John keeps spirits up on Splendor

//John keeps spirits up on Splendor

With their ship under tow and heading slowly towards San Diego, passengers on board Carnival Splendor are making the most of their plight. Their relaxing week-long cruise to the Mexican Riviera was over almost before it began – they had time for little more than dinner and a show on Sunday evening before the engine room fire which crippled the ship on Monday morning.
With no refrigeration to keep fresh food and no cooking facilities, they are having to rely on pop tarts and tins of Spam delivered by the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. And because there’s no hot water to do the washing up, the emergency supplies also included paper plates and plastic cutlery.
Flush toilets and emergency lighting have been restored, and the hard-pressed entertainment staff are doing their best to keep the children occupied. Mums and dads will be getting an intermittent signal on their mobile phones, but will be wary of using them too much because there’s no means of re-charging the batteries.
There are 16 Britons and 24 Australians among the 3,299 passengers and at least one Brit in the 1,167 crew. He is cruise director John Heald, who is from Margate. He will be working closely with the captain to keep everyone on the ship informed of the situation.
Or maybe not, as he admits in a brief blog which he has managed to post this evening.
Under the heading “Here I Am . . . ” he wrote: “I don’t smell of roses at the best of times but as the laundry is not working and I only have two pairs of underpants I smell like Paris on a hot summer’s day………that’s Paris the city not Paris the …….person. So here I am with a very quick hello.
“I am so sorry that I have not been blogging or Facebooking but we have had no internet and only now just got limited e-mail which an I/S beard has let me borrow for a few moments to say hello. Obviously it has been a challenge but let me tell you the most important facts and those are that the ship is safe, the guests are safe and that nobody was injured in what was a very difficult situation.
“I also want to tell you that the guests have been magnificent and have risen to the obvious challenges and difficult conditions onboard.”
Explaining what he was able to do on board, he said: “I am making continuous announcements from the bridge to keep them informed and sometimes when there is nothing new to tell them I just use the PA system to say hello and hope everyone is OK and try to keep some humour alive as well, which to be honest, I have no idea how that’s going over,” he writes.
“The crew has been absolutely epic and I am so very proud of each and every one of them. There have been high points and low points throughout the last few days and I will tell you all about those in the days ahead. But for now the most important thing for you and the world’s press to remember is that everyone is safe and well and we will all be home soon.
“There will be those who will say this has been “the cruise from hell.” However, when you see the local news reporter with the huge hair talking to Mr. Angry remember that there are many many many many more who will tell you what they have been telling me and the crew and that is that Carnival as a company have done everything they can and continue to do so to help them through this difficult situation.”
With typical humour, and with reference to the tins of Spam, he adds: “One thing is for certain though…I doubt anyone on board will ever ever want to eat a sandwich ever again.”
I might be able to help you there, John. Get your chefs to take a look at this collection of Spam recipes if you want some variety. Some of them have been devised by TV chef Phil Vickery.
Seriously though, I send my best wishes to John, the crew, and the passengers whose ordeal should be over some time on Thursday when the Splendor reaches port.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 10 November 2010|Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Philip 11 November 2010 at 5:08 am - Reply

    I was going to be smug and say something like “it isn’t like that here on board “Seven Seas Mariner” as we sail from Dubai to Cape Town” – outstanding food and superb service – but then I remembered that just a few weeks ago “Mariner’s” sister ship “Voyager” had severe engine/pod problems, so maybe I shouldn’t bee too cocky about the comfort by which I’m surrounded on this ship. But I do have quite a supply of freshly-laundered underwear ready!

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