October 31, 2000
Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas lost electrical power at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday morning just outside of Curacao. The 2,040-passenger ship is currently operating on emergency generators that provide juice for key functions, including back-up lighting. Air conditioning and plumbing had gone out when the ship lost power but was restored a little over four hours later. The company has coordinated with local marine officials for tugboats to tow the ship the 7.5 miles to Willemstad, Curacao and Grandeur of the Seas arrived there after 2 p.m. "The ship's 2,040 guests and 842 crew members are in no danger," said Jack Williams, president of Royal Caribbean International, in a press release. "Their safety and comfort are our first concerns. The ship is in good weather and the situation is well under control at this time." Technicians are being flown immediately to Curacao where they will supplement on-board mechanics' efforts to repair the malfunction. A company spokesman says they are "optimistic" about a relatively quick fix. The electrical problem appears to be related to a component in an electronic board. Problems of this sort are somewhat rare and usually can be fixed in a minimal amount of time. The correction will return power to the ship's propulsion system, the last area of the ship needing its electricity restored. Royal Caribbean representatives have communicated these issues to local and U.S. Coast Guard officials and other shipping authorities. Regardless, there's a 15-hour window, an unusual luxury, for fixing the problem because Grandeur of the Seas is scheduled for a sea-day tomorrow -- and doesn’t really have to leave Curacao until 4 a.m. to stay on course. The seven-day cruise, which departed San Juan Saturday on a week long Southern Caribbean itinerary, will then call at St. Maarten and St. Thomas before returning to its home port in San Juan. In the meantime, passengers disembarked in Curacao this afternoon shore excursions -- just like any normal port of call. Grandeur’s the second ship this month to lose power in mid-journey. Holland America’s Veendam also lost power -- off the coast of Oregon. It was fixed and resumed its trans-canal itinerary.