Update: The Costa Allegra has docked in port and passengers have been allowed to leave the ship. The passengers are telling accounts of overflowing toilets, no electricity, and hot conditions on board the ship. Gordon Bradwell, a passenger on the Allegra, said that it could have been worse and was glad to be alive and safely on land. Over half the guests (375) on board have taken up the company’s offer for a free 15 day vacation in Seychelles. After 3 days of eating cold sandwiches, hot meals and showers will be a nice change from the past 3 days at sea.
The 1,000 passengers and crew members of the Costa Allegra cruise ship will spend one more night at sea before arriving in port on Thursday. The ship has been without power since a fire in the engine room on Monday. The ship is being towed by a French fishing ship and pulled by 2 tug boats. High winds and choppy seas have slowed the journey and have 100 miles to go before they reach Victoria Harbor in Seychelles.
The ship is scheduled to arrive around sunrise on Thursday morning. Passengers will be taken by bus to nearby hotels for much needed hot showers and warm meals.
Passengers and crew members have been sleeping on the outside decks of the ship to try and escape the heat and high humidity. The ship has no power, no water, no air conditioning and no working toilets. Helicopters were able to drop off fresh food and water supplies for everyone on board.
The Allegra was planning on docking on the coast of Desroches after the fire but could not due to security concerns. There were also concerns about the cruise ship being powerless in water that is known for pirates. The Allegra is protected by armed security and there have not been any sightings of pirates near the ship.
Costa Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp, is dealing with a PR nightmare after the tragedy of the Concordia and now the Allegra. However, the 2 incidents are completely unrelated. The Concordia accident was caused by human error and the Allegra was caused by equipment malfunction.
There have not been any reported injuries or deaths on the Allegra. Costa has yet to announce what compensation the 600 passengers on board will receive.
A similar incident happened when the Carnival Splendor lost power due to a fire on a cruise in late 2010. The ship had to be towed back to port like the Allegra. Passengers on board were given a refund of their cruise fare and a voucher for a free cruise. Travel changes such as airfare and hotel rooms were also covered by Carnival. All on board (Sign and Sail Card) charges, whether they were from the spa, alcohol, gift shop, etc were forgiven. Those who had a cruise booked for the following weeks while the Splendor was under repair were given a full refund, 25% off a future cruise, and any travel changes compensated.