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

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. 

Viking Sea Power LossToday, I received a message that the Viking Sea was in Barcelona, Spain waiting for repairs to fix an unidentified engine problem.

I received this message: “Don’t know have you been informed about Viking Sea being stuck in Barcelona for more than 10 days, while all guests were disembark, almost same thing like Star last year in Talin . . . ”

Online AIS shows the Viking ship at the port in Barcelona today after leaving the port of Barcelona last night heading (apparently toward its next port of call, Toulon) but then turning around and sailing back to Barcelona.

Viking has informed its guests that they are free to stay on the cruise ship until January 8, 2017.  The company is apparently assisting the passengers with excursions. The guests can leave the ship and catch earlier flights home although many seem inclined to enjoy their unexpected time in Barcelona.

In August of this year, the Viking Sea lost power in Malta.

In August of 2015, the Viking Star lost power in an engine after leaving Tallinn and resulted in the cancellation of the cruise.

There is no indication whether future cruises will be affected nor is there any word regarding compensation to guests for the canceled cruise.

 

Norwegian StarI received this message from a crew member of the Norwegian Star:

"At the moment I am on NCL Star and we are in Singapore, still in Singapore!

We were scheduled to leave on 11th at 6 pm for 11 days to Hong Kong. We got delayed because it took forever for immigration to process the guests! Some guests were held for 5 hours in the terminal. So finally at 8 pm after we finished all that captain made an announcement that can’t actually leave due to the engine problems. Half an hour after half an hour announcement we stayed over night.  And we are staying at the moment in Singapore until 3 pm on 13th of December. One engine is down and some electrical issues with azipods. 

This is not the first time, after a dry dock few years back ship broke down right away and the first cruise was canceled and ship returned to the dry dock for repairs. And few months ago we could not sail out of Stockholm at 4 pm to have a sea day the next day to reach Copenhagen for embarkation. We reached Copenhagen at 4pm with absolute nightmare caused to the guest booking flights on their own.

This cruise is already fully refunded to the guests and they will get 50% off the next cruise they choose."

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

December 12, 2016 Update: Speed to be restricted; new itinerary below (via a travel agent).

December 20, 2016 Update: NCL has notofied its travel agents and future passengers that the intinerary of the Norwegian Star starting on January 16, 2017 has changed. This is the email received:

"Norwegian Cruise Line has important information for you regarding Norwegian Star’s 21-Day Southeast Asia sailing of January 16 to February 6, 2017 from Hong Kong, China. All guests booked on this sailing need to be aware of this change.

On the evening of December 10, while departing the port of Singapore, Norwegian Star experienced a technical issue with one of the ship’s Azipods. As a result of this technical issue, Norwegian Star will have to sail a revised itinerary for the January 16 to February 6, 2017 sailing from Hong Kong, China.

Please review the revised itinerary information below:

As a gesture of our thanks for our guests’ understanding of this unforeseen delay and change in itinerary, we will provide a $200 shipboard credit per stateroom. If you pre purchased shore excursions for Thailand, those will be refunded and posted to your onboard account."

NCL Norwegian Star

January 3, 2017 Update: A local ABC news station in Jacksobville aired a video of an unhappy NCL customer who took her first cruise on the Norwegian Star.

January 26, 2017 UpdateNCL’s Norwegian Star Suffers Engine Failure Again.

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.

The Carnival Liberty cruise ship experienced unspecified "technical problems" which affected its propulsion and delayed its return to and departure from Galveston yesterday. The problem is substantially slowing the cruise ship.

The Liberty should have arrived early yesterday morning to Galveston, however Carnival stated that there was a technical problem that slowed the ship and needed to be fixed. The repairs were expected to delay the ship’s departure.

Carnival is still sailing to Cozumel but has canceled the cruise to Progeso, Mexico.

Local newspapers reported that passengers will get a $50 credit on their shipboard account, a 25 percent discount on a future five-day cruise, and a $25 per person credit to help pay for meals on Monday given the late departure time.

This problems come after a weekend where two two Carnival owned cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, the Grand Princess and the Emerald Princess, experienced temporary power outages. 

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November 1, 2016 Update:  AIS shows the Carnival Liberty still in port in Galveston.  Carnival reportedly canceled the cruise as of this morning. 

Carnival sent this statement this morning:

LIBERTY TECH ISSUE

NOVEMBER 1 – 9:40 am EDT

"The cruise ship Carnival Liberty, which is homeported in Galveston, Texas, is experiencing a technical issue which is affecting the ship’s maximum cruising speed. The issue is only affecting the ship’s speed and all other systems are operating normally. The ship arrived in Galveston yesterday and since then we have been working with outside technical experts which we brought on to help us confirm our repair plan.

Guests had boarded the vessel yesterday in anticipation of sailing, however, outside technical experts, together with the ship’s technical team, conducted a deeper inspection of one of the diesel generators overnight and uncovered an additional problem not previously known. It has now been determined that one of the alternators cannot be readily fixed. This means the ship will not be able to maintain the sufficient speed needed to operate the itinerary as planned and unfortunately we must cancel today’s cruise.

Guests scheduled to sail on this voyage will receive a full refund of their cruise, along with a 100 percent future cruise credit and $90 per person reimbursement representing a previously promised onboard credit and stipend for meals in Galveston yesterday.

While repairs are ongoing, the itinerary for the ship’s next two voyages will be modified, as well. The Nov. 5 five-day cruise will include a full day call in Cozumel, however, the call in Progreso will be cancelled. The Nov. 10 four-day cruise will include a call in Progreso instead of Cozumel. Guests sailing on these voyages will receive a $50 per person credit to their shipboard accounts and a 25 percent discount on a future Carnival cruise. Guests also have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund. Voyages departing Nov. 14 and beyond are scheduled to operate their normal itinerary.

We sincerely apologize to our guests for this disruption in their vacation plans." 

November 5, 2016 Update: CARNIVAL CANCELS SECOND CRUISE, DEPARTING SATURDAY.

Novenber 10, 2016 Update: Carnival modifies the itineraries for the Liberty’s cruises through the month of November.

 

MS AlbatrossA number of German newspapers are reporting that the cruise ship M/S Albatros, marketed by the German travel company Phoenix Reisen, broke down this week. The ship suffered mechanical problems which delayed her departure to Dover from the Columbus Cruise Center in Bremerhaven (CCCB). 

The cruise ship was originally scheduled to cruise from Bremerhaven with 800 passengers on Tuesday evening, but problems with the the hydraulic system of the rudder delayed her departure. The problem was reportedly repaired and the Albatros departed 11 hours late on Wednesday morning.

The same problem quickly reappeared when the cruise ship was approximately 25 kilometers from the port of Bremerhaven. Two tugs towed the ship back to port for additional repairs. 

The Albatros was built in 1973 in Finland for Royal Viking Line as the Royal Viking Sea.  She has also sailed under the names Royal Odyssey, Norwegian Star, and Crown over her 43 year history.

She is the second Albatros for Phoenix Reisen as she was the replacement of the original SS Albatros.

Photo credit: By Andreas Trepte – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5.

Empress of the SeasA number of cruise sites are reporting that Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas is experiencing problems with one of its engines, causing the cruise line to alter the cruise ship’s current itinerary.

The popular Cruise Critic site says that the ship called on Nassau yesterday and visited CocoCay today but did not call on Grand Cayman as originally planned. The ship will call on Key West on Wednesday as planned. Cruise Critic quoted Royal Caribbean saying that the cruise line "will work on the issue, (while) the ship is sailing at a reduced rate of speed."

There is no indication from Royal Caribbean when the problem will be fixed or whether future sailings will be altered as well.

Royal Caribbean is offering an onboard credit in the amount of 10 percent of the cruise fare paid, per cabin.

This gesture will not sit well with some  cruise passengers currently on the Empress of the Seas, I suspect. Bahamas is not a particularly popular port in contrast to the Cayman Islands. The ship was transferred to Royal Caribbean from Pullmantur Cruises after a 50 million dollar cosmetic renovation first in a shipyard in Spain and later in Freeport, Bahamas. The delay resulted in at least a dozen cruises to be missed, much to the aggravation of families booked on the canceled cruises. Its a shame if there are passengers aboard who were on previous canceled cruises.

We last mentioned the Empress of the Seas in an April Fool’s spoof.   

Photo credit: Jsausley CC BY-SA 4.0.

A newspaper in the Caribbean reports that  Carnival’s Costa Fortuna cruise ship with over four thousand passengers and crew members was stuck the Road Harbour on the main Island of Tortola in the Virgin Islands after it arrived on the early morning of Sunday 22, 2015. 

The ship was scheduled to last Sunday at around 6:00 PM. However, the port authority says that it developed an unspecified "technical problem" while anchored in the harbor.

Costa FortunaA "technical problem" seems to be code for a mechanical issue with the ship’s engines and propulsion systems. Engineers flew to the port to assess the ship for repairs. 

Passengers have to be ferried into port. 

Carnival has not issued an official statement. 

AIS systems seem to show the cruise ship has sailed and is in St. John’s Antigua today. It looks like the ship sailed earlier this week to Philipsburg and St. Kitts.    

Anyone have information to explain what happened with this ship in Tortola?

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Ed g2s

KIRO TV reports that the Grand Princess cruise ship experienced a problem with one of its engines and was required to return to port in Seattle for almost four hours.

The U.S. Coast Guard said that a port-side engine "died" on the cruise ship around 4:50 PM after the the ship left Seattle heading on an Alaskan cruise. 

KING 5 news station says that a tug had to assist the ship back to port.

Grand Princess

The cruise ship has two shafts and two fixed propellers.

Princess Cruises spokesperson Julie Benson said in a prepared statement:

“Grand Princess has returned to the Port of Seattle, in consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, following an earlier issue with one of the ship’s motors. At no time was guest safety impacted as the ship had propulsion and steering control. As a precaution the ship is returning to port for a safety check and we hope to depart again later this evening. We will keep passengers fully informed.”

The KIRO television station reports that Ms. Benson also said "several similar incidents" have happened with Grand Princess before.

A passenger, identified as David Meers, was critical of the cruise line’s lack of communications. He reportedly said “thirty or forty minutes into the cruise, the ship listed to one side. Shortly after that, we turned around. We started asking the crew members what happened, and nobody seemed to know anything.” 

It was 40 minutes after turning around that the captain announced there was a propulsion alarm that required them to go back to Seattle. For the next 4 hours, the passenger said there was little communication at all, about any possible changes to their itinerary or whether customers would be compensated for the delay. He said “it certainly left a lot of confusion, among the folks that we were asking. And most of the passengers around us were also very confused.” 

To Princess’ credit, the cruise line communicated with this passenger via Twitter saying: @DavidMeers Hi David, we apologize for the delayed start to your vacation (1/2) and later @DavidMeers Grand Princess is returning to port for an inspection due to a technical issue, and we hope to depart later this evening (2/2).

After the unspecified repairs, the cruise ship left Seattle around 10 PM. 

The passenger’s last tweet?  @PrincessCruises Glad it wasn’t more serious. All is well that ends well. Enjoyed the beautiful Seattle skyline again.

The mechanical problem seems to have been fixed with the ship sailing at 22 knots to Alaska.

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Ivan T.