Image: Carnival Splendor
Lenny Ignelzi  /  AP
Tugboats tow the disabled cruise ship Carnival Splendor to dock in San Diego on Nov. 11, 2010.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 1/21/2011 4:51:40 PM ET 2011-01-21T21:51:40

A cruise ship towed to San Diego after catching fire in November is finally in good enough shape to journey to San Francisco for further repairs.

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The 113,000-ton Carnival Splendor, which has been docked in the Port of San Diego since Nov. 11, was originally expected to depart Wednesday.

The ship had been carrying nearly 4,500 passengers and crew members on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera when it lost power Nov. 8. Passengers endured three days without electricity, long lines for cold food, and toilets that wouldn't flush. The cruise line offered all guests a full refund, including transportation costs, and a free future voyage.

Story: Free cruise should be enough for Splendor passengers

Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz says the Splendor left Friday under its own power.

Two tug boats will accompany the vessel on the multi-day trip.

Interactive: Engine fire cripples cruise ship (on this page)

De la Cruz says crews had to fix last-minute technical issues, delaying its departure from San Diego by a few days.

But she says it is still on schedule to be ready to accept passengers for a trip by Feb. 20.

© 2013 msnbc.com

Video: Newlyweds on honeymoon cruise from hell

  1. Closed captioning of: Newlyweds on honeymoon cruise from hell

    >> newlyweds jeffrey and sabrina were on that ship on their honeymoon. good morning to both of you.

    >> good morning.

    >> how good was it to get your feet on dry land again?

    >> oh, my god. it was amazing.

    >> were you guys ever worried for your safety at any time during this, or once you learned the fire was out was it more just about inconvenience than safety?

    >> the danger was more in the beginning when we didn't know anything. but we felt that all throughout.

    >> oh, yeah, it was more of an inconvenience later, like day two.

    >> you guys took some photos of your experience, just take me through it, what exactly was the worst part of what you had to face over those three or four days?

    >> well, to me it was definitely having to walk up nine flights of stairs to go get food that was rotting and it smelled like garbage. and then when the bargain was gone, it was sewer, which was all after the smoke smell finally went away. to me that was the worst part.

    >> reporter: jeffrey

    >> jeffrey , what about for you?

    >> i would say it was finding ways to make the day go so you didn't have to sleep all day. the first day we just slept all day basically. so later on we got a deck of cards and then the staff helped us out and did some activities for us.

    >> what exactly did you eat? there's been conflicting reports that there was spam, there was no spam, there was vienna sausages , what did you eat to say alive?

    >> the first couple of days we had the same thing, cereal in the morning and the fruit, but i wouldn't go for the fruit. and then salads were for lunch and dinner and then sandwiches. the first two days there wasn't any meat, just cheese and tomatoes and sauce, i didn't know what it was. and then the last day is when they had the spam burgers, the spam hot dogs they cut up, mixed up with some sort of cheese sauce.

    >> by that time you weren't asking questions, you weren't all that picky. what about the free booze? did this become one big booze cruise ?

    >> yes, towards the end, people were crawling up the stairs.

    >> they were just barely pulling themselves along.

    >> the last two days most people were just gone.

    >> they don't even know they're home in san diego yet. one of the things, i have heard universal compliments to the crew on board the ship.

    >> i would have to say the crew was amazing. john the cruise director kept everyone calm and even laughing during it.

    >> they pulled together.

    >> so carnival has basically said, we're sorry, we're going to give you a free cruise. are you going to take them up on that or are your cruising days over?

    >> we want to, but they don't understand that we just used all our time for our wedding then for our cruise that we just went on. and, you know, jack's a full-time student at uc irvine , and i work full-time, they're going to give us a free cruise, but when are we going to use it? and this was our first cruise, we're not so sure about the boat thing anymore.

    >> you would get back on the ship, wouldn't you?

    >> i wasn't terrified the whole time. the expectations were high. but i wasn't afraid at the end.

    >> you've been married for a week, you've got great stories

Interactive: Engine fire cripples cruise ship

Explainer: New cruise ships sailing into 2011

  • Image: Allure of the Seas
    Roni Lehti  /  AFP - Getty Images
    Allure of the Seas

    Looks like it’s full speed ahead for the cruise industry. With Allure of the Seas now in Fort Lauderdale, Disney Dream set to debut and a half-dozen other new ships on the way, the rough seas of the recession are growing calmer by the day.

    That’s good news for cruisers, says Stewart Chiron, aka The Cruise Guy. “The fact that these ships are coming out during difficult times is a testament to the industry’s resilience,” he said. “A lot of people who wouldn’t have taken a cruise before are now considering one.”

    First-timer or not, here’s a look at eight new additions to the fleet:

  • Allure of the Seas

    Image: Allure of the Seas' zipline
    Rob Lovitt

    Allure embarked on her inaugural cruise on Dec. 5, and she shares the title of world’s biggest cruise ship with its twin Oasis of the Seas, but adds a few new amenities. In addition to the zip line and skating rink, the surf machines and climbing walls, you’ll also find a 3-D theater, the first Romero Britto store at sea and two new restaurants, including a Mexican cantina and Brazilian steakhouse. Get some sleep before you go, suggests Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief at CruiseCritic.com, or be prepared to swing by another new onboard amenity: the first Starbucks at sea.

  • Marina

    Image: Oceania Marina
    Oceania

    A Lalique grand staircase, a hands-on culinary arts center co-sponsored by Bon Appétit and a trio of owners’ suites with Ralph Lauren furnishings — Marina has all the makings of an ultra-premium experience, but with a surprisingly “egalitarian” ambience. As Oceania’s first purpose-built ship (launching Jan. 22), Marina is significantly larger than its siblings (65,000 tons vs. 30,000), carries more passengers (1,258 vs. 684) and features several new restaurants, including Jacques, the first eatery anywhere to bear the name of famed French chef Jacques Pépin. “[Marina] will be an intriguing hybrid of luxury and mid-market pricing,” said Spencer Brown. “It’s a category that’s never existed before.”

  • Disney Dream

    Image: Disney Dream
    Disney

    It’s been 11 years since Disney launched a new cruise ship and Mickey’s minions have clearly gone all out. Launching on Jan. 26, the ship will carry 2,500 passengers (4,000 with all beds filled) on fantasy-filled cruises between Port Canaveral and the Bahamas. Among the innovations: The Enchanted Garden restaurant, where the decor changes from day to night; inside cabins with virtual portholes with underwater scenes, and the AquaDuck, a 750-foot “watercoaster” that winds up, down and around the ship’s upper decks. “Dream is the Oasis of 2011,” said Spencer Brown. “It’s going to be different than everything that’s come before it.”

  • L’Austral

    Image: L'Austral
    Erick Larrieu  /  L'Austral

    Having opened a U.S. office just this year, the French cruise line Compagnie du Ponant is probably still unfamiliar to many American cruisers. That may change with the arrival of the line’s fifth ship, L’Austral, a 132-cabin mega-yacht that will launch on April 27. Not surprisingly, the onboard amenities — two restaurants, plus a spa, theater, lounge and library — will provide more than a soupçon of French flair even as the ship’s itineraries take her far beyond the Côte d’Azur. After spending the summer in the Mediterranean, the ship will sail on to Africa, Antarctica and other exotic ports of call.

  • Carnival Magic

    Image: Carnival Magic
    Carnival

    The latest addition to the Carnival fleet manages a neat trick: Although it’s a carbon copy of Carnival Dream, this 130,000-ton, 3,690-passenger ship tweaks the Fun Ship formula with several new amenities. Get a workout on the first ropes course at sea; cool off in a waterpark featuring a 500-gallon dump bucket, then retire to the RedFrog Pub for private-label beers and Caribbean-flavored snacks or Cucina del Capitano for hand-made pastas and select Italian wines. Launching on May 1, “Magic is perfect for entry-level or first-time cruisers,” said Dwain Wall, senior vice president/general manager for CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.

  • Seabourn Quest

    Image: Seabourn Odyssey
    Copyright 2009 Michel Verdure

    As the sister ship to the Odyssey (pictured) and Sojourn, Seabourn Quest joins a fleet that Chiron calls “quite possibly the nicest cruise ships on the planet.” Like her predecessors, the ship features a two-deck spa, four restaurants and 225 suite-style cabins, 90 percent of which have private balconies. The result: a yacht-like experience without upper-crust fustiness that draws younger cruisers than other ultra-luxury lines. You can join them on a three-day pre-inaugural cruise from Monte Carlo on June 9, a 14-day maiden voyage from Barcelona on June 20 or, if you’re feeling flush, a 109-day world cruise starting Jan. 5, 2012.

  • Costa Favolosa

    Image: Costa Favoloso
    Matteo Piazza  /  Courtesy of Costa Cruises

    The name is Italian for fairy tale; the decor is modeled after an enchanted castle, and the ambience is Carnival Fun Ship (Costa’s parent company) meets the Continent. Launching on July 4, the 3,000-passenger ship offers several of Costa’s signature Concordia-class amenities, including a Grand Prix driving simulator, 4-D cinema (3-D, plus physical effects) and two-level pool deck with a glass roof and movie screen. New additions, including verandah suites with Jacuzzi tubs, a teen entertainment area and a water park for little cruisers, should only add to la dolce vita.

  • Celebrity Silhouette

    Image: Celebrity Eclipse
    Simon Brooke-Webb  /  Celebrity

    Details are still sketchy on Celebrity’s newest ship, but the fourth vessel in the line’s innovative Solstice class will replicate the most popular amenities of her predecessors, including a glass-blowing studio, recreation area with real grass and Qsine, the eclectic, iPad-menu-equipped restaurant that debuted on Eclipse (pictured). “It’ll be like a floating boutique hotel,” said Chiron of the 2,850-passenger ship, which will begin sailing Mediterranean and Holy Land itineraries on July 23. Those who prefer more tropical itineraries will have to wait until next fall when the ship will start offering 12-night Caribbean cruises from Bayonne, N.J.

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