Engine Room Fire off Hilo — Updated

GRAND PRINCESS. Photo © Peter Knego August 29, 2012
File photo: GRAND PRINCESS. Photo © Peter Knego August 29, 2012

Princess Cruises’ 1998-built GRAND PRINCESS  lost power early on the morning of November 30 after a fire was reported in an engine room switchboard.

The ship was approaching Hilo, Hawaii when the alarm was raised. The cruise ship switched to emergency lighting and was able to operate with limited air conditioning.  After a short time power was restored and the GRAND PRINCESS was able to resume course with three of four engines running.

However, “The call to Hilo has been cancelled in order to proceed to Honolulu where shoreside engineers have been deployed to meet the ship for an on-time arrival at 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday, December 1,” Princess Cruises said in a statement.

GRAND PRINCESS was on the fifth day of her 15-day Hawaiian cruise that had departed San Francisco on November 25 with 2,592 passengers and 1,095 crew, no injuries were reported, Princess said.

Any additional impact to the ship’s itinerary will be announced following the engineers assessment in Honolulu.

December 2 update:

From Princess Cruises, “Grand Princess is currently in Honolulu after the ship experienced a switchboard malfunction on November 30 that resulted in reduced speed. We had technical experts join the ship yesterday to inspect all systems and verify the safety of the ship. Lloyd’s Register reviewed all actions and cleared the ship to sail. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard has been involved throughout the process and has also cleared the ship to sail.

While there is no impact to maneuverability or safety, the ship cannot attain maximum speed therefore we must adjust the future itinerary. Regretfully, the port calls to Nawiliwili (Kaui) and Lahaina (Maui) will be cancelled in order to return to San Francisco as scheduled on December 10. The ship will remain in Honolulu another day and depart this evening.

We regret that this situation has impacted the cruise and sincerely apologize that we’ve been unable to deliver the expected cruise vacation experience.  We are offering guests a full refund and goodwill compensation. In addition, should guests wish to depart the cruise in Honolulu, we will provide airfare to return them home.”


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