Gene Sloan, USA TODAY
Another Carnival cruise ship -- the Carnival Dream -- hassuffered power problems that kept the ship's toilets from working for several hours Wednesday night and has prompted the company to fly passengers home.
Passengers are leaving the ship, which is docked in St. Maarten, after it experienced what Carnival said was "a technical issue" that resulted in interruptions in the operation of toilets and elevators "for a few hours" Wednesday night.
"At no time did the ship lose power," the company said in a statement Thursday. "At this time, all hotel systems are functioning normally and have been functional since approximately 12:30 a.m."
But, the company said, "We are making arrangements to fly all guests home via private charter flights and scheduled flights from St. Maarten."
Carnival reported Thursday that the Carnival Dream was suffering a "a technical issue" that resulted in interruptions in the operation of toilets and elevators "for a few hours" Wednesday night.
The cruise line added that it also is canceling the ship's next sailing, scheduled to depart on Saturday, March 16. "Guests scheduled to sail on this cruise will receive a full refund and 25 percent off a future seven-day cruise. Guests who re-book will have their current rate protected on the future sailing. Additionally, any non-refundable transportation related expenses will be reimbursed."
Carnival said Wednesday was a scheduled port of call in St. Maarten and that "guests were able to spend the full day in port and have the option of continuing to do so until their scheduled return home. All of the ship's activities and facilities are fully operational.
"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."
The cruise ship, which has a capacity of 3,646 passengers, was on the last leg of a seven-day cruise and docked in St. Maarten. It is based out of Port Canaveral, Fla.
In the previous incident aboard the Triumph, some passengers complained that they weren't allowed off the ship while toilets and elevators weren't operating.
Problems with the Carnival Dream come two days after Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill told attendees of the annual Cruise Shipping Miami conference that the company had started a comprehensive review of its entire fleet to see what it can do to avert problems with power and fire aboard its vessels in the wake of the Carnival Triumph incident.
The 102,000-ton Carnival Triumph suffered an engine room fire on Feb. 10 while sailing in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving the vessel dead in the water. Although quickly contained, the blaze resulted in the loss of power used to operate lights, air conditioning, elevators and toilets in passenger areas as well as kitchen equipment used to prepare hot meals. For a time, the vessel's freshwater system also was down.
While ship technicians were able to restore limited toilet service and other functions over time, passengers described miserable conditions on the vessel over the four days it took to tow it to Mobile, Ala.
"We are now focused on the lessons that we can learn from the incident, and also what additional operational redundancies might be available," Cahill told an audience of more than a thousand representatives from cruise lines, shipbuilders and ports on Tuesday.
He said the fleet-wide review was focused on four things, including how the line's vessels handle the prevention, detection and suppression of fires and ship engine rooms.
A third area of inquiry is "what additional hotel facilities might be provided (to) run off the emergency generator" in the case of a main power loss, Cahill says. "Fourthly, basically, (is) the learnings and the potential changes we can make from the first three items. How do we implement those things."