Cruise Ship Accidents, Cruise Ship Law, Maritime Matter of the Week

Another Carnival Cruise Ship Stalls Following Equipment Malfunction, Leaving Passengers Stranded in the Caribbean


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Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse for Carnival Cruise Line, the “Fun Ship” company is back in the news with another report of equipment failure. Just one month after the Carnival Triumph lost power following a fire in the ship’s engine room, another Carnival vessel has been stalled at sea following an emergency power malfunction.

The Carnival Dream, which is based in Port Canaveral, had to make preparations to fly passengers home from the Caribbean island of St. Maarten after the ship stalled during a seven-day itinerary. One of the ship’s passengers notified the Coast Guard in Miami on Thursday morning that the ship was experiencing problems, but unlike the incident with the Triumph, which left over 4,000 people stranded in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico without working toilets or sufficient food, this cruise ship accident was handled far better.

It appears as though Carnival is learning a thing or two about cruise ship safety. While the passengers onboard the Triumph had to endure five long days at sea because officials chose to tow the damaged vessel to the port of Mobile, Alabama, instead of the much closer port of Progreso, Mexico, the Dream’s passengers were able to obtain assistance fairly quickly to get back home safely.

After being notified of the incident, the Coast Guard began an investigation and Carnival officials informed the organization that there was a problem with the ship’s emergency diesel generator, which controls the ship’s propulsion system, causing it to stall.

Carnival officials issued a statement confirming that the Carnival Dream had “a technical issue with the ship’s backup emergency diesel generator” during regular testing and explained that an engineering team was working on the problem. However, cruise officials made sure to let the public know that unlike the Triumph incident, the Dream did not lose power.

“At no time did the ship lose power and the ship’s propulsion systems and primary power source was not impacted. The ship is at dock in St. Maarten. All guests are safe and comfortable. There were periodic interruptions to elevators and restroom services for a few hours last night. However, all hotel systems are functioning normally and have been functional since approximately 12:30 a.m.,” read the statement.

However, one Dream cruise ship passenger told a different story. The alleged passenger posted a comment on Cruise Critic regarding the mechanical malfunction, claiming it caused several services to fail.

“At first, no toilets or elevators. Those back on but ‘mechanical’ issues,” read the post.
According to the cruise line, those issues have already been addressed, claiming the toilet malfunction was only a “periodic” interruption and that only one public restroom had to be shut down for cleaning after a toilet overflowed.

The Carnival Dream left Port Canaveral on Saturday with roughly 4,300 passengers and 1,300 crewmembers onboard. The vessel was scheduled to call in Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten before returning to its homeport on Saturday. The Dream was supposed to leave St. Maarten on Wednesday, said Carnival officials, who are in the process of arranging flights for passengers to return home on commercial and private jet flights. Carnival also announced passengers will receive a refund for the remaining three days of the cruise that they did not get to experience, as well as 50 percent off a future cruise.

“We are very sorry for this disruption to our guests’ vacation plans and extend our sincere apologies. We look forward to welcoming them back on another Carnival cruise,” said cruise line officials.

The company also canceled the Dream’s next itinerary, which was scheduled to depart Saturday. Those passengers will receive a full refund and 25 percent off a future seven-day cruise. However, this still doesn’t take away from the fact that Carnival Corp. continues to be at the center of maritime accidents. With a slew of cruise ship accidents, rape incidents and overboard passenger cases, the line may want to concentrate on improving its safety features and protocols before any other incidents occur.

So far, no injuries or health problems have been reported, but hopefully Carnival continues to keep an eye on the situation in order to prevent the hazardous onboard conditions Triumph passengers had to endure after the ship lost power from the fire.
Coast Guard officials are also monitoring the situation and did not immediately know when the vessel would undergo an inspection to determine the exact cause of the malfunction.

If this investigation carries out similarly to the Triumph’s, we shouldn’t hold our breath for an explanation into the incident. We have yet to learn what exactly caused the fire onboard the Carnival Triumph. An initial report showed there was a leak in a fuel pipe, but we don’t yet know what caused that leak or whether it was an issue that was overlooked by crewmembers when examining the vessel.

What we do know is that there were some technical problems with the Triumph right before it sailed on the voyage immediately prior to the Feb. 7 voyage during which the fire broke out. Cruise ship companies are required to run a thorough check of each ship before it sets sail in order to ensure equipment is running properly. If the crew failed to properly inspect the issue with the fuel pipe on the Triumph, or the Dream’s crew overlooked or caused the latest equipment failure accident, then Carnival may be found at fault for the incident and anyone onboard who was harmed or suffered an injury or severe illness may be eligible to receive compensation.

Anytime an accident occurs onboard a cruise ship, passengers and crewmembers have a right to seek legal help. With so many maritime accidents taking place nearly every other day, it is important for all passengers and crew to understand they have a right to seek help with a cruise ship accident lawyer in order to protect their rights.

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Carnival Dream stalls in St. Maarten –

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