What's next for Carnival Splendor? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

What's next for Carnival Splendor?

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Vacationers who had planned to set sail aboard the Carnival Splendor this Sunday will have to make alternative weekend plans as the disabled ship remains docked in San Diego Friday while a team works on a repair plan.

The 952-foot ship docked in San Diego Thursday morning, unloading about 4,500 vacationers and crew members who spent three days stranded aboard the crippled vessel. An engine-room fire stranded the luxury liner about 150 nautical miles south of San Diego and about 55 miles west of Punta San Jacinto on Monday morning.

As of Friday morning, a team was aboard the ship working to fully assess damage to the vessel. It was not immediately clear whether the repairs would be completed in San Diego or elsewhere.

Several dozen crew members could be seen boarding the Splendor Friday morning.

While the Splendor was stuck at the dock, another Carnival ship, the Spirit, was readying to leave San Diego.

Celia Hill, who was preparing to board the Spirit, said she was excited about the eight-day voyage and was "not at all" concerned about what had occurred on the Splendor.

"Because what is going to happen is going to happen," Hill said. "And, everyone (on the Splendor) was safe."

She said the Spirit would be making port calls in Acapulco, Ixtapa and Manzanillo.

At the time of the fire on the Splendor, vacationers were on the first leg of a seven-day Mexican Riviera tour that departed Long Beach the previous day.

No one aboard was injured in the fire, though several people reportedly suffered panic attacks.

Immediately after the vessel docked, one of the passengers was arrested. Harbor police officers took 40-year-old Wendy Lynn Singleton into custody on an outstanding grand-theft warrant out of Nevada, port spokeswoman Marguerite Elicone said.

"I know they did it very discreetly because they didn't want to alarm the other passengers," Elicone said, adding the arrest stemmed from a routine check of the ship's passenger list by Customs officers.

Singleton was booked into Las Colinas women's jail in Santee and was being held without bail.

With the ship's engines out of service, the cruise liner had to be towed to the port in San Diego by six tugboats, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Allyson Conroy said.

Several U.S. military vessels, including the Coronado-based aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, aided the occupants of the disabled liner, delivering emergency supplies, providing security and helping coordinate the return to safe harbor.

The Panamanian-flagged cruise ship partially was powered by auxiliary generators after the fire, but the ship's engineers were unable to restore its propulsion systems.

Many of the customers had to endure hot, stuffy staterooms, and some elected to seek relief by sleeping in open-air deck areas set aside by the crew for that purpose, according to Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill. They also were briefly without working restrooms.

The stranded vacationers will get full refunds along with reimbursement for transportation costs, according to the company. Additionally, each will receive a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount paid for the aborted voyage.

Those who had been scheduled to sail on the ship's next voyage also will receive a refund of their fare and any air-transportation costs, along with a 25 percent discount on a future cruise.

The normal itinerary of the Splendor, which entered service in July 2008, includes stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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