(7 a.m. EST) -- An early-morning fire Monday in the engine room of Carnival Splendor
has left the 113,000-ton vessel, packed with 3,299 passengers, without power. Stay tuned to Cruise Critic for updates on the ship's journey back to land. We'll be posting throughout the day.
The fire, which was detected in the aft engine room, has been extinguished and no passengers or any of the 1,167-person crewmembers onboard were injured. However, the ship -- on the first day of a seven-night Mexico cruise -- is now operating on emergency generators. The passengers, who were originally asked to move to the ship's upper decks, have since returned to their cabins and have access to food and bottled water.
As of late Monday evening, Carnival reports there's no air conditioning, hot food service, flushing toilets or telephones available.
Coast guard aircraft and cutters are headed to the scene; the ship is located 55 miles west of Punta San Jacinto, Mexico. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Mexican navy is also sending support vessels.
Today was a scheduled day at sea prior to visits in the Mexican ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Carnival has decided to cancel the cruise, and tugboats will pull the ship to Ensenada, where passengers will debark.
The cruise line announced passenger compensation for the canceled cruise Monday evening. "Guests on the current voyage will be receiving a full refund along with reimbursement for transportation costs," said a Carnival statement. "Additionally, they will receive a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount paid for this voyage."
Coincidentally, Splendor cruise director and avid blogger John Heald posted this wish on his Facebook page yesterday: "I am hoping for an incident free cruise but . . .since being here I can't remember one where something or someone strange hasn't happened."
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
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