Bad ‘Dream’? Another Carnival cruise ship runs into trouble

Dylan Stableford

Not again.

A month after Carnival Triumph limped to port in Mobile, Ala., another one of the cruise line's ships is reporting equipment problems.

Multiple passengers aboard the Carnival Dream, currently docked in port in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, contacted news outlets complaining of power outages, overflowing toilets and limited communication from cruise officials.

"There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms," Gregg Stark told CNN late Wednesday. "The elevators have not been working. They've been turning them on and off, on and off."

A U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman in Miami said on Thursday that Carnival Dream's captain "notified the agency of possible trouble with the ship's propulsion system," according to the Associated Press.

The Dream, which has a capacity of 3,646 passengers and 1,367 crew members, left Port Canaveral in Florida on Saturday.

In February, an engine fire crippled the Triumph, turning what was supposed to be a four-day cruise into an eight-day debacle and public relations nightmare for Carnival. CNN covered the story of the ship, which floated for five days in the Gulf of Mexico without power or working toilets, as an epic breaking news event, taking live calls from stranded passengers and referring to the ship to as a "floating petri dish." The Triumph had more than 4,200 people on board (including crew and passengers).

Carnival Corp. was subsequently hit by a class action lawsuit "for stranding more than 3,000 passengers for five days on a ship without electricity or adequate sanitation."

UPDATE, 3:45 p.m. EDT: Carnival said Thursday afternoon that it would fly the all passengers aboard the Dream back to Florida from St. Maarten, where the ship suffered an emergency generator failure while docked in the Caribbean.

"We sincerely apologize for the disappointment this unexpected change has caused and regret we were unable to provide you with the fun and memorable cruise vacation we had in store for you," Massimo Marino, the ship's captain, wrote to passengers in a letter provided to CNN:

Marino told passengers they will be booked on flights to Orlando or another destination. Passengers with cars at Port Canaveral will be bused from Orlando to the facility about an hour away.

The letter also offers passengers a three-day refund and a half-price cruise in the future.

The captain said passengers could "enjoy another day in beautiful St. Maarten" or stay onboard for a "full schedule" of activities.