Thoughts on the "Cruise from Hell" and Cruises in general

Cruise ship nightmare nearing end for passengers after hellish trip


Larry Poret confirmed reports of dire conditions aboard the ship, saying urine and feces streamed in the halls and down walls after toilet facilities failed, soaking the mattress of a friend of his who was sleeping in a hallway.

Emergency power failures caused section doors to slam shut, panicking some passengers who had no idea what was happening.
Comment: We had a great cruise 6 or 7 years ago.We flew to Seattle. We cruised Alaska on a Holland American ship. Everything was perfect. It was the last vacation we took with my brother-in-law Tom who passed away 5 years ago. We had such a great time with Tom and Nancy, my Mother, and my brother Roger and his wife Kathy. It was a lifetime kind of event.

Yesterday Kathee (my wife) said "we aren't doing any more cruises". The Costa Concordia disaster and then the Carnival Triumph open sewage trip makes one wonder.
Add to that the Norovirus outbreaks and one might just want to take a road trip in the Buick!

“Cruise ships are almost a sentinel sensing system for norovirus,” as Peter White, professor of microbiology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told Bloomberg. This is largely due to the close quarters of a cruise ship, which quickly become a petri dish of viral mayhem if a carrier happens to board one. This can create an “ecology” for an outbreak, despite the best intentions of the cruise lines, says Jean-Paul Rodrigue, professor of transit geography at Hofstra University.

“Health issues aboard cruise ships are of significant concern to the industry, particularly in light of a virus strain such as norovirus,” Rodrigue told Quartz by email. “Operators are usually very diligent about sanitary conditions aboard their ships… since public image is a very important factor for cruises. Still, if you excuse the pun, ‘sh*t happens.’”

And happen it did on the P&O’s Oriana, which toured Europe before docking in Southampton, UK, in December, smelling like vomit and carrying passengers who told the UK press they had been on “a plague ship.” The docking of the Azura in the same port the next day saw similar blowback.

And now the US is getting nervous, as three such vessels have docked in the US in the last three weeks. The Emerald Princess landed in Fort Lauderdale in late December reporting an outbreak, while the Crown Princess, which sailed from Italy to Texas, also was hit. Just this month, the Queen Mary 2 docked in Brooklyn with an outbreak of Sydney 2012. (The QM2, which does a regular route between New York and the UK, has reported norovirus outbreaks four times since 2004.)
This perhaps is not widely known but Carnival Corporation is an umbrella company that owns many of the major cruise lines:

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Holland America Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Line
  • Costa Cruises
  • AIDA Cruises
  • Ibero Cruises
A young person who has a desire to cruise may want to consider this well known brand! They are a bit bigger than Carnival. Here's a list of their ships.


  1. Moor delay: Carnival’s cruise from hell won’t dock till dark

    Thelbert Lanier was waiting at the port for his wife, who texted him early Thursday.
    "Room smells like an outhouse. Cold water only, toilets haven't work in 3 1/2 days. Happy Valentines Day!!! I love u & wish I was there," she said in the text message, which was viewed by The Associated Press. "It's 4:00 am. Can't sleep...it's cold & I'm starting to get sick."
    Renee Shanar was on board with her husband. In a text message to AP, she said Carnival told the passengers they are delayed again "because of winds."
    "We think they don't want media there," she wrote.
    Shanar said conditions were "horrible." There was food, but bathrooms weren't flushing.
    "People have gotten food poisoning. Old people have fallen and hurt themselves," she wrote in a text message.

  2. What I'm wondering is why the company had almost all systems on that boat relying on a single engine. Did their QEs never learn about the problems of "single point of failure" systems, and never learn how to use an FMEA to design things better? Or were they prohibited from this by the accountants?

  3. @Bert re the single point of failure ... that was my wife's comment too!



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