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Carnival Cruise Lines is a British-American owned cruise line, based in
Doral, Florida, a suburb of Miami in the United States. Originally an
independent company founded in 1972 by Ted Arison, the company is now one of ten
cruise ship brands owned and operated by Carnival Corporation & plc. The company
has the largest fleet in the group, with 24 vessels currently in operation that
account for 21.1% of the worldwide market share.2 Executive control of the
company is provided by the North American division of Carnival Corporation,
headquartered in Doral, Florida.34
Carnival was a pioneer in the concept of shorter, less expensive cruises. Its ships are known for their Las Vegas-style decor and entertainment. The line calls its ships "The Fun Ships", and there are a wide range of activities offered on board. Its trademark is the funnel, which is red, white and blue and shaped like a whale's tail. The mascot for Carnival is Fun Ship Freddy, a character in the shape of Carnival's distinctive funnel.
In 1996 Carnival Destiny of 101,000 GT became the largest passenger ship in the world at the time. In 2004, Carnival Corporation ordered for a development program for Carnival's new ships, which was called the Pinnacle Project, which calls for a 200,000 GT prototype, which would have been the world's largest cruise ship.5
As of 2009, the latest and largest ship in the Carnival fleet was Carnival Dream, a new 128,251 GT ship. Carnival Dream entered service on 21 September 2009. After several voyages in the Mediterranean she was set to offer weekly Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral from 5 December 2009. A sister ship, Carnival Magic, debuted on 1 May 2011. On 1 December 2009 it was announced that Carnival placed an order for a third Dream-class vessel.6 It entered service in June 2012 and is homeported in Miami.7 On May 10, 2010, Carnival selected a name for their new Dream-class vessel in 2012; Carnival Breeze.8
On 26 October 2012, it was announced that Carnival had ordered a brand new ship for their Carnival Cruise Lines brand. This ship will be built by Fincantieri and will be the largest ship they have ever built. It will also be the first of a brand new class of ship with a passenger capacity of 4,000 and a gross tonnage of 135,000. It is scheduled to be delivered in the Winter of 2016, nearly four years after Carnival Breeze entered service.9 The new ship will be named Carnival Vista.
On September 19, 1999, Carnival Tropicale's engine room caught fire en route from Cozumel to Tampa. While disabled in the Gulf of Mexico, the ship was struck by Tropical Storm Harvey. No crew or guests were injured during the two days Carnival Tropicale spent without propulsion.22 The ship was later sold and renamed Ocean Dream.
On November 8, 2010, a fire broke out in the generator room of Carnival Splendor and the ship lost most power. The ship was adrift off the west coast of Mexico. The ship was towed to San Diego.23
On February 10, 2013, Carnival Triumph, with 3,143 passengers aboard, suffered an engine room fire, leaving the ship adrift for four days in the Gulf of Mexico.24 The ship was towed to Mobile, Alabama, docking on the evening of February 14.2526 In subsequent litigation, Carnival documents were uncovered which revealed multiple generator maintenance problems creating a "disaster waiting to happen." In response, Carnival's court filing takes the position that the contract that passengers agree to when they buy a ticket "makes absolutely no guarantee for safe passage, a seaworthy vessel, adequate and wholesome food, and sanitary and safe living conditions."27
On March 14, 2013, Carnival Dream experienced an emergency generator failure while docked in port at Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The ship was scheduled to leave port around 5 p.m. ET the day before. The United States Coast Guard said they were notified by Carnival that Carnival Dream was experiencing emergency generator problems. Carnival announced that the passengers would be flown back to Florida rather than completing their scheduled voyage.28
On the morning of March 15, 2013, Carnival Legend suffered a mechanical problem with one propulsion pod while at sea. The cruise line cancelled Carnival Legend's scheduled stops in Belize and Grand Cayman, and the ship returned to Tampa, Florida at a reduced speed of 19 knots (14 mph) (Legend has a regular cruising speed of 24 knots). Download