Cruise Ship Problems: Fender Bender, Fire and Suspicious Package

The Carnival Fantasy docked in Mobile, AL
Carnival Fantasy (file photo)

A flurry of incidents involving cruise ships occurred over the weekend, although the ships involved are now operating normally.

Panama Canal Fender Bender 

On Friday evening, during Carnival Fantasy’s passage through the Panama Canal, the ship came in contact with one of the locks while the water levels were being lowered.

In a statement issued immediately after the incident, Carnival Cruise Line said “there were no injuries. We’ve completed our initial assessment and damage is limited to the metal overhang, broken glass and handrails on Deck 9 and 10 aft. The necessary clean-up will be completed by Saturday afternoon.”

In addition, the Lido Restaurant was fully functional and access to the Serenity area was restored by Saturday afternoon.

Carnival said that the Carnival Fantasy arrived in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, as scheduled on Saturday morning. The ship is in the midst of a 10-day sailing from Mobile, AL; it will return to Mobile on Thursday after calls in Honduras and Mexico.

Suspicious Suitcase in Miami

Passengers getting ready to check in and board Norwegian Breakaway at PortMiami’s Terminal F on Sunday were in for an unpleasant surprise that delayed the ship’s departure by several hours.  

A suspicious suitcase at the terminal was found just before 2 p.m. on Sunday. That triggered a security alert with police and fire department personnel responding and K-9s sniffing suitcases.

Check-in and boarding were stopped while authorities investigated. Guests waited outside in temperatures of 84 to 88 degrees for several hours.

Given the heat and lack of information, passengers became frustrated and tempers flared, local TV stations reported.

After nothing was found, the “all clear” was given, and check-in and boarding continued, although with a few hours' delay. Norwegian Breakaway is now sailing a seven-night voyage to the eastern Caribbean.

Small Engine Room Fire in Alaska

Finally, on Friday while sailing in Alaska, the Carnival Legend experienced a small fire in the engine room. In a statement, Carnival said it “was quickly extinguished by the fire suppression system and the ship's team. Guests and crew were not affected.”

The statement also said: “The incident did not impact the ship's itinerary and it is continuing on its nine-day cruise as scheduled. Carnival Legend departed Vancouver on Tuesday, Sept. 17.”

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