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Home > Cruise News Archive > First Person: A Cruise Critic Member Recounts His Carnival Splendor 'Adventure'
Date Published: November 12, 2010
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First Person: A Cruise Critic Member Recounts His Carnival Splendor 'Adventure'
Fire FAQ: Passenger Safety, Damage Report, More
Video: Passenger Gives Eerie Guided Tour of Splendor
Fact or Spam? Lingering Questions from the Splendor Saga
Readers Debate: Cruise to Cherish or Nightmare to Avoid?
Passengers, Others Speak Out About Life on Splendor
Anatomy of a Relief Mission: How the Navy Assisted Splendor
Slideshow: U.S. Navy Supply Mission
Passengers Debark Splendor; Line Comps Crew
Your Turn: Chat About the Splendor Fire

(3:40 p.m. EST) -- A day before Carnival Splendor was towed into San Diego's harbor, we emailed a number of Cruise Critic members who'd checked into the Roll Call posted on our message boards. Our mission? To get firsthand accounts about life on the stricken ship -- once they had access to a computer, of course. We couldn't have been happier when Bob Flynn checked in Friday with his riveting account (an edited version of which appears below). If you have your own high-seas adventure aboard Splendor to tell, add it here. And if you want to read snippets from other passengers, including Splendor cruise director John Heald, check them out here.



It was quite an adventure if nothing else. It was a bit inconvenient, but I strongly feel our safety was never at risk and I commend Carnival, especially the onboard staff, on an excellent job under challenging circumstances. John Heald (the legendary cruise director) did an excellent job of keeping the passengers and crew informed and calm. As a retired Chicago Police Lieutenant, I realize the importance of a level-headed and strong leader in any emergency situation, and Mr. Heald took the reins and prevented panic -- and, above all, outstanding leadership. His humor during announcements kept us laughing and in good spirits.

We were without electricity since the fire and, yes, there was a rather unpleasant odor from the unflushable toilets, which were eventually fixed. There were no hot foods or coffee because of the outage. The rumor that we were surviving on "Spam and Pop-Tarts" was untrue. Breakfast consisted of cereals, bread, sweet rolls, yogurt, fresh fruits and hard-boiled eggs on one occasion. On the last day we were given Pop-Tarts, and they were actually a welcome treat. Lunches and dinners consisted of sandwiches, fresh fruits and rather good fresh salads and different desserts. For drinks, we were given water, soda (which was free) and milk. On the last two nights, they opened the bar and were giving out complimentary beer and wine. The lines for food were very long the first day, but then Carnival opened additional dining venues, which cured the waiting in line.

There were a few shows that Carnival put on, and during the daylight hours, the casino opened up for "free gaming," which was fun -- and it kept everyone's mind off the situation at hand. Heald kept assuring us that Carnival would take care of all our hotel accommodations and travel arrangements, and it did in fact do so. We were put on buses to the hotel and greeted by Carnival personnel at the hotel. They had hot coffee, the first cup in days! (Oh, what a welcome treat for a retired cop, but no donuts.) I was put up at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, until my departure on Sunday (November 14), the day our cruise was scheduled back in Long Beach.

I was surprised when Carnival also provided vouchers for all meals. It is a beautiful hotel overlooking the harbor and, as fate would have it, I can see Carnival Splendor sitting at the pier.

Splendor's crew worked under difficult circumstances for unusually long hours, but still always had a pleasant greeting and a smile on their faces. I did later hear people interviewed by the media indicate that they would never take another cruise, or they would not travel on Carnival again. To this I say bull cookies! After experiencing the way the entire staff conducted themselves in such a professional manner in an emergency situation, this is and has been (for about 20 cruises now) my choice for a cruise line. Carnival in my humble opinion once again distinguished themselves, as did Heald and the entire crew.

Thanks also must go out to the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, who escorted us into San Diego. What an honor and how fitting that we were escorted in by the fine men and women of our Armed Services, on of all days, Veterans Day. God bless these men and women, and may He keep them safe.

--by Bob Flynn, Cruise Critic member

Fire FAQ: Passenger Safety, Damage Report, More
Video: Passenger Gives Eerie Guided Tour of Splendor
Fact or Spam? Lingering Questions from the Splendor Saga
Readers Debate: Cruise to Cherish or Nightmare to Avoid?
Passengers, Others Speak Out About Life on Splendor
Anatomy of a Relief Mission: How the Navy Assisted Splendor
Slideshow: U.S. Navy Supply Mission
Passengers Debark Splendor; Line Comps Crew, Debunks Spam
Your Turn: Chat About the Splendor Fire

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