March has been a trying time for Carnival Cruise Lines, with the latest cruise ship malfunction coming from the Carnival Legend, which was forced to cancel a call to Grand Cayman after one of the ship's Azipod units affected the vessel's sailing speed. Though the ship's safety systems and hotel services all continued to function normally, guests on the current voyage will receive a $100.00 per person credit and a full refund on pre-purchased shore excursions for Grand Cayman, as well as 50 percent off a future Carnival cruise.
Another issue surfaced Wednesday, March 13 during a routine safety check of the Carnival Dream's emergency diesel generator, which malfunctioned as the vessel was docked in St. Maarten. Though the ship never lost power, periodic interruptions to elevators and restroom facilities resulted in the chartering of 50 commercial and private flights departing St. Maarten for the 4,363 guests currently onboard the Carnival Dream, giving them the option to return to Orlando or their originating city.
Agents commented on our Facebook page that media outlets had been overhyping reports of overflowing toilets and technical problems in the wake of the malfunction. "I have spoken to them…They are FINE," says Change in Latitude Travel of clients she had on the vessel. "It’s a few people who are not listening to the crew and trying to flush toilets, but everything is working fine, and nothing major. They are having a blast. A minor inconvenience."
Despite these recent technical issues, more than 20 million North Americans cruised safely last year, and those numbers are reflected positively in New York City's cruise industry numbers, which generated a total economic impact of nearly $200 million in 2012. The 2012 Economic Impact Study, conducted by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, detailed a 32 percent increase in passengers since 2009, when the City first began analyzing industry data. These passengers, along with crew, spent more than $120 million in New York City last year, an increase of more than 30 percent since 2009, and overall, the new study showed significant growth in all sectors of the city’s cruise industry during this time.