The Vision of the Seas lost power during the early morning hours of May 22, 2018. Several passengers are reporting that the Royal Caribbean cruise ship sustained a power and propulsion outage, leaving the ship floating in the Sea of Crete with only its emergency lighting on.

Subsequent information is that the ship regained power and is now sailing slowly toward Santorini. AIS systems (right) show the ship under power at a speed of a little over 7 knots.

There is an unconfirmed rumor that the Vision allegedly struck something, although this has not been confirmed.

The Vision of the Seas is sailing on a 12 day cruise from Monday, May 14 to Saturday, May 26 to the Greek Isles, leaving and returning to Barcelona, Spain.  It was sailing between Mykonos to Santorini when it experienced power failure.

The Vision of the Seas is twenty years old, sailing its inaugural cruise in May of 1998.

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May 22, 2018 Update: photographs by John Brown via Cruceros Puerto Rico.

 

Royal Caribbean is rescheduling the current cruise of the Grandeur of the Seas, in order to begin repairs to the cruise ship for what the cruise line refers to as a “technical issue which limits the operation of one of the two rudders used to steer the ship.”

Royal Caribbean notified its guests, at the last minute today, who were planning to board the Grandeur on Thursday, January 11, 2018 that the cruise had been rescheduled to Saturday, January 13th.

Grandeur of the SeasThis news was first reported on by the popular Royal Caribbean Blog.

Guests will receive an onboard credit in the amount of a 50% refund of their cruise fare, excluding taxes and fees.The cruise line will reimburse guests for change fees up to $200 per person for domestic flights and up to $300 per person for international flights.  Those passengers who wish to cancel their cruise will receive a refund.

The Grandeur is one of the oldest ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, which first went into service in 1996.

Last year, a lifeboat fell off its davits from the Grandeur of the Seas due to an apparent lack of maintenance.

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The Carnival Triumph joined the club of cruise ships which have suffered propulsion problems this year. There have been fourteen such problems this year alone.

The Triumph arrived late back at the port of New Orleans on Thursday due to what Carnival is calling “technical issues.” Propulsion problems are reportedly affecting the maximum cruising speed of the Carnival cruise ship. Carnival notified its passengers (bottom) that the November 30th cruise was canceled because the cruise ship needed repairs.

“We want to provide you with an update on your Carnival Triumph cruise for tomorrow. The ship is currently experiencing a technical issue, which is affecting the maximum cruising speed. Our team is in the process of completed the necessary work, however, it will not be completed in time to operate your cruise. Regrettably, it will be necessary to cancel tomorrow’s sailing.“

AIS sites show the Triumph in Mobile, Alabama, where the ship is apparently undergoing repairs.

This year has seen a number of Carnival cruise ships experience engine problems, such as the Carnival Dream, which was forced to miss a port in Mexico in August and then limped back to New Orleans, as well as propulsion issues plaguing the Carnival Fantasy, Carnival Paradise, and Carnival Splendor.

Power losses of cruise ships 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, 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.

Of course, cruise ships other than those operated or owned by Carnival have recently experienced a wide variety of engine problems. NCL’s Norwegian Star and Norwegian Gem have experienced propulsion issues this year, together with Oceania Cruises’ Regatta, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, Celebrity’s Summit and Constellation, Silversea Cruises’s Silver Cloud, and P&O’s Oriana.

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Image credits:

Carnival letter – Crew Center.

Carnival Triumph – WDSU (New Orleans) Families look for new plans after abrupt cruise cancellation in New Orleans.

Carnival Triumph

Carnival Triumph

Oriana P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Paul Ludlowon posted a comment on the P&O Facebook page announcing the cancellation of a cruise aboard the Oriana (voyage X801). P&O says that the Oriana will "undergo three week technical maintenance from January 6 2018."

Mr. Ludlowon writes that "as a result we will be canceling this cruise . . .  and we are extremely sorry for the late notice and disruption."

215 comments about the cancellation of the 50-night itinerary were posted on the P&O website as of this morning. P&O intended to visit 13 different countries during the "Caribbean & Amazon Adventure" cruise.

P&O offered just a 5% future cruise credit. Many disappointed customers complained about P&O’s meager compensation offer. One person wrote that the offer "is hardly generous given the inconvenience this is causing passengers like us." P&O response to this comment was typical to P&O’s non-negotiable response to the problem – "We are sorry you are disappointed by this however this will be our only offer in terms of compensation."

P&O did not offer any explanation of the details of the so-called "technical maintenance." Many cruise lines use this euphemism to refer to engine, propeller or other propulsion-related problems. P&O referred to a "technical issue" in a statement when the Oriana’s arrival in Southampton was delayed seven weeks ago due to a boiler problem. 

The Oriana underwent a cosmetic refit one year ago. 

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Photo credit: Antonio from Trieste, Italy, CC BY 2.0, commons / wikimedia.

Silver CloudThe failure of a fuel pump and engine left the Silver Cloud adrift as it headed toward Antarctica on November 20, 2017, according to the Telegraph newspaper in London.

Power was reportedly restored to the ship in about an hour, permitting the Silver Cloud to return to Puerto Madryn in southeast Argentina for repairs. However, the following day, Silversea concluded that the replacement fuel pump part would not be delivered in time for the ship to cruise to Antarctica.

The recently-refurbished ship was scheduled to call on the Falkland Islands, the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula on a 16 day expedition between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. Rough weather had delayed the cruise, with the capital of the Falklands, Stanley, being omitted from the itinerary.

The article explains that that the 23 year-old Silver Cloud underwent extensive refitting, including a three month refit at a shipyard in Malta, to convert it for polar expedition voyages. The refurbishment of the ship into a ice-class luxury expedition vessel is discussed in Silversea Cruises ‘Silver Cloud’ Undergoing Massive Refurbishment by Brad Anderson.

The ill-fated maiden cruise to Antarctica cost the passengers around £12,000 (nearly $16,000) each. The newspaper reports that "Silversea will provide full refunds to all passengers, as well as organising and paying for flights back to Buenos Aires and on to guests’ airports of origin. It also offered overnight accommodation and expenses in Buenos Aires, a refund of outward air fares, and a discount on future bookings."

Luckily, the engine failure occurred in "relatively light seas. If the power failure occurred in the "infamously rough" Drake Passage to Antarctica, the outcome "might have been much more serious."

Clelia II We have written about near-disasters while cruising to Antarctica:

The Clelia II Skirts Disaster Again in Antarctica

Who’s Responsible When a Cruise Ship Sinks in Antarctica?

Power failures to small "adventure" cruise ships present particular dangers to the cruise passengers and crew. The waters in the South Atlantic are treacherous. The Clelia II (photo right) caught the world’s attention in December 2010 when it lost most of its power after a wave smashed windows and disabled its communications system and impaired its propulsion system while it was trying to return to Argentina from Antarctica. The video of the little expedition ship bouncing helplessly on high waves into howling winds is a must see. It made my list of the Top Five Worst Cruise Ship Disaster Videos.

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Ironically, CNN just published an article touting the bow-to-stern ice-class renovation of the Silver Cloud, costing $46.5 million, in How to turn a cruise ship into an Arctic luxury liner.

Photo credit: Top – Richard Sidey via gtspirit.com; bottom – Jonbowermaster.com.

Less than a week after NCL-owned Oceania Cruises’ M/S Regatta experienced a power loss while cruising near Hawaii, the Norwegian Gem’s propulsion system partially failed according to a New York news station ABC-7NY.

The NCL cruise ship was rerouted to Barbados where passengers were reportedly "erratically divided into groups" and flown back to Newark Airport Friday to essentially "fend for themselves."

"There was no communication, we knew nothing about what was going to happen, if we were going to have a hotel to stay at," one passenger told the New York news station. 

One passenger who contacted me said that "she was a "little disappointed because of the need to Norwegian Gemscramble and lose a day," but felt that NCL "did the best they could under the circumstances." She added "we were all notified Tuesday that we would by pass St. Thomas and were diverted to Grenada and disembarked in Barbados where NCL flew us to Newark and gave us hotel for the night and food vouchers."

In 2016, there were at least 18 partial or complete power losses of cruise ships operated by the major U.S.-based lines, including NCL’s Norwegian Star which experienced repeated power failures last year. 

There seems to be some dissatisfaction amongst NCL guests who sailed aboard the Gem, with only a 25% discount on a future cruise. NCL issued the following statement about the shortened cruise:

"Due to a technical malfunction with the ship’s Azipod propulsion system that has resulted in the ship’s speed being restricted from full capacity, Norwegian Gem’s current 11-day Eastern Caribbean cruise that departed New York on October 31 will now conclude in Barbados on Saturday, November 11. Norwegian has arranged for flights to return all guests to New York and hotel arrangements for guests who returned home today.

Norwegian Cruise Line sincerely apologizes for this unexpected change to the ship’s scheduled itinerary. As a gesture of our appreciation for their patience, all guests will receive a future cruise credit of 25% of their cruise fare paid."

NCL also canceled the Norwegian Gem’s next cruise.

NCL just announced that it collected record third quarter profits of $400,000,000 despite the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean. 

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Photo credit: Corgi5623, CC BY-SA 3.0, wikimedia. 

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

Allure of the SeasSeveral Royal Caribbean customers have reported that propulsion issues which the Allure of the Seas experienced several years ago have returned and will interfere with the cruises which are scheduled in the future.

One guest sent us an email she recently received:

"Dear Valued Guest,

We have updated information about your sailing.

Allure of the Seas currently has a speed restriction that will result in slight adjustments to your itinerary. For your convenience, the updates are noted below. The new port of San Juan, Puerto Rico offers the opportunity to visit the culturally rich city of Old San Juan and the lush rainforest of El Yunque. We apologize for this change, but have no doubt that your vacation will be nothing short of amazing. We can’t wait to welcome you on board."

The guest who contacted us said that Royal Caribbean replaced St. Kitts with San Juan (others said that Royal Caribbean replaced St. Thomas with San Juan on other itineraries) and the duration of time that the ship will remain in the other ports of call has changed.

Many quests have made their plans a long time ago and chose the itineraries for the specific ports in question, with some people planning honeymoons and anniversaries.  They naturally feel disappointed. They are prohibited from canceling the planned cruises at this point without a penalty being assessed. Many have asked whether compensation is in order.

Unfortunately, the one-sided terms of their cruise tickets permit Royal Caribbean to change ports like this. It’s not nice bit it’s not illegal.  It is a matter of goodwill and the company’s view of its own PR. Compensation is usually reserved for missed ports.

The cruise line that will say that, notwithstanding the propulsion issues, the guests are still receiving the value of a 7-night Caribbean cruise.

Back in November of 2013, passengers aboard the Allure began noticing that the cruise ship was shortening its stay in Nassau and then arriving late in St. Thomas; some excursions were canceled. We wrote about the problems in Dry Dock Cure for Allure of the Seas?

The Allure eventually went into dry dock (with the use of cofferdams) in the Bahamas in early 2014 for the repair of the bearings in an azipod, which was the subject of an interesting YouTube video

To our knowledge, Royal Caribbean has made no official announcements regarding this issue; there is no indication one way or the other whether the cruise line will respond to the ship’s reduced speed with an early dry dock again. 

Stay tuned . . . 

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August 18, 2017 Update: The Allure is scheduled for dry-dock repairs on Janaury 21, 2018, according to Royal Caribbean. The cruise line says that the cruise ship will undergo "standard maintenance work."  The specfics of the work is not specified.

Photo Credit: Allure of the Seas (in Falmouth Jamaica) – Jim Walker

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.

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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." 

Celebrity ConstellationCelebrity Cruises passengers intending to depart yesterday on the Celebrity Constellation from Barcelona, Spain are stuck in that port for two days due to propulsion issues, even though the cruise ship just came out of dry dock.

During the recent two week dry dock, two new restaurants were constructed and certain suites were refurbished. The software on the ship which manages the turbines and propulsion systems was also upgraded. But shortly after departure from the dry dock facility in Marseilles, France, the Constellation experienced problems with her speed.

The Constellation was scheduled to sail to Monaco, (where the Grand Prix is occurring) and Villefranche. Instead, the cruise ship will sail Genoa and then resume her itinerary.

Popular cruise media sites are reporting that Celebrity promised to accommodate passengers and pay for meals while they stay in Barcelona over this Memorial day weekend as the Constellation is being repaired. Celebrity Cruises has also promised to provide onboard credit of an undisclosed amount for the missed ports. 

Celebrity posted a Facebook message yesterday which reads: "We  regret that we have had to delay the departure of Celebrity Constellation, due to depart on 26th May 2017 from Barcelona. Because we need to resolve an unforeseen technical challenge related to the software that manages the ship’s propulsion, boarding for the cruise will be delayed by two days. Constellation will now depart Barcelona, Spain on Sunday, the 28th May."

Since that time, many Guests expressed frustration on social media due to the lack of updates from Celebrity. Many people asked why they could not simply board the ship and stay in their paid-for cabins rather than experience confusion and delay looking for hotel rooms ashore. One answer may be that the ship is experiencing limited electric power generated from her engines, or that the ship may have to shut down her power system in order to perform the necessary repairs. Either way, this raises the issue whether this is simply a minor problem with the software. 

Cruise line often characterize power losses and profusion problems like this as "technical issues." 

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Photo credit: Megadri – CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.