A Cruise to Remember

  • Sharon and Alan Sparks at the beginning of their cruise November 7.

    Sharon and Alan Sparks at the beginning of their cruise November 7.

Yes, On That Ship

On Monday, Nov. 8 an engine room fire knocked out all electricity to the Carnival Splendor cruise ship. The Sparks of Frazier Park were on board.

By Sharon Sparks

Whenever I see someone now, they say, “You were on that cruise?”

Well, yes, we were. And one we’ll never forget.

My husband and I had a lovely first night on the Carnival Splendor, but with daybreak, things changed.

We were in bed when we felt the ship shudder and slow to a stop. Smoke was coming from the back of the ship. We were without water and toilets for about 12 hours; and without electricity until tugboats got us to San Diego on Thursday.

No elevators, no TV, no hot water. We did have a balcony room, so we had light during the day. Then they restored enough electricity to light the halls and common areas.

We had ‘suspicious sandwiches,’ salad and fruit, warm sodas, warm beer, mixed drinks but no ice—and still we had a lot of fun. You just had to laugh, ‘How could this happen?’

We were entertained by the Coast Guard, the USS Ronald Reagan, a Navy boat, planes, helicopters, tug boats—both Mexican and U.S.—the crew, captain and cruise director. The crew was living like we were, and working also, always with a pleasant word. They were awesome.

We never felt any fear. We were not sinking or in a lifeboat. We had fun and laughed a lot. There were 10 in our group. The mood on the ship was remarkably calm. Carnival went out of their way to make us happy. The cost of everything was refunded, plus another free cruise was given to all passengers.

It’s not the cruise we expected, but we will never forget it.

The things we learned were: If you go on a cruise, take with you peanut butter and crackers, get a balcony room, take a flashlight and above all else, enjoy yourself— you could be in the water.

This is part of the November 19, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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