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I did a couple of posts earlier in the year about the fire on the Carnival Triumph, and especially about the way that a single small fire knocked out what were supposed to be redundant power supply and control systems that affected the whole ship. Since then there has been a lot of negative publicity, especially in the uS, about cruising in general and Carnival in particular. Now Carnival have announced some immediate measures they will put in place to prevent similar events from happening again:

  • an additional emergency generator will be added to every Carnival ship, to provide sufficient emergency power so that passenger cabin and public toilets continue to work, fresh water remains available, and to power the lifts;
  • fire prevention and suppression systems will be enhanced so that fires, if/when they occur, can be brought under control more quickly;
  • engine room and power supply system will be enhanced to provide greater redundancy in the event of a fire or other critical event (in my view, this is the area that has proved to be the biggest area of failure);
  • a new safety & reliability board will be constituted, staffed by third parties, to review Carnival’s provision.

When Gerry Cahill, CEO of Carnival Cruise Line, announced these measures, he did make one point which I think is worth repeating: the passengers on Carnival Triumph (and on Carnival Splendor which suffered a similar power failure a couple of years or so ago) were not in any danger: in both incidents the initial problem was brought under control very quickly, and muster drills, etc, were purely precautionary. Thereafter the passengers on both ships suffered considerable discomfort, and of course had good stories to tell when they disembarked….

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