On Monday the Carnival Splendor made history as possibly the worst cruise ship vacation since the Titanic. Well, that's if you don't count all of those fabulous cruises where people come down with stomach viruses. Okay, so maybe this isn't the worst, but a fire on a 113-ton vessel that shuts down power, while on your scheduled day-at-sea, has got to really suck!
The 3,299 passengers, who were hoping for a little sun, fun, and relaxation, managed to survive a full 24 hours without working toilets or cold running water; both were fully restored late Monday night. Yay for them! But so much for that seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise they were banking on.
And to dig into the side of the passengers a little more, the ship is only 55 miles from Mexico and 200 miles from San Diego; but moving a ship that size is no easy task when you don't have a working engine. Carnival has tug boats on the way, which should arrive midday today, but won't give a timeline for how long they think it will take to pull into Ensenada, Mexico, which is where the passengers will be able to kiss the solid ground again. Seriously, 55 miles doesn't seem all that far, but when you are stuck on a ship in the middle of the sea without the ability to move — suddenly it feels pretty far. How many cruisers do you think want to lower those life boats and start rowing? I wonder, can you get claustrophobic on something that large, because I am feeling closed in just thinking about it.
Meanwhile the passengers are doing the best they can without air-conditioning and hot food. Carnival's president and CEO Gerry Cahill said:
We know this has been an extremely trying situation for our guests and we sincerely thank them for their patience. Conditions on board the ship are very challenging and we sincerely apologize for the discomfort and inconvenience our guests are currently enduring.
Damn right it is Gerry! Get them the heck off that boat.
At least Carnival has already told everyone that they will all get a full refund and any transportation costs will be reimbursed. Plus, lucky cruisers, they will all get a credit for a future cruise — as long as it isn't more than they paid for this cruise. Now all I am left to wonder is if Carnival has figured out how to give their passengers back the vacation days they've just used up from work?
Do you cruise? Have any horror stories to share? Would this stop you from going on a cruise?
Image via Carnival Cruise Line