It all began on a beautiful day in San Francisco. There she lays, our ship as seen as we crossed the Bay Bridge. We where so looking forward to our fifteen days of paradise as we toured the Hawaiian Islands aboard this beautiful ship.
Just look at the day, no fog. You can't ask for a more gorgeous day in San Fransisco. There was a light breeze but very pleasant temperatures for this time of year.
|Grand Princess from Bay Bridge|
And here we go out under the Golden Gate Bridge.
At 5:30 in the morning of the 5th day out my husband wakes me to say the power is out. Wait a minute, the power is out, but we are on a cruise ship. First thought, someone plugged something in that blew a breaker. Do cruise ships have breakers I thought.
Being curious and noticing there is no sound, dead silence, no AC blowing, no ships engines, I open our glass door and go out on the balcony. Remember it is 5:30 in the morning in the middle of the ocean. Pitch black except for the smoke billowing out of the front and back of the ship lit by moonlight. Wonderful, the ship is on fire. Of course, I race back inside to tell my husband to get up and get dressed as fast as you can. I hear him in the dark muttering. Why?
The ship is on fire I tell him.
I know we packed a flashlight but it is so dark where the heck is it. About this time we hear the Captain on the loud speaker calling all crew to fire stations. Forget the flashlight, I grab my cell phone and used that to get dressed.
So there we are dressed on our balcony waiting for the abandon ship single. Thankfully about a half an hour later the Captain makes the announcement the fire is out. But we have no engines and are now adrift at the mercy of the ocean. BUT NO FIRE!
By this time all I can think is "I WANT A CUP OF COFFEE, NOW"!
Thinking of coffee we climb the stairs to the buffet only to find semi darkness. By this time some of the power has been restored. And the crew is doing their best to feed 2,500 hungry scared passengers. They ran out of coffee, almost out of juice. They had set up the buffet as best as they could. There where rolls, yogurt, bok choy and beans. Thank goodness for the fresh fruit and breads.
There we sit floating around the ocean as the crew works madly to get power back to the engines. We are only about 20 miles out of Hilo. After a few hours we get power to one engine and the staterooms so we make an attempt to get into the port at Hilo. After 3 tries the Captain gives up, besides by now they have blocked the entrance to the port to keep us out. There is no way they can deal with a disabled ship as big as ours.
His next announcement is we are going to try for Honolulu. So all night we slowly make our way there.
And there it is, Honolulu at sunrise. We made it.
The Captain did a great job of getting near the dock. But with no thrusters we needed tub boats to push us the rest of the way. Again the Captain announces that the crew is working to restore the engines and a special crew has flown all night from the mainland to meet us in Honolulu to work on the electrical problem so we will be able to continue the cruise and reach Kauai the next day.
We all go ashore and tour the city, come back on board and ready for departure. As night is approaching again we are still in port. Now, what is going on?
Then we hear the Coast Guard has boarded the ship, but we will leave soon.
Next morning I look out the window and guess what? We are still in Honolulu. Come to find out there was a near riot of about 50 people last night at the front desk and one of the passengers had called the Coast Guard. Someone even threw a stapler at a supervisor. I guess it got really heated. So much so that the Honolulu Police where called to keep the peace. The coast guard spent the night going over the ships electrical components that had been affect by the fire and cleared us to sail.
We now had some thrusters, one full engine and half power on the other. I felt so sorry for our Captain as people where blaming him for what was going on. I was so happy for the wonderful job he did keeping us informed and safe. By this time there where almost 500 people who wanted off the ship. So we spent the day getting them off and the ship ready to sale for home.
The BEST part of this adventure was why the people where causing such an uproar the night before. Evidently the leader of the mob had convinced the people that they where all in danger since our thrusters weren't working as they should we would be unable to miss an iceberg in the ocean. I think someone has been watching the Titanic movie too many times. Really, icebergs in Hawaii? Are you kidding me? And so many people believed her. Mob mentality is really scary. None of these people stopped to think we where in 80 degree water. Really, icebergs?
Sorry, but I would much rather be on a cruise ship with engine problems than in an airplane with no engines.
I didn't mention but we where on a Princess ship.
The Captains' next message surprised all of us. The company was returning everything we paid for this cruise plus $200.00 dollars each on board to spend and 50% of the price we paid for this cruise off our next cruise.
As a side note, loved this VW one of the dock workers was driving.
|Honolulu as we pulled out of the dock heading home|
Well, since we where in Honolulu I got on the computer to check out booking a return trip. I found one we wanted to take, so we booked it right then from our stateroom as there was only 1 room left on the floor I wanted. We will be making the voyage again soon on a different ship.
It took us the full 7 days with a top speed of 18 knots to get back to San Fransisco and we arrived just before daybreak.
|Sailing in under the Golden Gate Bridge|
|Bay Bridge as we dock|
Giant tugboats where straining for about a half an hour to push us against the dock but we where finally home. This is the view of the tug directly below our balcony.
|One of the 3 huge tugs pushing us sideways to the dock|
I say this was probably the worlds longest trip to Walmart. 4,000 miles to shop at Walmart in Honolulu.
It was said we broke the food consumption record for a 15 day Hawaiian cruise. We ate over 2 tons of food since no one went ashore except in Honolulu.
We had a great time on the way sailing home, relaxed, watched several first run movies, saw all the ships shows and went to way too may art auctions.
Now I need to hurry and get ready for Christmas as time is running out.