Friday, November 12, 2010

Carnival Splendor Fire Investigation

Port of San Diego - Cruise Termina

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2, 2011 (click following link for latest)

Carnival Splendor to Leave San Francisco and Return to Service

Now that Carnival Splendor is safely back in San Diego, there are a couple questions that beg to be answered:

What happened?   and   What happens next?
(for those booked on Splendor)

Let's answer the second question first.    Here is the latest update from Carnival Cruise Line.   It will take some time to assess the situation, determine the cause, and make necessary repairs to restore Carnival Splendor to service.

The investigation is being held by a joint task force from the Panama government, U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), and Carnival Cruise Line.  Carnival doesn't expect to have any news until early next week.

UPDATE:  November 15, 2010 8 AM

We are still awaiting word from Carnival Cruise Line about the fate of the November 21st sailing.   According to their latest update, they should know more early this week.

Meanwhile, John Heald took a well-deserved day off yesterday from his fascinating account of the events.  He did post a TA's comments which will show you how distorted media reports have been and how well Carnival treated the passengers - going so far as to forgive any onboard expenses (including gambling losses).

Once again, Well Done John Heald and Carnival !!


Miami - November 15, 2010 – 2pm
The Carnival Splendor is currently docked in San Diego and a team is on board working to more fully assess damage to the vessel. 

We recognize that many of our guests scheduled to sail on the Carnival Splendor are anxious to hear about the status of their upcoming sailing. At this time, the November 14 voyage has been cancelled. Those guests are receiving a full refund of their cruise fare and air transportation costs along with a 25 percent discount on a future cruise. Our technical teams are working round the clock to assess the damage and necessary repairs. 

We expect to have additional information very soon and will inform all guests accordingly.
Please continue to check back here for updates.


"On November 11, the Carnival Splendor reached San Diego and all guests and crew were returned safely. We are extremely grateful and appreciative to them for their patience and positive spirit throughout the course of events. We would also like to extend our utmost gratitude to the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the Port of San Diego and those within the San Diego community, as well as the tug boat operators, bus drivers, hoteliers, our travel agent partners and many, many others who have aided and supported us throughout the past several days. Thank you to all."

John Heald's Blog

If you are a fan of Carnival Cruise Line, you have undoubtedly heard of Senior Cruise Director John Heald and his amazing blog.    John is an ambassador for Carnival and a really fun person to be around most times.   He was onboard the ill-fated Carnival Splendor for the November 7th sailing.   And it's a good thing he was...

Anyone who has been in any sort of emergency situation will, once the event is over, recall how one or more people played a key role in keeping things calm.   The passengers and crew couldn't have asked for a better person to do that than John Heald.

Now that John is back on terra firma, he has begun sharing the story, as only he can do.   If you aren't familiar with his writing style, be prepared to settle in for hours to read his blog.    Be sure to read some of the comments from his readers also.    So far, he has the following posted:

The news media has covered the stories of passengers arriving in San Diego, so I'll leave finding those stories as an exercise for you.   One common thread in the accounts that we've read thus far is that the crew went above and beyond to turn a bad situation into the best that they could.

As one might expect, the cruise was filled with a mixture of passengers.  Some were on the very first cruise, while others were seasoned cruise veterans.    This obviously wasn't the dream vacation that any of the passengers signed up for, but the good news to take away is that all arrived safe and sound in San Diego several days after the fire broke out.

If this same situation had occurred on a plane, bus, train, or even a car, the outcome might have been quite different.  We realize that many passengers of this Carnival Splendor cruise will have the initial reaction of never wanting to set sail again.  That will be their personal decision of course, but we hope they really look at everything when making that decision.   The cruise industry still has an excellent safety record even with rare events like this one. 

The Carnival crew was well trained and responded well to ”ALPHA TEAM, ALPHA TEAM ALPHA TEAM, DECK 0 ENGINE CONTROL ROOM.”

We are happy to hear that everyone onboard was safe and sound back in San Diego.   Our coverage will continue as more information becomes available.

Attention Carnival Splendor Guests --- we would be happy to report your accounts and comments - feel free to contact us with your story.

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