Redding Cruise Couple Home Safe and Sound

Nov 13, 2010 8:37 PM

Mel and Debbie Phelps of Redding anticipated their 40th wedding anniversary for quite some time. They decided to take a cruise with two other couples to the Mexican Riviera to celebrate. But they had no idea their relaxing vacation on the 'Splendor' would be anything but 'splendid'.

Debbie says, "we planned to eat well, and travel in mexico and shop and just have a good time." But those plans quickly changed shortly after 6am monday morning, the first day into the cruise. "We were awakened from this huge shutter. First I thought we had hit a wave or something, but it just didn't seem right."

What passengers felt was a fire in the engine room. The 4500 aboard ship would now be forced to spend the next 4 days without electricity, running water, and having only limited amounts of food to eat. "For the first 24 hours we didn't have any running water in our room nor did we have any toilets."

Toilets began to overflow and with the lack of refrigeration, food began to spoil. Debbie says, "the odor was horrendous." Phelps and her friends had to stand in food lines for over 2 hours, and eat the only food unspoiled. Uncooked hot dogs, white bread sandwiches, fruit, and cold sausage were the routine choices on the menu. Debbie says, "we were all in good spirits, we made the best of it." And it wasn't for long.

On Thursday, three days before their expected return, tugboats pulled the thousand foot Carnival Splendor into the San Diego port. "I was pretty ecstatic," Debbie says. "As soon as I got off the ship we went to the hotel, went into the dining room and had three cups of hot coffee."


thing Phelps had missed the most, and while it wasn't their dream vacation, it was still one they'll never forget. Debbie says, "it wasn't the kind of vacation I would like to plan again, but kind of an adventure and we had a fun time."


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