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Cruise ship disabled by engine fire being taken by tugboats to Ensenada

November 8, 2010 |  7:14 pm

A luxury cruise ship on its way to Puerto Vallarta from Long Beach will instead be taken by tugboats to Ensenada after an engine fire that knocked out its air conditioning, hot food service, flush toilets and telephones, company officials said Monday night.

The Carnival Splendor, with 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crew members, was on the first day of a seven-day trip to the Mexican Riviera when a fire broke out in the aft engine room. No one was hurt but the fire disabled several systems.

In late afternoon, the tugboats were said to be en route to the 952-foot ship.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Mexican navy have dispatched aircraft and cutters to provide assistance, the Coast Guard said.

Guests will receive a full refund, plus reimbursement for transportation costs, according to the Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines.

Passengers are being supplied with bottled water and cold food, the company said.

The ship is operating on auxiliary generators and has been unable to restore additional power. The ship is reportedly 150 miles south of San Diego.

"Conditions on board the ship are very challenging and we sincerely apologize for the discomfort and inconvenience our guests are currently enduring," said Gerry Cahill, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Cruise Lines.

The ship's scheduled itinerary was to include stops in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.

--Tony  Perry in San Diego