While the disabled Carnival Dream at St. Maarten is not in the same shape as the Carnival Triumph was in February, new technical problems are not helping the popular cruise line. According to a March 14 NBC News article, an emergency diesel generator failed and the ship went through intermittent power problems. This disrupted the ship's elevators and restroom services last night. Crews restored services and are working on the problem, but the passengers are being sent home by air.
According to a March 14 Yahoo News article, passengers expected to leave port on Thursday and to arrive at Cape Canaveral, Florida on Saturday. Carnival will send passengers back on charters and regularly scheduled commercial flights and will refund three days' worth of travel. Passengers will also get half-off a future cruise. The cruise line is also canceling the ship's May 16 voyage.
Some passengers were not happy with Carnival’s handling of the situation while the ship was in port and they could have disembarked. According to a March 14 CNN article, Jonathan Evans of Reidsville, North Carolina is one passenger who described the situation by e-mail on Thursday.
“We are not allowed off of the boat despite the fact that we have no way to use the restrooms on board. The cruise director is giving passengers very limited information and tons of empty promises. What was supposed to take an hour has turned into 7-plus hours.”
Carnival insists that the passengers were held on board to prevent any of them being left behind.
The rest of Carnival’s fleet is supposed to be under a comprehensive review after a crippling fire in February that left the Carnival Triumph floundering in the Gulf of Mexico for nearly five days. Triumph passengers underwent a harrowing, filthy experience in the open sea after an engine fire crippled the ship’s entire power system.