Passengers from the Carnival Dream left stranded in St. Maarten arrived on flights in Miami and Orlando Friday. Passengers Zach Castillo spoke about his experience, while Cliff Dodge said he and his wife are already talking about their next Carnival trip. NBC 6 s Justin Finch reports from St. Maarten.
Passengers from the Carnival Dream left stranded in St. Maarten arrived on flights in Miami and Orlando Friday as a second ship was experiencing problems near the Grand Cayman Islands, company officials said.
The cruise was cut short Thursday after a malfunction occurred during a scheduled testing of the ship's emergency diesel generator while it was docked in St. Maarten, the company said.
Carnival decided to keep the ship in port in the Caribbean and fly all of its nearly 4,000 guests home. Some had flown to Orlando or returned home Friday night, while others were still on board the ship, waiting for their flights out of St. Maarten.
The halt to the Carnival Dream's cruise came a month after the Carnival Triumph spent five days in the Gulf of Mexico without power or working toilets.
Some passengers contacted media outlets during the wee hours of Thursday morning saying that the Dream's toilets weren't working and there were some that were overflowing.
A Carnival spokesperson said there had been periodic interruptions to elevators and restroom services but at no time did the ship lose power.
“And I was kind of worried about it – like maybe something would happen. But I didn't think it would, but it did,” Carnival Dream passenger Zach Castillo said, laughing.
In addition to being flown home, passengers will also receive a refund equal to three days of the voyage and 50 percent off a future cruise.
Cliff Dodge plans to use the discount.
“My wife and I are already talking about our next trip with Carnival," he said.
The Dream, which is based in Port Canaveral, was on the last leg of a seven-day cruise. Carnival said the ship's next voyage, which was expected to leave Saturday, will be canceled and guests on that cruise will receive a full refund, 25 percent off a future cruise and reimbursement for non-refundable transportation.