The luxurious cruise ship which was launched by the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge just four months ago, lost power for three and a half hours on Sunday, leaving the new vessel without plumbing, electricity and air conditioning and stranded on the Greek island of Mykonos.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge at the launch ceremony of The Royal Princess in Southampton in June
A spokesperson from Princess Cruises said that the power outage was caused by a technical malfunction of the circuit breakers for the starboard propulsion motor. During the power outage, an emergency back-up generator was used to provide essential services such as toilets. The motor of the anchor winch had to be mended and restarted before the crew members were able to lift the anchor and sail on to the port in Naples, where the cruise had to be aborted to allow for necessary repairs.
The Royal Princess was a week into a twelve day cruise carrying more than 3500 passengers who had departed from Venice on 15 September. Passengers were expected to stay on the ship until Tuesday night and then had to disembark on Wednesday morning as homeward air arrangements had been made for them.
Princess Cruises released the following statement on Tuesday: “Passengers will be provided with a full refund of their cruise fare, along with a 25 per cent future cruise credit. We have dispatched a care team to Naples to ensure that all our passengers are provided with any assistance they may require”.
The Royal Princess was officially named by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge amidst much fanfare at a lavish ceremony in Southampton in June. The launch ritual involving the Duchess marked “the birth of a vessel, and asks for a blessing of good fortune and safety for the ship and its passengers and crew”.
In the mid-19th century, it became customary for a woman of distinction to be selected as a godmother to christen a new ship. A godmother is the symbolic patron of the ship throughout its entire life and symbolises the spirit of the vessel. Previous “godmothers” for Princess Cruise ships have included Audrey Hepburn, Margaret Thatcher and the late Diana, Princess of Wales – who named the first Royal Princess in 1984.
The vessel, which is the world’s sixth largest passenger ship, was heralded as a “new generation” design, with a dramatic glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship and private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water. The ship was built in Italy and has 17 decks and a top speed of 22 knots.
The Royal Princess’s next voyage, a twelve day trip to Venice, is scheduled to depart from Barcelona tomorrow.