing will be given a $25 onboard credit and 20 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise. They have also been asked not to arrive in port until 8 p.m. The ship is scheduled to depart at approximately 11 p.m.

    Ports for the April 2 voyage now include Belize, Roatan (Mahogany Bay) and Cozumel. The ship will no longer call on Costa Maya as originally scheduled, and all port fees will be automatically refunded to onboard accounts, along with costs for any Costa Maya shore excursions booked through Carnival.

    Despite the setback, many who are booked on the next sailing are staying positive.

    “Switching out bathing suits for pajamas in our carry on,” says member Ralphinsc. Gonna make the best of it. Midnight sailaway PJ party.”

    I was wondering if some come explain this to me. The Carnival Splendor March 20-27 only get back 12.50 per person but the Carnival Valor get back more. I called carnival on this and guess what they told me sorry about the inconvenience but that is another ship and not the one you where on.. Really…. Wow… This company need to go out businesses. Here is the website if anyone would like to read this.

  • Eric Hosmer

    We were on the Norwegian Dawn in Costa Maya. We watched the Splendor from our balcony circle around a few times and then leave and head north. We wondered what was going on. There were some strong winds and the sea was rough that morning, and bounced our ship around as we were docking.

  • Tracy

    I have sails on Carnival ships 8 times and I agree they can do better but some things just are inexcusable , as far as refunds or credits consider your self lucky if you get them to take care of you at all , will I stop sailing on carnival probably not and the reason is the price you can’t beat it but when things are not as good as they should be like dining , food , service, cleanliness, we do need to let them know and we can speek on our experiences so we can inform everyone of the quality of service we can expect this way we can decide .My family has been witness to. Drunkin Munster drills where passengers are way to far gone before the ship has sailed don’t forget there are small children and older people waiting in this drill , We have caught the norovirus and have been stuck in the rump with an needle and confined to our Cabain by the ship they bar your ship card you can’t be anywhere else on the ship not to mention you will miss your pot of call because you caught a vise on board and are 1 to sick to get off and 2 they won’t let you off all for safety reasons. Ship crew can be 100 percent perfect or totally unhappy to be on board which also affects your vacation but you can also set sail and have the best time of your life so it all comes down to how you want to handle it ,I have even Cleaned my own Cabain because it smelled of urine and I tell go to the guest services to let them know I have even emailed carnival, I also don’t understand why some ships are so out dated and have no interesting restaurants like the other ships they can improve in guest services a ship we have recently been on sailing out of Los Angles can use deep cleaning that’s my one wish that they could clean it up well I could go on and on but why I’m not sure anyone really cares .

  • Nanc Hernan

    I booked a cruise today, I am a Platinum VIP Member and never thought of reading comments regarding the Splendor” now I have a 9 day cruise to Bermuda and I am worried to death,, can someone tell me if they have been to this 9 day cruise from Miami to Bermuda and the other ports,,, and their experience,,, I am regretting not getting insurance to cancel,,, someone get to me soon please!