Carnival Splendor Sets Sail Again

Carnival Splendor

Following a three-month dry-dock repair of its engine room the Carnival Splendor set sail Sunday with a full load of passengers heading on a seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise from its home port in Long Beach, CA.

It marks the first sailing for the ship since it was marooned at sea 150 miles off the coast of San Diego November 8, 2010 after a diesel engine generator caught fire in the engine room. The fire was contained in the engine room but the heat melted insulation that protected the ship’s 110 miles of electrical cables that would have allowed a second engine room to take over. The result was a total loss of power for three days. The beleaguered ship was eventually tugged into San Diego.

“These are not the things you expect to happen, especially not in a ship only two years old,” says Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “There are two engine rooms and you don’t expect to lose both aft and forward.”

The company added several safety measures to the new repairs: improved sensors, stronger insulation protection and the creation of a fire safety task force across the cruise line fleet – including better trained crew and stronger communications with land-based response facilities.

Damages from the incident, from the cost of repairs to the cost of reparations and lost revenue from cancelled sailings top $65 million, Cahill says. The Splendor incident in November displaced 47,000 passengers in all.

In a conciliatory gesture following the fire, the cruise line reimbursed the 3,299 passengers aboard the cruise, took care of passenger transfers and hotel nights and safe return to their onward, flights and sent them off with promise of a free equivalent cruise at a later date. Passengers who were booked on cancelled cruises were given full refunds and discounts toward a future sailing.

“We have not had any problems in rebooking passengers or with any passengers who sailed on the ship,” says Peter Ward, a travel consultant with Legendary World in San Marcos, CA.

But recent reports from some disgruntled passengers and travel agents say the cruise line has not been so forth coming.

“If there are some unhappy passengers out there we don’t know about them,” says Cahill.

The 3,006-passenger Splendor is one of three Carnival ships based in Southern California with sailings to Mexico. The Paradise sails out of Long Beach and the Spirit docks in San Diego for another 15 months before moving to Australia.


Top 10 Reasons to take a Cruise

Carnival Cruise Ship

1) Choose to cruise for Value. One price pays for your stateroom, dining, entertainment and s much more.

2) Choose to cruise for Romance. Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the beautiful ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits avaiable.

3) Choose to cruise for Cuisine. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza ad ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting,  a small bistro or a casual eatery.

4) Choose to cruise for Variety. With over 200 distinctive ships, 3000 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre – or post land tour.

5) Choose to cruise for Activities. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganza, musical revues, gaming and or a quiet evening gazing at the stars or the one you love.

Slide on Carnival Cruise Ship

6) Choose to cruise for Simplicity. Don’t come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple, your professional travel counselor can handle all of the details. Once you’ve on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid…talk about hassle-free.

7) Choose to cruise for New Horizons. Fall asleep in one destination and wake up to a new horizon…and you only have to pack and unpack once!

8) Choose to cruise for Family. Families love cruising. Children’s programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some time alone.

9) Choose to cruise for Pampering. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.

10) Choose to cruise for Satisfaction. It’s a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.