Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Carnival Splendor Update - Conditions improving

Updated 12:44pm eastern
Carnival Splendor is continuing under tow to San Diego after its early Monday morning fire which disabled the ship's propulsion system.

The second tug boat has arrived at the scene and is assisting in the tow, so speeds have increased some. Carnival now estimates that the ship will arrive at San Diego at midday on Thursday.

As the ship is getting closer to shore, some passengers are able to get cellular phone connections. The ship's telephone system is working intermittently, and passengers are able to make complimentary calls home.

Food and beverage services continue to be provided along with a limited schedule of activities. Carnival says that toilets continue to function in most staterooms and all public restrooms.

When the ship arrives, it will be met by a large team of Carnival employees who are arranging hotels and onward transportation home.

Original article and updates

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Carnival Splendor Update - the tow has begun

Carnival Cruise Lines has changed their plans for Carnival Splendor. The tow has now begun, but instead of Ensenada, the plan it now to tow the ship to San Diego to make for a faster and easier route home for the passengers.

One tug has reached the ship and begun the tow. As other tug boats reach the ship and assist, they will expedite the process. The plan is now for Carnival Splendor to reach San Diego late on Thursday. Carnival has already booked hotels there for the passengers, and is confirming onward flights for them based on the Thursday arrival time.

If they can't maintain speed, Carnival says they can revert to the plan to tow the ship to Ensenada and bus the passengers back to Southern California.

Carnival says passengers are able to move about the ship. Limited food and beverage service, along with some shipboard programming, including children’s activities and entertainment, are being provided.

Engineers are continuing to work trying to restore power to other hotel services.

Original article and updates

Carnival Splendor Update - Nov 14 sailing canceled

Carnival has decided to now cancel Carnival Splendor's next cruise on November 14, 2010.

Passengers on that sailing will receive a full refund of their cruise fare and transportation costs. They will also receive a 25% discount on a future cruise.

“We sincerely apologize to our guests for this unfortunate situation and offer our thanks for their patience and cooperation during this challenging time," said Carnival president Gerry Cahill. "We also apologize for having to cancel the next voyage of the Carnival Splendor. We realize how much guests look forward to their vacations and we know how disheartening it is to have their plans disrupted."

Original article and updates

Update on Carnival Splendor - Military involvement

The tugs are still several hours away from the Carnival Splendor and the towing process is expected to begin in the early to mid-afternoon, Pacific time, meaning the operation is on track to reach Ensenada mid-to-late afternoon on Wednesday.

According to the US Coast Guard, when the ship reaches Ensenada, all passengers will disembark, and the ship will then be towed to Long Beach. The US Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau will remain with the ship where it is adrift, approximately 200 miles south of San Diego, and then accompany it throughout the towing process until it reaches Long Beach to ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew.

Meanwhile, the US Navy has diverted the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan from its training maneuvers to a position south near Carnival Splendor to facilitate the delivery of needed supplies.

Beginning at 7am this morning (Pacific time), 35 pallets of supplies (food, water and hygiene supplies) were loaded onto VRC-30 Carrier On-board Delivery aircraft and flown to the Ronald Reagan. That part of the operation will take two or three trips of the aircraft and should wrap up in the late morning (Pacific time). Once aboard the Ronald Reagan, the 35,000 pounds of supplies will be repackaged into smaller loads and flown to Carnival Splendor on the carrier's helicopters this afternoon.

Original article and updates

Carnival Splendor Update from Coast Guard - 7am

Updated- 9am eastern
The ordeal for passengers and crew aboard Carnival Splendor is not now likely to be over until later on Wednesday, according to Coast Guard spokesperson Lt Chris Johns. Johns is aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, which arrived on the scene at approximately 1:00 am (Pacific time).

Carnival Splendor is currently about 80 nautical miles west of Baja California and about 90 miles away from Ensenada.

Johns said the master of Carnival Splendor has told the Coast Guard that the ship is still operating only with their auxiliary generator which is powering all navigation equipment, emergency detection and suppression systems and basic systems such as sewage and water. There is still no propulsion. There was no structural damage to the vessel from the fire, and there is no flooding.

(Update 9am eastern time - Carnival reports that last night the ship’s engineers were able to restore toilet service to all cabins and public bathrooms, as well as cold running water. They are continuing to work to restore other services.)

They are expecting the arrival of two oceangoing tugs from Ensenada late this morning which will tow Carnival Splendor the 90 miles back to Ensenada, where arrangements are being made for passengers to return home. Johns said once the two begins it will take about 24 hours to cover the distance to Ensenada, but as of now, this appears to be the safest way to get the passengers to land.

Original article and updates

Monday, November 8, 2010

Update on Carnival Splendor - Tugs en route

Carnival has dispatched tugboats to Carnival Splendor's location to tow the ship to Ensenada. Engineers have been unable to restart the ship's main generators (and therefore, propulsion system) since this morning's fire.

They are still working to restore at least enough power to operate some key hotel systems including air conditioning, hot food service, flushing toilets and telephones. None are presently working. Bottled water and cold food is being provided on deck.

Passengers will receive a full refund for the cruise and transportation costs. They will also receive a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount paid for this voyage.

Original article and later updates

Fire Disables Carnival Splendor

At 6:00 am this morning (Pacific time), a fire was reported in the aft engine room of Carnival Splendor while it was en route from Long Beach to Puerto Vallarta. The US Coast Guard reports that the fire was extinguished by the ship's fire crew at 9:10am, but the ship still has only emergency power this evening. There were no injuries to passengers or crew.

The ship is safe, but Carnival has canceled the rest of the voyage.

Carnival Splendor is currently 55 miles west of Punta San Jacinto, Mexico, about 150 miles south of San Diego. Sea conditions are currently calm.

A 965-foot container ship, Dresden Express, responded to Carnival Splendor's emergency call and was first on the scene. The US Coast Guard responded with a C-130 aircraft which arrived on the scene about 3pm. Three US Coast Guard cutters will arrive at approximately 7:00pm (Pacific time). The Mexican navy responded with a 140-foot patrol boat and an aircraft.

Engineers are working to restore power. If the propulsion system can be restored, Carnival Splendor will return to its home port of Long Beach under its own power. Carnival has tugboats standing by to assist the ship to port if power cannot be restored.

Carnival has established a phone number to provide information to family members. That number is 1-888-290-5095 or 305-406-5534.

All updates