MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside, currently on a 7-night Western Caribbean sailing, has been late returning to Port Canaveral on Sunday, August 27, 2023, due to technical issues and a power reduction in one of the ship’s engines.
This is impacting both debarking guests and their post-cruise travel plans, as well as the arrival of guests setting sail on the ship for the next voyage.
Engine Difficulties on MSC Seaside
MSC Seaside has developed a problem with one of her engines that is impacting her cruising speed and therefore caused a delay with the ship’s scheduled return to Port Canaveral on Sunday, August 27.
Guests onboard were notified of the difficulty and the subsequent delay, as have booked guests planning to embark the vessel on Sunday.
“MSC Seaside has been experiencing an unforeseen technical issue with one of our engines, which has resulted in a power reduction and consequently is affecting our speed,” the letter to guests onboard read. “Despite the continuous efforts of our technical team, I regretfully have to inform you that the issue has not been resolved.”
The letter, signed by MSC Seaside‘s master Captain Pietro Maresca, explains that no safety operations were impacted and at no time was guests’ safety ever compromised.
In order to make changes to post-cruise travel plans if needed, guests were provided with free internet access to contact airlines or travel agencies.
MSC Seaside was finishing a 7-night Western Caribbean sailing when the issue developed. The 153,516-gross ton ship had departed Port Canaveral on August 20, and made successful calls to Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas, as well as Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico before heading back to Port Canaveral.
The ship’s next cruise is a 4-night Bahamas sailing, scheduled to visit Nassau and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. At this time, guests embarking the ship have been asked to delay their arrival to the cruise port by approximately two hours to adjust for the ship’s delayed return and a later debarkation, which subsequently has a knock-on effect for embarkation.
The ship’s engineering team will undoubtedly continue to work on the engine issue, but at this time there have been no announcements of any further itinerary changes or delays for the vessel. Because the next sailing is just to the Bahamas – 270 miles (435 kilometers) from Port Canaveral – the ship could easily adjust sailing speed yet still visit the planned ports of call.
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Nevertheless, guests onboard should remain flexible with their travel expectations, as it is possible the port visit days or times may still be adjusted. Similarly, guests on the next few upcoming sailings should likewise be understanding if changes are necessary.
Cruise Ship Engine Difficulties
Engine problems are a common challenge for cruise ships, which run their engines continuously to provide power not only for propulsion, but also for all onboard operations – air conditioning, cooking, electricity, water pumps for pools and waterslides, and so much more. Such issues are not limited to one cruise line, one type of ship, or one sailing region.
For example, in July 2023, Carnival Pride suffered extensive engine issues that required port changes and cruise alterations while sailing in northern Europe.
Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas was delayed at Nassau and Port Canaveral in March 2023 when that ship also experienced an engine problem that impacted cruising speeds.
In February 2023, Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam had an azipod engine issue that caused a port substitution in the Southern Caribbean because the ship’s speed was limited.
Many times, such difficulties can be corrected by the onboard engineering team, though occasionally special parts or specialist engineers are required to make appropriate repairs, which can delay fixes.
Hopefully, MSC Seaside will be back up to sailing full speed ahead very soon, taking guests on amazing oceangoing getaways as planned.