Carnival Splendor, shown here on a rare call to
Vancouver, British Columbia in 2009.
Photo © Aaron Saunders
An article by KTVU California reports that the fire-damaged Carnival Splendor is due to depart San Francisco tomorrow, after arriving on January 23rd to utilize the city's drydock for the final phase of her repairs following an engine room fire on November 8, 2010 that left the ship adrift and without power for days.
While the ship was towed safely back to San Diego and her passengers and most crew disembarked, it was there that the real problems began. Though it was initially hoped the ship could be repaired in a matter of weeks, it soon became clear the damage was too extensive, and Carnival Cruises canceled voyages through the rest of 2010. A further setback caused much of January and February's voyages to be scrapped.
Carnival Splendor is now due to resume her weekly Mexican Rivera service from the port of Long Beach on Sunday, February 20, 2011.
What is fascinating about the article is the behind-the-scenes glimpse it gives us into the extent of the repairs that were necessary. While in San Francisco, the ship recieved two new generators - and an engine. If you know about cruise ships, you know that none of those are easily replaced. Ship's engines alone are massive - so big that a special aircraft was required to ferry it to San Francisco. Removing an engine from a ship and changing it out usually requires the ship to be lifted completely out of the water, at which point a hole is cut in her side, and the engine is moved out sideways.
For Carnival Splendor, it was likely far more tricky given that the engine room was in all likelihood damaged by fire.
That two generators and an engine were replaced entirely also gives a revealing look into the extent of the fire, and makes it apparent that Carnival's Splendor crew members did an excellent job in ensuring the fire never left the machinery spaces.
Splendor may have been damaged, but her most important assets - her passengers and crew - were kept safe. Kudos again to all of the crew aboard Carnival Splendor - it's apparent they did an amazing job.