VICTORIA, Seychelles (CBSMiami) — The cruise ship Costa Allegra, disabled two days ago by an engine room fire, arrived in the Indian Ocean island of Seychelles early Thursday.
Passengers disembarking from the ship described the difficult conditions on board after three days at sea without power.
The cruise liner, part of the Italian cruise line owned by Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines had to be towed towards the port in Victoria after suffering an engine-room fire which knocked out the ship’s main power supply on Monday. No one was injured in the fire but the vessel had to be towed by a French fishing vessel. Passengers endured extreme heat and were reported to have been living on bread and cheese, with no electricity or washing facilities.
Passengers said it had been a difficult week.
“It was terrible, as you can imagine. Hygiene conditions were absolutely deplorable. I have some photos that show the state of the toilets. We stayed for three days without electricity, it’s very difficult to live in such conditions, especially in such heat,” said a French passenger.
Passengers said the sweltering Indian Ocean heat had been particularly difficult to endure.
“They were able to put the fire out and from that point on, it was just a matter of inconvenience, not having enough food, not being able to rest well at night. We had…the heat is unbearable, so we had to spend most of our nights on the top deck of the ship,” said one American passenger.
Ship owner Costa Cruises said 376 passengers out of 627 had accepted its offer to continue their vacation in the Seychelles, where a carnival kicks off on Friday, at the firm’s expense. The other passengers will fly home.
Earlier, with the liner still a few miles from the port, the passengers’ luggage had already been put onto other vessels, brought ashore and loaded aboard buses lined up to take the tourists to their hotels.
The passengers, including four children, were from 25 different nations, with the largest contingents being 127 from France and 126 from Italy. There are also 38 Germans, 31 Britons, 13 Canadians and eight Americans on board.
The ship is part of the Costa Cruises fleet which included the Costa Concordia, which hit rocks and turned on its side off the coast of Italy in January, claiming 32 lives.