OpinionHow to Prepare for a Cruise Ship Losing Power like on Carnival...

How to Prepare for a Cruise Ship Losing Power like on Carnival Triumph

how to prepare for carnival triumphWhat can cruise passengers bring with them as a precaution to help get through the unlikelihood of a cruise ship losing power?

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Although cruise ship fires and power outages on cruise ships do occur, they are fairly rare.  In fact, considering that over 16 million people went cruising last year without incident should tell you just how isolated incidents like these are.  But yes, they happen, and when they happen they are all over the news and cause panic among those think that cruise ships are unsafe.

Some people were asking how the cruisers aboard the Carnival Triumph could have been more prepared for the lack of power and food aboard the ship.  Here are a few useful tips for those who want to be prepared for anything during their dream vacation.

So what can you bring aboard the ship when you are expecting another Triumph-like experience?


Bring an extra cell phone battery

Ok, so this one might not work for those with an iPhone.  But you can still bring a solar powered battery pack or charged up battery station to keep your phone charged up when the power goes out.  Yes, we know that the cell phone service went out when the power went out on the Triumph, but on 3 separate occasions Carnival cruise ships came by to deliver supplies and cruisers were able to piggyback off the other cell tower to contact their loved ones.  But if their phones were dead, there’s nothing they could do.  At least with an extra battery or power station you will be able to have your phone ready, and if nothing else you can play Angry Birds while you wait.


Bring extra snacks and load up your fridge

It might seem absurd to bring food aboard a cruise ship that is abounding with free food everywhere, but some people like to bring their favorite snacks with them anyway.  And in case of emergency, you will want to have some extra reserves so you don’t have to wait in line for a few hours for a bite to eat.  Bring small snacks that are heavy in protein and calories but still have some nutritional value.  You can also grab a couple oranges or apples from the buffet and put them in your room fridge.  Having fruit on hand helps curb your appetite and it’s good for you.


Bring collapsible water bottles

For Carnival ships you are allowed to bring a 12 pack of non-alcoholic beverages with you that are under 20 oz. each.  But you don’t have to worry about bringing your own water.  The water that comes out of your sink in your cruise cabin is filtered and just as clean as bottled water, if not cleaner.  If you bring some collapsible water bottles you don’t have to worry about them taking up much space, and you can fill them up and keep them in your room if the need arises.


Bring sanitation wipes and latex gloves

One of the biggest issues aboard the Carnival Triumph was the filth created by the lack of working toilets.  There are sanitation stations all round cruise ships today, but having your own sanitation wipes can come in handy.  And if the showers are not working you can use them to clean up and at least get rid of that grimy feeling for a while.  Also, having latex gloves would be nice for moving about the ship.  Crews on the Triumph were washing down railings and hallways, but it can’t hurt having an extra layer of protection from germs and disease.

Bring some good books and games

My wife and I try to bring games and books for any cruise, but this is also a great way to help pass the time if you are stuck on a powerless boat in the middle of the ocean.  Keeping spirits high and morale up is a tough job in a bleak situation like this, but it’s amazing how much a little game can help distract you from how hungry or tired you are.

What other tips do you have?  Anything else you should bring that would help in a situation like Carnival Triumph?  Let us know in the comment section below.  We’d love to hear from you.

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
OpinionHow to Prepare for a Cruise Ship Losing Power like on Carnival...


  1. I take a mini mag flashlight on lanyard with fresh batteries on every vacation I go on. Land or sea and keep it on my nightstand.

  2. We just returned from a 5 day cruise with Carnival Elation. I took the seasick patches with me and put my on just after boarding. I did not read the entire possible side effects which is unusual. I ended up not able to focus on anything books, menus, faces etc that was around arms length or closer. it was the side effect. We had 25ft waves, a very rough sea travel! We had lots of people sick and lots of puke bags everywhere. I heard that if you call for immodium or anything for diarrhea that they keep you in your cabin don’t know but packed it anyway. Do go with the low heals it is hard to walk with flat shoes on a rough sea!!! I had a low slingback and it was very hard to pose for pics when you are thrown from side to side! we had a great time anyway, but was not impressed with the food.

  3. I’ll definitely take some of these ideas with me when I go on my first cruise with carnival Dec this year. I’ve been researching the options of solar/a/c-usb(electric) combination chargers for my cell phone in case of power outages. At least if the power goes out I’d have the sun as a back-up plan. I’ve been thinking about this for a while due to the fact that I may not want to traipse back and forth to the cabin just to charge a cell phone up for whatever personal reason I may have.

  4. I’ve just returned from a 14 day cruise this past January with MSC, our first time with them, which I will NEVER use again, not because of anything like what happened on the Carnival’s Triumph, but because of reasons like on MSC guests cannot purchase regular water like spring or filtered, they only sale various forms of mineral water, which I cannot drink because of how the minerals affect my kidneys. I noticed this was also an issue for other guests on the ship too. We’ve used Carnival only once about two years ago, trying to get to know all the cruise lines. So it didn’t take a situation like Triumph to tell me to take the following steps, common sense did. if one find themselves in the rare situation like what happened on the Triumph, there could be a huge problem for a lot of people. So here I am sharing my little cruise secrets. Always cruise with the big ones by wet ones. For example, if we’re on a two-weeker, I take two packages per week, (one for him, one for me), extra batteries, (to include cell phone battery), snacks like chips, trial mix etc., I make my own, stay away from the types where sugar have been added, (sugar only makes one even more hungry), in a situation like what happened on carnival, all one need is to become more hungry simply because of too much sugar in the system. Bring as much plastic bottled spring water as you can, (there’s a reason people like me use only this water when we fast, unlike filtered water, it makes one fill full), flashlight, battery powered hand fans only, one each, (ladies leave those paper ones home), plenty of underwear, pack them as if you’re going to be away for an extra week longer than the cruise itself. if you can, always book a balcony cabin, I don’t know about you, but I LOVE my privacy on cruise ships. Ask any of these guest of the Triumph, where they slept at night, at least the ones who were lucky enough NOT to have sewage running down their walls. But most of all, book your cruise on cruise lines that have a rep for being top of the line, like Celebrity to mention one. My fellow cruisers, don’t let this experience deter you from cruising, this was a rare situation, take it’s life’s lessons and use them on future cruises, the seas are calling you!

    • Yes, it is Phil. And you will probably never have to worry about facing a situation like this, but hey, some of the preppers out there actually enjoy preparing for stuff like this. And excellent addition, Faith. A small flashlight would have been great for Triumph cruisers, and I don’t think they could have had enough air fresheners.

    • In a perfect world, yes. But as a passenger on that cruise…I agree with all of the suggestions. Including the flashlights. Although there instances are rare, it would not have hurt to have a few emergency items.

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