What seemed like a fun vacation for a little over 3,000 passengers aboard the Carnival Splendor cruise ship, soon turned into a nightmare. On Monday, November 8, 2010 the cruise line unexpectedly experienced an engine room fire, leaving the 13,300 gross ton ship powerless in the water.
Smoke filled the air as an after effect, leaving a terrible odor in the air. Bathrooms were backed up leaving the guests in a state of discomfort. Because of the power loss, the supply of hot food was no longer in existence, so the guests had to dine on items such as Poptarts, hot dogs, and lunch-meats flown in from the U.S.S Ronald Regan aircraft carrier. The wide-spread rumor that “SPAM” was being served on the menu, was quickly shut down on by those eating and trapped on board. The aircraft carrier as a main priority kept a steady flow of fresh water for passengers. Several news articles stated that some of the passengers on board had to wait in a 2-hour line just to obtain their food.
Looking on the bright side, the cruise line provided free alcohol to the individuals of age. The passengers also had access to 8 telephones on board to speak to their relatives and let them know that they were safe. One can only imagine what it would be like to have 3,000 people trying to share a mere 8 telephones.
Although the hardships of the event would have seemed to overpower the positive sides of the situation, the nearly 1,200 crew members did an outstanding job of keeping the passengers minds at ease. Plenty of entertainment was provided, and help and assistance was offered to any individual who needed it during the three-day span.
The ship remained in this helpless state until Thursday November 11, 2010. Coast Guards used several tugboats to escort the vessel in San Francisco, where it was finally docked. The passengers waved and cheered while they safely returned to land. The cruise line offered a refund to its customers, and also gave them a free cruise opportunity. Those three days may have had its ups and downs, but one thing is for sure, there will be plenty of stories to tell of the adventure those passengers experienced.
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