Cruise vacation turns into a nightmare for Columbus couple

Source: Wayne and Becky Cartledge
Source: Wayne and Becky Cartledge

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

(WTVM) –  Wayne and Becky Cartledge had been planning their cruise to the Mexican Riveria for nearly a year. It all literally came to a halt when the ship they were sailing on, the Carnival Splendor, lost power.

"About 6:30 Pacific time Monday morning, (I heard) thump, thump, thump thump! And the generator was shaking the whole boat and then it just went out," said Wayne. 

Cartledge recalled that's when he saw smoke. "All the power went out, we had to get in the lifeboat drill, get aboard, so you could breathe actually."

What were his first thoughts? "Well, how long would it take them to get us back to power?"

Fast forward three days, and the Cartledges, along with more than 4,000 others were still stuck, but close to safety Thursday morning as tug boats towed them into a port in San Diego, California.

Cartledge recounted for us, what those days were like being stranded at sea. "The interior cabins are just completely dark, everybody's having to stay out in the hallway, or sleep in the theatres. All we had was sandwiches and fruits and salads over and over, that's breakfast, lunch and dinner. We saw an improvement in the fruit and everything since they airlifted that in." 

If you're wondering, Cartledge says he didn't have any Pop-Tarts or Spam, but there was some beer and wine to go around. All in all, he says it wasn't so bad.

"This is just a once in a lifetime thing to me, it was an adventure and excitement about seeing the other aircraft carriers, the US Coast Guard, the Mexican Navy, helicopters, planes, there were three subs out there. "

What were they looking forward to? 

"A hot shower at the hotel and washing our hair and a good meal," exclaimed Cartledge. 

The Cartledges are scheduled to arrive back in Columbus late Friday or Saturday.

Wayne also told us the ship was delayed setting sail because of an inspection.

We contacted Carnival about this very issue and here's a statement a company spokesperson released:

"The Carnival Splendor underwent one of the routine US Coast Guard inspections that are conducted on all cruise ships last Sunday prior to the start of the voyage. The inspection went very well.  No deficiencies were found. Normally on inspection days embarkation can be delayed some because all crew are involved in the inspection process.  The start of embarkation last Sunday was delayed about a half hour from when it would normally start."

Cruise ships also undergo inspections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of its Vessel Sanitation Program.  Click here to view the Carnival Splendor's last CDC inspection report.  Here's another link to check out CDC inspections for any ship.

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