One Passenger Was Injured on Beleaguered Carnival Splendor Cruise
Carnival Cruise Lines spokesman Vance Gulliksen confirms that one unidentified female passenger experienced a shoulder injury "related to a slip and fall incident that happened onboard." Gulliksen said he had no more details.
The cruise line had previously said there were no injuries after an engine room fire left the ship dead in the water about 200 miles south of San Diego and 55 miles from the coast of Mexico.
As the ship arrived yesterday in San Diego, two passengers were seen being brought off the ship on stretchers and were met at the ship pier by ambulance.
Gulliksen says the second passenger had a pre-existing medical condition "that was unrelated to anything that happened onboard."
Others among the 3,299 passengers, who were stuck on the ship for days, were in every form of media available complaining about a nightmare cruise that they say included dark rooms, vomit bags placed in the halls, stench and lack of food.
But two passengers were busy dealing with legal authorities. The passengers came off the ship in handcuffs after their names showed up on a Homeland Security check for outstanding felony warrants, Officer Adam Miles of the San Diego Harbor Police tells AOL Travel News.
Miles says it is not unusual for people on cruise ships to be arrested on outstanding warrants.
"Every other ship that comes in, there seems to be arrests for violations," he says. "But no crimes were committed on this boat."
Carnival's Gulliksen says, "While we are not in a position to comment on specifics, we can state that the reason (the passengers) were removed from the ship does not relate in any way to anything that occurred during the cruise."
Without its main generators or propulsion since a three-hour fire on Monday, the Carnival Splendor was pulled by six tugs into the Port of San Diego yesterday morning.
Passengers say they were stuck on the ship without electricity, air conditioning, elevators, hot food, hot water and, for a time, broken toilets.
Some are describing the onboard experience like camping out.
"It was camping on the ocean and I hate camping," Jackie Harlan of Buena Park, Calif., tells the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Chris Harlan, 33, added he may never eat sandwiches again after living on cheese and beet sandwiches on the ship.
"I heard there were Pop Tarts, but I didn't see any," Harlan says, adding he didn't eat anything the last day and a half on the ship.
Harlan did, however, praise the way Carnival employees handled the situation. "I can't say enough, the crew was great."
With the ship limp in the ocean, the U.S. Navy delivered non-perishable food supplies by Seahawk, and there were photos of cans of Spam. Carnival denies, however, that Spam was ever served.
"Some spam was delivered to the ship but was never served to guests. We gave our food order to a supplier not the Navy. The Navy kindly delivered the goods. SPAM was not on the list. However, we told the supplier to substitute as necessary if they had difficulty getting everything we were requesting on very short notice and so that's how the SPAM ended up within the supplies that were delivered," Gulliksen says.
Still, "I survived the 2010 Carnival cruise Spamcation" t-shirts created by a pair of sisters from Kansas, were selling like hotcakes at $20 a piece at the pier, The Associated Press reports.
Passengers onboard the ship included 250 magicians holding a conference and at least one couple who had planned to get married on a port call in Mexico, along with their guests. There were also several pairs of honeymooners and a good number of families with kids on the cruise.
The ship had set sail Sunday from Long Beach, Calif., its destination the Mexican Riviera.
The cruise line says guests on the Splendor will be receiving a full refund along with a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount they paid for the voyage.
Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard it has inspectors in San Diego. But since the ship is registered in Panama, they are there in an assisting capacity. The Panama Maritime Authority is leading the investigation.
Carnival says in a statement it has a team in San Diego assessing damage to the vessel. The cruise line canceled the ship's Nov. 14 sailing, but there was no word yet on future cruises.
"Our technical teams are working round the clock to assess the damage and necessary repairs. We expect to have additional information early next week and will inform all guests accordingly," Carnival says.
Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill says in a statement, "On November 11, the Carnival Splendor reached San Diego and all guests and crew were returned safely. We are extremely grateful and appreciative to them for their patience and positive spirit throughout the course of events.
"We would also like to extend our utmost gratitude to the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the Port of San Diego and those within the San Diego community, as well the tug boat operators, bus drivers, hoteliers, our travel agent partners and many, many others who have aided and supported us throughout the past several days. Thank you to all."
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Photo, U.S. Navy