Carnival Says Thanks For U.S. Navy Help in Splendor Cruise Fire With Song

Posted Dec 1st 2010 10:43 AMUpdated Dec 1st 2010 02:04 PM

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To thank the U.S. Navy for their assistance when the fire-damaged Carnival Splendor was stranded at sea off Mexico for three days, Carnival Cruise Lines says it will be playing "Anchors Aweigh" on all its 22 ships every time they embark on a cruise.

The idea to play the U.S. Navy song came from a guest, Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz tells AOL Travel News.

"We used to do this in years past. A guest suggested we consider reintroducing it in tribute to the agencies that routinely work with and support us such as the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and more recently, the U.S. Navy, so we've decided to do so," De La Cruz says.

Carnival's senior cruise director and popular blogger John Heald, who was onboard the beleaguered ship, posted on Facebook, "Following our incredible rendezvous with the U.S. Navy during the Carnival Splendor incident we have decided that in a tribute to them and to bring back a bit of tradition, 'Anchors Aweigh' will be played on departure from home port on every ship."

An engine room fire left the 113,000-ton Carnival Splendor dead in the water about 200 miles south of San Diego and 55 miles from the coast of Mexico, last month. The ship had 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crew members onboard.

Both the Navy, with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, and the U.S. Coast Guard, with two cutters and aircraft, assisted the $700 million ship, including flying in 4,500 pounds of supplies on Navy Seahawk helicopters.

The supplies included cans of SPAM, which Carnival denies was ever served to passengers.

The ship had embarked on the weeklong Mexican Riviera cruise from Long Beach, Calif.

The stranded vessel was eventually towed to San Diego. The fire knocked out major systems on the ship, and passengers described a nightmare ordeal including dark halls, broken toilets, bad food and lack of air conditioning.

Carnival compensated passengers with a full refund and free future cruise credit.

The U.S. Coast Guard is leading an investigation into the cause of the fire and the power loss with support from the ship's flag state of Panama and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The ship is under repair in San Diego, and out of service until January 16.

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