Hey Cruiseman, what's your take on the broken ship?
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    Seasoned Member HiYoCheeto's Avatar
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    Default Hey Cruiseman, what's your take on the broken ship?

    Because a cruise is something we all like to do while waiting for the weather to warm up, I have to ask.

    Having been in the Navy, I'd like to know if these ships have redundant systems? I was on an LSD (Landing Ship, Dock) which is fairly large, we had redundant powerplants (4 boilers), 2 full backup generators and desalination plants. It was actually split left and right, each able to drive the ship alone.

    It just seems like a single fire should not disable an entire ship? Maybe one side or the other, but, not so it's sitting dead in the water.

    What's your take on this and the other episodes? If this is something you'd rather discuss privately, please let me know and I'll delete this thread.
    "The worst of all fears is the fear of living.", Theodore Roosevelt

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    Well, it is interesting, because all of these modern ships DO have redundant systems. However, it would appear that there is still a single point of failure somewhere in the system. A ship the size of Triumph has multiple generators, any one should be capable of powering the ship's electrical system should one or more engine fail. But, all of the engines are located in the same "room". So, if there are leading fumes or other factors that the engineer determine would make it unsafe to operate ANY of the engines, the redundancy goes out the window.

    We have been on 100 or more cruises and dozens of different ships in all shapes and sizes. We have been on one ship, a much smaller river boat, that lost all power in the middle of the night. It too had "redundant" systems, but it still took the crew nearly an hour to restore power. We were fortunate to be in a very calm part of the river. There's a lot of traffic on a river, not to mention a bank, so it is not a good place to be without power. That is the most excitement we have ever had on a ship, and we never felt in danger.

    Cruise lines do maintain the hell out of these ships. They are a huge investment and when something like the Triumph thing happens, it costs them a fortune in bad PR and repair costs. But, like all machines, they can fail.

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    Seasoned Member jprism's Avatar
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    Default Broken Ship

    Named changed from Triumph to Poop Ship

    Even FREE cruise tickets for life is no pay back!
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    Seasoned Member HiYoCheeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruiseman View Post
    But, all of the engines are located in the same "room". So, if there are leading fumes or other factors that the engineer determine would make it unsafe to operate ANY of the engines, the redundancy goes out the window.
    Well that's where the difference is, my ship had separate generator rooms and the boilers were separated by bulkheads that could be closed if needed.

    Thanks for the quick reply.
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    In their defense, I am just guessing that it is not as bad as what the media is reporting. They will interview 10 people and take the most disgruntled, pissed off passenger and put that one on the news. I have seen people bitch and complain about cruises where nothing went wrong. And, I don't trust ANYTHING I see on the news any more.

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    Seasoned Member glarson3's Avatar
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    I was on the Carnival Splendor in 2011, which had previously had an engine fire, and was towed to San Diego. I believe the Carnival Splendor is almost the exact same ship as the Triumph. When we were on board, we were able to take a behind the scenes tour which included the engine control room. If I remember correctly, it has 8 or 10 engines, with at least 2 in standby mode at all times. I agree with Cruiseman that there is obviously a single point of failure. I think that's a major issue they need to address ASAP. I'm hesitant to go on one of their ships because this has happened at least twice in the past 3 years. I know that the ships are likely made by the same blueprints, and that Carnival, Princess, Royal Carribbean are really the same company. Just saying it doesn't make me feel at ease knowing that I might end up adrift in the ocean eating onion sandwiches for a few days.
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    Seasoned Member Porkie's Avatar
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    I believe I read that the ship was 'listing' now that scares me! Does that mean that the 'bilge pumps' are inoperative? Or maybe all of the fat tourist were on the same side of the ship

    This whole thing shows how vulnerable travelers are on a cruise ship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just hope evryone is okay.

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    Do your cruises on sailboats. You might be becalmed a day or two, but the wind seems to keep coming back

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    Seasoned Member SteelTraveler's Avatar
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    Our family has had a special interest in following this story. My wife and two daughters sailed on the Carnival Triumph last week. They were on the cruise just before this one.

    They finished their cruise and disembarked on Thursday morning and a new group of passengers boarded the ship a few hours later and they're the ones who are now in this mess. I consider it very, very lucky that my wife and daughters got off the ship just in time.

    Their cruise was uneventful. No problems and they had a great time. However, my daughter did mention to me that she had heard on the ship that there was a minor problem with the engine on the cruise prior to their's, but it had been fixed. Apparently not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glarson3 View Post
    I know that the ships are likely made by the same blueprints, and that Carnival, Princess, Royal Carribbean are really the same company. .
    Carnival and Royal Caribbean are separate companies. Carnival does own controlling interest in Princess Cruises and also owns Seabourn, Holland America, Costa and Cunard.

    The ships, however, are mostly manufactured by a handful of shipyards in Norway, Italy, France, Finland and a few ships made in Japan. So, it is possible that Royal Caribbean and Carnival both operate ships constructed by the same shipyard. The Carnival Triumph, I believe, was build by Fincantiari in Italy. A reputable shipyard.

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    I have a friend whose husband died of Luekemia and her kids bought their mom a cruise trip. Her first one. She is on this cruise

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    Going on a cruise in about five weeks, this will be my seventh, five on Carnival and two the the USS Enterprise, I can't wait!

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    I spent many years of my life going to sea in submarines and two surface ships while in the Navy. I personally won't take a cruise on a cruise ship.

    Some of their captains are incompetent (the Italian cruiseliner that recently ran aground in calm clear weather saluting an island and the captain abandoned ship leaving the crew and passengers behind!), the crews are multi-national and may or may not speak a common language with the ship's officers, are usually untrained, and the ships are nowhere as well designed and safe as a Navy warship.

    During the week before this last one was adrift another one dropped one of their lifeboats spilling the boat passengers. Many fires aboard cruise ships have been reported in recent years. Many instances of loss of power and adrift at sea for periods of time have occurred as well.

    I know, some airplanes crash, lots of cars and trucks crash, and some Goldwing riders are injured or killed. Every aspect of travel, even of life, carries risks.

    Avoiding cruise ships is just a personal choice. I don't trust them but each to his own.

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    Harvey and I have similar backgrounds. Now my daughter, she likes going on cruises with her friends, got back last month from one in the Bahamas. She's had no problems. Me, I did some inspections with the Coast Guard on a couple of cruise ships. Frankly, I was appalled at the lack of training most of the engineroom crew had. Most of them worked by the old monkey and a bannana method - pull the lever - get a bannana. Heaven help them if it didn't work like they expected. English was a second or third language.

    Like Harvey - I really have no desire to go on a cruise. I've spent my time locked up with others on a floating misery ship. And to answer the OP's question - while there are back-up systems, unfortunately they go thru common bus points. The ship is designed with the concept that the generator may fail but the electrical system will stay intact. So while there may be multiple generators, they end up getting combined in a common switchboard and going to a common electrical distribution system. There are some redundancies available, but not like on a naval warship where you are expected to take some damage and still be able to function.
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    Am sure Carnival will take care of the passengers. I will be going on my 3rd cruise with them out of Ft. Lauderdale mid April. 7th cruise overall since 1992. Career in Navy and I still like ships!!! I would make the best out of it if I was on it. No reason to get all ballistic for something you can not actually change...Stay calm and all will work out... Am sure not all think like that and will want more then they will receive. I sense cruise ship chasing lawyers waiting at the dock...That will be a shame.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBarlow View Post
    I spent many years of my life going to sea in submarines and two surface ships while in the Navy. I personally won't take a cruise on a cruise ship.
    Quote Originally Posted by ssncob;4032663[SIZE=3


    Like Harvey - I really have no desire to go on a cruise. I've spent my time locked up with others on a floating misery ship.
    [/SIZE]
    Quote Originally Posted by FireEater View Post
    Career in Navy and I still like ships!!!
    The ocean cruise I rook in the navy was enjoyable compared to the river boat cruise I took in Vietnam, the locals kept shooting at us, it was really annoying.

    My wife and I went on a cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary, let's just say I reeeealy envy Cruiseman's occupation.
    Last edited by HiYoCheeto; 02-13-2013 at 10:01 PM.
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    Seasoned Member John805's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HBarlow View Post
    I spent many years of my life going to sea in submarines and two surface ships while in the Navy. I personally won't take a cruise on a cruise ship.

    Some of their captains are incompetent (the Italian cruiseliner that recently ran aground in calm clear weather saluting an island and the captain abandoned ship leaving the crew and passengers behind!), the crews are multi-national and may or may not speak a common language with the ship's officers, are usually untrained, and the ships are nowhere as well designed and safe as a Navy warship.

    During the week before this last one was adrift another one dropped one of their lifeboats spilling the boat passengers. Many fires aboard cruise ships have been reported in recent years. Many instances of loss of power and adrift at sea for periods of time have occurred as well.

    I know, some airplanes crash, lots of cars and trucks crash, and some Goldwing riders are injured or killed. Every aspect of travel, even of life, carries risks.

    Avoiding cruise ships is just a personal choice. I don't trust them but each to his own.

    I also was in the Navy LSD to be exact like the other gentleman. My wife wants to go on a cruise but like you I feel the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John805 View Post
    I also was in the Navy LSD to be exact like the other gentleman. My wife wants to go on a cruise but like you I feel the same.
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    LONG AS ALL THE CHOCOLATE AINT MELTED IT'LL BE OK SAID ONLY 20 TOILETS WORKING NO WATER NO POWER
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    We're going on our 4th cruise next month, Celebrity, 2nd time with them in less than a year. My biggest complaint was someone stole all my clothes and replaced them with identical ones, just one size smaller
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    Smile cruise

    went on m,y first cruise a year ago. hooked. ready to go again. to much food and drink aboard them big boats. also them clubs seem to stay open late at night and in the early morning, cuasing to much more drinking and eating. they will make it fun. if that ship gets in and go back out, i am ready to be on it. a reputable company will make it right.

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    We don't get on any large BOATS. End of story!

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    Spoke to my friend via email she said they reimbursed her for the cost of the cruise. Gave her $500 credit and a 7 day cruise free anytime. She said this was only a 4 day cruise

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    The real problem with civilian cruise ships is that those who run the ship are basically only operators. To have the skills to bypass the main power board and hook into main electrical cables to run such as water systems and all required systems of power for the ship to function is a bit beyond this type of crew.

    So a fire at the main electrical panel is a crippling blow, for even if you have 10 systems of back up they all go through the one main panel. Fire destroys the batteries and cables that serve the engine and you are dead, for they do not have the knowledge to build a step down transformer, run through a converter and fire up the engines again.

    They are simply operators so if something goes wrong, they do not have the skills to deal with it. At least not normally. You also have many nationalities working on these ships and to even be able to speak to them would be difficult in an emergency without a multi-skilled interpreter.

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    I wonder why they couldn't send another ship and transfer the passengers to another boat? I was in the Army. No sea experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhawk View Post
    I wonder why they couldn't send another ship and transfer the passengers to another boat? I was in the Army. No sea experience.
    Time element, how quick can another ship get there and is one available, and can the tugs get the ship in quicker.

    Without facts just a guess, no other ship available would be one reason, and how long it would take it to get there is another.

    If it gets serious and starts to sink the coast guard will fire up and go rescue them all. Provided the boats Captain has enough sense to ask for help.

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    If the weather had been bad, that would have been a much uglier event. I've never been on a commercial cruise but seems to me they put a bit too many people on those ships. But a lot of people really enjoy it. I was never interested and was always afraid my wife would suggest it. Turns out she is not interested either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhawk View Post
    I wonder why they couldn't send another ship and transfer the passengers to another boat? I was in the Army. No sea experience.
    According to the CEO of the cruise line safety considerations make it non-feasible.
    Something like 4,000 people on the boat and transferring them in open/choppy seas would be too dangerous unless the situation on the ship became much more dangerous than it is now.
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    Passenger transfer at sea would be a last possible choice desperate attempt to get the crew off a burning or sinking ship. The passengers are often elderly, feeble, partially disabled, and even if fully mobile would be panicked at the thought of trying to jump, walk across a gangway, or being lifted and swung across in some sort of webbed net or other makeshift device.

    The ships don't have any specialized equipment or training to transfer passengers at sea.

    Ocean-going cruise ships would lack the manueuverability and skills to pull one up tight alongside the other and a simple touch between hulls would cause a million dollars worth of damage to each ship, possibly worse. The hulls of those ships are not designed or built to touch each other at sea.

    It's hard to imagine the forces at work on the hull of a ship in even a mild wind and sea state for someone who hasn't experienced it. If two cruise ships were brought alongside each other winds and sea state, even in a dead calm, would cause them to crash against each other and then separate possibly destroying lifeboats, deck hardware, and other equipment.

    Large ships at sea must be purpose-designed and purpose-built and operated by skilled captains, officers, and crews with constant training including practice drills on all routine or possible events that could occur.

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    Thanks for the replys. Always good to hear from someone with experience and knowledge.

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