Equipment failures on two well known cruise ships, Carnival Cruise’s Carnival Splendor and Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, have been serious enough to generate international safety alerts. In the case of Carnival Splendor, which suffered an engine room fire off Mexico, it was found that the vessel’s CO2 fire extinguishing system failed to fully activate.

According to a US Coast Guard (USCG) report, Splendor’s crew responded effectively to the fire, and extinguished it with portable equipment, but before the fire was completely out the captain decided to release CO2 from the ship’s fire suppression system. The system failed to operate correctly, despite having been recently serviced. The USCG said numerous piping and hose connections had been found to leak extensively and that the zone valve for the aft machinery space on the ship failed.

On Queen Mary 2, one of 12 capacitors in a harmonic filter failed abruptly as the vessel was approaching Barcelona in September 2010. This resultant explosion caused extensive damage to electric panels. It also blacked the ship out for about 30 minutes. Although no injuries were reported, the blast forced a steel door out through its frame.