Toilet Troubles for Princess Cruise Ship

April 14, 2013
(11:00 a.m. EDT) -- Princess Cruises' Crown Princess experienced problems with 410 toilets on its last Caribbean cruise of the 2013 spring season, forcing some passengers to use public bathrooms for 24 hours or more.

According to Julie Benson, vice president of public relations for Princess, Crown Princess a problem with the toilet system on April 11 affected 410 cabins in the aft part of the ship. The ship has 1,538 cabins in total.

"We identified a blockage within the vacuum toilet system," Benson told Cruise Critic. "The toilets in these staterooms were inoperable from 5 a.m. to 6:30 p.m… A small number of passengers continued to experience problems over the next few days, which were addressed by the shipboard technical team."

During the toilet outage, public restrooms were made available to passengers in the affected cabins.

Benson also said passengers were kept "continuously updated" about the progress of the repairs, but Cruise Critic member EB and Curly wrote on the Cruise Critic forum that this isn't entirely correct.

"We were in one of the affected cabins… We were never informed as to the status of repairs and, in fact, on Thursday morning, we called to tell them our toilet still was not working. They were surprised as it was supposedly fixed by then."

Of the experience of having no toilet, EB and Curly wrote, "Early on in the cruise we noticed the toilet wasn't flushing properly. But we were only totally without a toilet for about 24 hours. It did overflow one night and we had to call maintenance to come up at 1:00 a.m."

Affected passengers were provided $50 per person in compensation.

Crown Princess was near the end of the last six-night Caribbean cruise out of Galveston for this spring season at the time of the outage. The ship left Galveston April 13 for a transatlantic repositioning cruise to Europe.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor