Carnival Legend is the fourth Carnival ship to develop problems. The ship started to limp homeward on Friday after a propulsion system failed. Legend was on the last leg of a seven-day cruise when the ship's high-tech Azipod propulsion system went bad, limiting the ship's cruising speed. According to a March 15 NBC News Article, Legend’s passengers were looking forward to a stop at Grand Cayman Island. They will now spend their weekend at sea as they make their way to the final destination in Tampa, Florida.
On March 15, a CNN article described a string of recent Carnival cruise vacation disasters beginning with the Triumph engine fire that cut all power to the ship in February. The world watched in horror and disgust as Triumph listed and drifted at sea for days. Next, Elation was escorted by a tugboat on Saturday after the steering system malfunctioned. Dream had problems on Thursday when an emergency diesel generator failed. On Friday, Legend was in trouble with its balky propulsion system.
Carnival is still arranging flights for passengers from Dream, which is still stuck at the dock in St. Maarten. The ship's captain is allowing passengers to leave the ship and spend time on land at St. Maarten.
While Legend's Azipod system affects the ships sailing speed, the rest of Legend's systems are functioning normally.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller chairs the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. He has been “extremely critical” of the cruise industry in general since 2012. He sent a letter to Carnival on Wednesday saying,
"The Coast Guard has responded to a string of 90 marine casualty incidents with passengers onboard Carnival ships in the last five years. It seems that Carnival has failed to take any meaningful course of corrective action after these continual incidents. This needs to change."
On Feb.15, Cruise Industry News published another letter that Sen. Rockefeller sent to Carnival Corp. That letter addressed the Carnival Triumph situation with, "This horrible situation involving the Carnival Triumph is just the latest example in a long string of serious and troubling incidents involving cruise ships. Safety must be the No.1 priority in any transportation industry. It is time that the cruise line industry -- which earns more than $25 billion a year -- pays for the costs they impose on the government since it's the Coast Guard that comes to the rescue every single time something goes wrong on a cruise ship."