Last 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.
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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."