A 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: “#carnival #splendor was waken up by a fire onboard our ship at 445 AM. This is the same ship that caught fire a while back. #SMH,”
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 publized 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.
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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.