A view of the Carnival Dream cruise ship moored at the A.C. Wathey Cruise Facilities after a diesel generator malfunctioned causing temporary disruptions, in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, March 14, 2013. A Carnival Cruise Lines ship was stuck at a Caribbean port with equipment trouble on Thursday, a month after another Carnival vessel was disabled by a fire that trapped thousands of passengers at sea for days. Carnival Corp said it was making arrangements to fly the passengers, via charter flights and regularly scheduled flights from the Caribbean island, to Orlando or their final destination.  REUTERS/John Halley (SINT MAARTEN - Tags: DISASTER TRAVEL)

A view of the Carnival Dream cruise ship moored at the A.C. Wathey Cruise Facilities after a diesel generator malfunctioned causing temporary disruptions, in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, March 14, 2013. REUTERS/John Halley

reuters logoBy Colleen Jenkins and Phil Wahba

March 14 (Reuters) – A Carnival Cruise Lines ship with 5,600 passengers and crew was stuck at a Caribbean port with equipment trouble on Thursday, a month after another Carnival vessel was disabled by a fire that trapped thousands of passengers at sea for days.

The incident is the latest black eye for an industry battered by problems ranging from norovirus outbreaks to the Costa Concordia accident in Italy in 2012 that killed 32 people.

Carnival Corp said the cruise ship Carnival Dream was stuck in port in St. Maarten after its emergency diesel generator malfunctioned during testing on Wednesday. The liner, among the company’s largest, was on a weeklong cruise and had been due back in Port Canaveral, Florida on Saturday.

The problem caused temporary disruptions to elevator and toilet services but the ship never lost power, the company said, adding that only one public toilet had overflowed.

Carnival Corp said it was arranging to fly the passengers, via charter flights and regularly scheduled flights from the Caribbean island, to Orlando or their final destination. Passengers will get a refund equal to three days’ worth of travel and half off a future cruise.

The Carnival Dream is being held at dock while company engineers work on the problem. The company said passengers were free either to leave the ship and go into port or to remain onboard until their flights.

The cruise industry has proven resilient in the face of a series of disasters. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) projects that the number of people taking cruises this year will rise 3.3 percent. Carnival Corp and its smaller rival, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, have said bookings are recovering from a slump following the Costa Concordia accident.

But a slew of headlines about mechanical problems and passengers stranded at sea without functioning toilets – coming at the busiest time of the year for bookings – could take a toll, especially if it deters potential first-time passengers.

“It’s first-time cruisers that will have issues. This is definitely a PR (public relations) concern,” said Morningstar analyst Jaime Katz. “This is some inflection point.”

Carnival canceled the Carnival Dream’s next voyage, which had been scheduled to start on Saturday.

ON HEELS OF REVIEW LAUNCH

Kris Anderson, a reporter for Memphis TV station WREG and a passenger on the Dream, told CNN his friends had chided him for booking a Carnival cruise.

“I said, ‘What are the odds of it happening to two ships in such a short period of time?'” he told CNN. “Look what happened now.”

The latest incident comes two days after Carnival said it had launched a comprehensive review of its entire fleet following a fire that crippled its Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico last month.

An engine-room fire knocked out power and plumbing throughout most of the Triumph, which was carrying more than 4,200 people. Passengers described an overpowering stench in parts of the ship and complained that toilets and drainpipes had overflowed.

The Triumph eventually was towed into port in Mobile, Alabama, by tugboats.

The company has assembled teams of fire safety experts, naval architects, electrical and mechanical engineers and engine manufacturers to conduct its own investigation, Carnival Cruise Lines President and Chief Executive Gerry Cahill said on Tuesday.

The CLIA’s website said a typical cruise ship has more than 60 safety, environmental and health inspections annually. The U.S. Coast Guard inspects all cruise ships in the United States to certify compliance with federal and international regulations.

Over the weekend, another Carnival ship, the Carnival Elation, had to get a tugboat escort down the Mississippi River after a mechanical problem.

Carnival Corp shares were down 0.2 percent at $35.63 in midday trading in New York on Thursday.

(c) 2013 Thomson Reuters, Click For Restrictions

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  • Bill

    I’m not particularly familiar with the regulations governing this ship, but why is the EDG being used for propulsion?

  • Edgar

    …Bill,
    EDG is not being used for propulsion NEVER in normal sailing conditions!!!! Its just media’s mistake, cause they just write without checking facts or technical aspects whatsoever!!!! EMERGENCY diesel generator(s) ONLY used in emergencies on board all the ships…if your main electrical plant (consisting of diesel-generators DG)is not able to supply electricity to power mains – EDG will give power to most important consumers ONLY…like steering for example….or fire pump(s)…cooling pumps of main engines…so trust me sewage is not in this list:)))…i never saw emergency sewage pump hahahaha,…so sure people were struggling with toilets…its always hard in case of emergencies especially on passenger ships. RESPECT TO THE CREW anyway and especially to engine department…cause they are normally running crazily to put things back on line….and one more time, i think media and reporters should check the fact before writing nonsense…at least Google it!!!!….

    • Tups

      AFAIK EDG is only providing power for systems required to get at least one main or auxiliary generator running. I don’t think steering’s on that list – what good would turning the rudder do if the ship is sitting dead in the water, let alone a podded propulsion unit?

  • Ben Hedges

    Reuters is no longer considered to be a reliable new source, in much the same way as Time. Inc,. AP News Service, CNN and others. Any article which quotes CNN as this one does is suspect, it’s news for housewives.

  • http://NONE PAUL

    HERE’S ANOTHER FINE MESS YOU’VE GOTTEN ME INTO STANLEY.

  • Bob Goble

    The EDG on modern ships supplies power to : Emergency lighting / Steering gear / Communications systems / one Radar set / Emergency fire pump / some times an air compressor ( as air is required to start Main Diesel generators ). The EDG is designed to start up automatically after a black out & after the stand-by generators have failed to start.

    • J Walton

      EDG are used when all main power is lost including the main generator that is set to backup in the unlikely event that the main DG fails and then the backup fails to start the EDG takes over and should start automatically, giving lighting EFP and at least one aircompressor for starting main engine(s) & DG(s) however a ship cannot sail without a functioning EDG. There must be a serious problem for them not to have sorted it by now!
      J Walton – Marine Engineer

  • Subarctic

    I read there should be enough compressed air to attempt at least 12 main engine starts with vessels with one main engine, 6 with multiple engines. Additionally, the compressors need to be coupled to emergency power.

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