(July 26, 3:30 p.m. EDT) --No air-conditioning, no entertainment and no propulsion? That's what passengers on Princess Cruises' Emerald Princess experienced on Sunday night, when the ship lost power shortly after it departed from its homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale. Because of the delay, today's call in Princess Cays has been canceled and passengers will spend the day at sea.
According to a company statement, the ship lost power at 6:30 p.m., 1.5 hours after departure. The ship had no control over propulsion until 11 p.m., with intermittent power for hotel services. The statement asserts that the ship, its passengers and its crew were never in any danger. CBS4 Miami reports that a United States Coast Guard official blamed a computer glitch for the outage. However, Karen Candy, a Princess spokeswoman, says the cause of the power loss is still under investigation and a technician will join the ship in St. Maarten on Wednesday to look into the incident.
Cruise Critic member jonikal is onboard and posted a description of her experience on the message boards: "We were a floating paperweight for 4 hours as they tried to repair generator and computer problems. Meanwhile, of course, no a/c, limited lights and cancellation of shows, entertainment, etc. The dinner menu was limited to a few items and the poor waiters were melting in their uniforms! I had a straw fan (normally used for muster) and could have sold it many times last night!"
Candy says that once the total impact to the itinerary has been determined, the line will make a decision about passenger compensation. All passengers who had booked tours in Princess Cays have received a refund. We'll keep you posted.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
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