Sep 10th 2015 by Murphey14 • 49 Questions • 1252 Points
My girlfriend and I booked this cruise about a month ago. On Monday there was an engine fire which has now left us in port in St Thomas. Expected stops were in Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, and St Maarten. I am on mobile so please give me some time to respond.
Edit #1: questions have started to slow but I am a constant lurker and will continue to answer questions until there is no interest. I appreciate everyone stopping by and allowing me to share this experience!
Edit #2: we are departing st Thomas tonight and will be in San Juan tomorrow morning. I will not have cell service while at sea but will continue to answer any questions when I receive service again. Thanks for stopping by everyone!
Yes. A full refund, including gratuities is given to us. They are also giving us a 50% discount for a future cruise and any transportation to San Juan, including airfare and taxi. Essentially this is an inexpensive vacation.
You were lucky that the fire happened when you were in port. They can replenish ship supplies and conditions won't become nearly as bad as other ships that have broken down in the middle of the ocean. Have fun!
Agreed! We were very fortunate. Plus, we're stranded in the Caribbean in a us territory...no complaints on my end!
It sounds pretty sweet compared to sitting in my office right now. Enjoy!
It's not like we are being treated poor either.
Old friends went on a cruise and something happened that left them stranded in a port-of-call a few years ago. They thanked the staff for all the extra work they had to put in and it ended up getting them even more free stuff. Please do bear in mind that it does keep the staff from enjoying their time off to ensure that you enjoy your extra time.
I understand this. I think it's messed up they refunded gratuities. Pay these mother fuckers!
I was on the Carnival Liberty a few years ago. We didn't get stuck anywhere, but the positive attitude and service does not surprise me a bit. Looks like you've gotten a pretty good deal out of the inconvenience.
Agreed! At the end of the day they are selling customer service now and trying to retain a clientele.
DAAANG that is a hell of a sweet deal. Follow up question: did you know they were going to be so generous before you set the fire?
I was actually hoping our next cruise would be free...
Hey if they're actually going to give back your gratuities, I'd start giving them out. The people on the boat just lost a cruise's worth of work and tips, and could probably use whatever they could get anyway. If it's possible, of course.
Definitely! We paid 268 in prepaid gratuities. That's going back to them. They deserve more then that.
- Is this your first cruise?
- Has this soured your experience on cruising in general?
- What was the general morale of the passengers - upset, accepting, etc.?
This is my 3rd cruise, all with carnival. It has not soured my experience and the staff has been very pleasant. Everyone's attitude has varied. Some are very accepting, others upset. I have been finding the African American people the most upset.
African American people the most upset.
They're just the loudest.
You are probably right.
At least you got to port in St Thomas. That place is gorgeous.
Has this, now being yet another faulty Carnival ship, deterred you from booking with Carnival again?
A little. We will go on another one because of the discount. After that it will depend mostly on price and destinations.
If you are still on St. Thomas, there is a little BBQ truck up by Sapphire Bay called "Off the Grid". It is unbelievable, you should go.
Edit: Found a pic from my last trip there...
Hmm I will investigate this. I have no clue where sapphire Bay is in relation to us.
See if you can use that discount on any of their subsidiary cruise lines like Princess.
Good idea! I think I'll investigate when I get home.
Just my opinion but, don't let what happened to this ship discourage you from cruising with Carnival. They have more ships sailing than any other cruise line. So they will have more problems.
The Liberty runs that route constantly without a break for months. When they dock on Sunday, they refuel and restock and right back out.
Mechanical parts break down. You just hope that you can catch it before it does.
This has definitely not deterred me. It's actually shown me how much carnival cares. They could have left us to find our own way home or given us shit service, but they didn't. They've been nothing but awesome. I understand they are also in damage control, but it's refreshing to know what kind of service you'll get in this situation.
I know two people who are also on that cruise with you. They are actually in really high spirits about the whole situation. Said the only thing they were disappointed about was the fact that they couldn't stay the entire time. I guess they are being flown back to San Juan today.
All in all they have said that the way they see it is they got paid ($150.00 ship credit) to stay in a floating hotel in St. Thomas. And with 50% off their next cruise they can wait until next year to see the other destinations on the trip.
From what I understand there is lots to do both onboard the ship (all amenities fully functional) and onshore, so they don't see it as an inconvenience at all. There are worst places to be stranded than on a Caribbean island.
I have been reading some cruise ship employee AMAs and it sounds like the employees have more fun on those cruises than the guests do. How are they taking this whole thing? Have you been able to befriend any of them and gotten invited to secret after hours cruise employee parties?
Everything you hear is 100% correct. I am very friendly with everyone, but especially staff because they work hard and have been a delight. Unfortunately, no invitation has been given. We were scheduled to fly to Miami but they cancelled our seats and will stay on board until the ship is towed to San Juan where we will continue our original flight plans.
Have you ever read David Foster Wallace's essay "A Supposedly Fun Thing I Will Never Do Again"?
I haven't. Please enlighten me on it.
Who is the maddest person you've come across due to the engine fire?
One guy was yelling that he didn't even want to come to st Thomas, and now he's stuck here. He wanted to be let off and he'd find his own way home. They wouldn't let him. I'm sure he left yesterday when first wave of flights left to go back to the US.
Did you buy trip insurance? How much is it and what does it cover? Is the food amazing? Do you have to pay for drinks or is it included?
We did not buy trip insurance. In total we probably spent close to 1500 a person for our room, airfare, and excursions. The food is quite tasty, even more so that it is free. Alcohol is between $6 and $10 a drink with an all day $50 alcohol pass. Sodas also cost money before, but now are giving them away for free.
The buffet is only open for 2 hours?! Or did you mean 11 am to 1 am..
Sorry for the confusion. The buffet has set hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The late night snack is from 11pm to 1am, which was in response to if there's anything open late at night . As for the exact hours of the buffet, I am unsure as we have eaten off ship for lunch and in the dining room for dinner.
If you paid by a Visa Signature card, you also have travel accident insurance. It's a perk of the card. Check your card's benefits. There's all sorts of neat shit they give you for travel, rentals, and even price protection for electronics.
Thanks for the tip. I have barclaycard arrival. I'll have to check their policy regarding travel insurance.
It could be worse, you could be stranded at sea... ammiright? My wife and I loved out Carnival Cruise. What is the general mood of the other passengers? Are they all cool with it, or are they pissed off?
You are definitely right! People think of it as half glass full or half glass empty. Some people had plans for after the cruise and I've noticed they are more cheerful than those who were planning on going straight home. I think more are upset.
Well, I'd take a ship fire over norovirus any day.
Since you and your girlfriend are nurses. Had there been a medical emergency on board, would you turn off "vacation mode" and go directly to "work mode?"
Where do you plan on going with your discount cruise? I heard Alaska is nice.
Definitely. As nurses you have to be prepared to act when not in uniform and really it is our duty. It probably helps that we both work in critical care as well and care for medical emergencies fairly well.
I had not thought of an Alaskan cruise, but have been told they are awesome. It would be good for us because we are from California, so traveling would cost less and take hours compared to a whole day. We did discuss using our discount on an Alaskan cruise but haven't thought too much about it.
My wife and I did an Alaska cruise tour with some friends of ours and it was absolutely amazing. We did it the last week of August/1st week of September and all of Denali National Park was in peak fall colors. It was so beautiful it almost seemed fake. 10/10 would most certainly do it again.
Okay. I am looking into this when I get home!
Fire aboard a ship. No bueno'.
Did this happen at sea or in port?
This occurred in Port. My girlfriend and I were halfway across the island and came back to everyone off the ship. We didn't know what happened until we asked around.
I saw him trying to make a coconut radio. Wasn't working...
Is Guys Burger Joint still open at least? Best burgers ever, seriously. Are you guys planning to go home early or take your stay somewhere else?
It is open! So delicious! They are chartering a majority to Miami, Orlando, San Juan, and Atlanta where they will catch commercial connecting flights. We were scheduled to have a Miami flight but we also had plans in key West after the cruise. So instead, we will stay on board. The plan is to tow the ship to San Juan with an arrival on Sunday, where we will disembark and continue onto our original flight.
Did the captain try to convince you it was just a power outage and ask passengers to go back to their rooms?
We were not near the ship when it occurred, but everyone evacuated. We were not allowed back on until almost 9pm. It was quite uncomfortable because there is limited places to sit. I actually fell asleep on the ground at some point.
No one was injured. Thank God.
Please tell me someone has fired up "I'm on a boat" -lonely island! Did you remember your swim trunks and your flippy floppies?
I'm sure they have. There's a DJ every day on the deck. We haven't been on the ship. We've been using this as a time to explore St Thomas and St John.
I am not much of a movie guy. Probably anchorman and school of rock are my favorite movies, I love comedy. Guilty pleasure are Disney/Pixar movies.