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Old 03-14-2013, 09:59 AM
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Question Ship's Power Options
After as many ships as I've been on, I've never really noticed the reason for this question. I see where another cruise ship has been struck with power and toilet problems, but this time it is docked at St. Maarten(why the people aren't allowed to leave the ship is also beyond me). Are the cruise ships, much like a privately owned mega yacht, able to plug into "shore power" to power the basic functions, in case of an onboard power failure?
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:48 PM
 
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Jim - the passengers onboard Carnival Dream WERE allowed to leave the ship to explore the port until their scheduled flights home.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:56 PM
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I think the issue initially is they didn't want people to leave since they thought they might get the problem resolved quickly, and thus be able to leave port. Once the staff realized the emergency generator couldn't be fixed anytime soon they let people go back ashore.

Most small ports such as that in St. Maarten don't have the electrical capacity dockside to provide power for a large ship such as Carnival Dream. Cruise ships can use shore power but it is frankly a pain to set up (trust me, I had to help do it when in the Navy), plus return to ship's power. The only reason to do it is if you lose all ship's power - which never happened on the Dream. Staying on the ship's diesels is both easier and more cost effective. Plus the ships are required to be able to leave the dock fairly quickly for safety reasons. The Dream always had primary electrical distribution, it was just the emergency generator that failed during routine testing. Apparently it must have shorted something out that caused a small problem with elevators and toilets briefly, but it was not anything like the initial media rants made it out to be.

I am moving this thread to the Carnival board.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally, the pax were told to remain onboard as the crew was determining whether it was safe to depart. All had just embarked after a day in St. Maarten and they didn't want to leave anyone behind. As we know now, the ship ended up staying put -- it was at that point that they were allowed to go back ashore should they wish.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:03 PM
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Dave and I posted around the same time...

About 10 years ago, we were on a westbound transatlantic on QE2 when there was a massive power outage that affected New York City. Our Captain told us that the city was anxious for us to arrive so that they could plug into the ship's power.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:19 PM
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I don't know what the hotel load for electrical power is for a cruise ship, but the main diesels on Carnival Dream are rated at around 75 megawatts in total. The ship needs about half that for main propulsion, which would mean one cruise ship could eat up the entire power needs of a small island, or at least a big chunk of it.

Edit for update: As far as I can tell, St. Maarten has an electrical capacity of 95 MW on the island grid. One cruise ship could power the island with some restrictions!
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaP View Post
Dave and I posted around the same time...

About 10 years ago, we were on a westbound transatlantic on QE2 when there was a massive power outage that affected New York City. Our Captain told us that the city was anxious for us to arrive so that they could plug into the ship's power.
During the Ice Storm that Ontario and Quebec had in 1998, they were actually using Diesel Locomotives as power generators, and tapped then into the electrical grid to power Montreal's city hall.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaP View Post
Dave and I posted around the same time...

About 10 years ago, we were on a westbound transatlantic on QE2 when there was a massive power outage that affected New York City. Our Captain told us that the city was anxious for us to arrive so that they could plug into the ship's power.
Lisa, I think I remember that blackout! Oddly enough, we weren't affected, even though we're only an hour from New York!
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:14 AM
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Thumbs up Power
Didn't want this post to be a dig on Carnival, but more just a basic GENERALLY could they use shore power. I had heard that an oil/fuel line had ruptured and sprayed the engine room and that is where the power problem came from until they could get the line poweed down and repaired. TV LOVES ramping up a basic story to glory heights; look at how they're now naming storms across the nation. Glad the people got to explore and leave the ship for a while longer; I'm sure the local businesses were happy too.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:30 AM
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Jim,

The fuel line break was on the Triumph, not the Dream. Triumph was out to sea when it happened. For the Dream they never lost normal electrical power, just emergency power, which was being tested. Apparently the emergency generator fault caused some breaker trips that had to be tested before they could be re-energized with normal ship's power. Thus, even if they were hooked up to shore power it wouldn't have mattered. The breakers were still off-line.
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