Crippled Cruise Ship Splendor Docks in San Diego


"I also want to tell you that the guests have been magnificent and have risen to the obvious challenges and difficult conditions aboard," Carnival senior cruise director John Heald wrote in a blog once the ship regained Internet access.

Heald wrote that though some will say it has been "the cruise from hell," many others would beg to differ. Ojeda said Carnival has done its best to keep everyone entertained, including offering music and free drinks at the cruise bar.

"People were dancing, laughing, trying to make the best of their trip that obviously we didn't expect to turn out this way," she said. "Sweet Caroline" was the sing-a-long of choice, Ojeda said.

Carnival announced late Tuesday it was canceling the Splendor's next voyage, set to begin Nov. 14 from Long Beach, Calif. The company said it would offer those guests a full refund of their cruise fare and air transportation costs, as well as a 25 percent discount on a future cruise.

For those on this cruise, Carnival is offering a full refund as well as another free trip.

Despite the hardships, Ojeda said "of course" she would take the company up on the offer. Noriega, on the other hand, said there's "no way" he's going to go on another cruise with Carnival.

"There's just no way I'm going to use that [offer]. I wouldn't trust them," he said Wednesday.

USCG Was Aboard Splendor Day Before Fire

The Coast Guard had boarded the ship while it was still in port in California the day before the fire, ABC News has learned, but a Coast Guard spokeswoman declined to comment on the purpose of the visit because it has become part of the investigation into the fire.

"I can't say about that specific cruise ship, but the Coast Guard regularly conducts safety and security boardings aboard all sorts of vessels," Petty Officer Pamela Manns, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, told ABC News Tuesday. "It's part of how we do business."

In a Facebook posting Sunday evening, Carnival's senior cruise director, John Heald, complained that the Coast Guard was conducting tests of the ship's generators, and had shut down the elevators.

Heald also made something of a fateful post before the fire knocked out communication: "I am hoping for an incident free cruise but ... since being here I can't remember one where something or someone strange hasn't happened," Heald said. "Lets see what this cruise brings."

The ship was on the first leg of a seven-day cruise on the Mexican Riviera. It departed from Long Beach, Calif., Sunday. It was scheduled to stop in Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, and then return to Long Beach.

Carnival is the world's biggest cruise ship operator, with lines including Holland America, Princess and Cunard.

Carolyn Brown, editor-in-chief for, said that the passengers of the Splendor actually were lucky the engines stopped functioning so close to the coast rather than further out in open ocean, and that the situation looks to be under control.

"Let's put it this way: Nobody was injured. They're handling it," Brown told ABC News. "It's not ideal, and certainly it's not what you want to do on your vacation. But frankly, these people are going to have some stories to tell and I think they'll be good dinner party guests for decades to come."

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