How they got the Splendor back into ship shape - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

How they got the Splendor back into ship shape

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(CBS 8) - More than three months after a fire left it stranded in the open ocean, the Carnival Splendor is back in service. The cruise ship picked up its first load of passengers in Long Beach Sunday and set sail for the Mexican Riviera.

The Splendor looks grand, complete with colorful lights and elevators that work -- luxuries the last group of passengers weren't able to enjoy.

Passengers were startled out of bed on their first morning at sea last November, and the ship lost power after the aft diesel engine caught fire. Now three months later, there's no evidence of the fire thanks to workers who have been working day and night to get the Splendor in ship shape condition.

"We had people that worked throughout Christmas, Thanksgiving, 24 hours a day on this ship," Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill said.

Cahill says the fire and all visible damage was contained to the engine room, where workers replaced a giant diesel engine, two huge alternators and an almost inconceivable amount of cable.

"Probably the most amazing thing, extensive damage to electrical cable in aft engine room. and our guys replaced about 110 miles of electrical cabling. Not feet, miles… truly incredible," Cahill said.

And while all of that was going on, crews paid close attention to detail around the rest of the trip. The casino is operational, the pool -- which was off limits and netted during the November ordeal -- now warm and inviting. The deck, which once had people camped out on it, is now ready for sunbathers and a more relaxing atmosphere as Carnival hopes for sunny days and smooth sailing ahead.

Carnival estimates the total amount they lost was $65 million. The CEO says it is forming a task force to try to prevent the probability of this happening on any of their vessels.

The Splendor is just two years old, but officials say they will be adding more suppression equipment and insulation so equipment and cables can better withstand severe heat.

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