The cruiseship Carnival Destiny was left drifting around in the Caribbean, with nearly 3,000 passengers aboard, after its unfortunate engine breakdown. The passengers were fortunately only exposed to negligible risk, with the ship 60 miles off the nearest land and the weather benign. It would not have been so if the same electrical problem which crippled the big ship had elected to strike with the ship off a lee shore and the weather turning nasty and upwards of 5,000 souls requiring evacuation.
Cruise ship owner have stressed the expertise of their engineering staff but the increasing numbers of cruise vessels now entering service raises questions over their technical safety. Cruising remains one of the industry's truly successful sectors, but in terms of risk, there is nothing that can be taken for granted and the whole industry cannot afford incidents of mechanical failure, which have the potential for an outcome that could reverberate all around the world.
Source: Lloyd's List (22 February, 2000)