Imagine a camping trip..no electricity, no toilets, and cold sandwich's. Now imagine these conditions on a luxury cruise to the Mexican Riviera. This was the disaster that awaited Dr. Michael Weir and wife as they boarded the Carnival Splendor on the 7th of November. "We had been planning this trip for 9 months and were very excited to go on vacation with friends", said Michael Weir, owner of Back in Action Chiropractic in Bellevue WA.
After pulling away from the dock on Sunday afternoon, the couple and their friends enjoyed their first evening on the ship with a great dinner and live entertainment, unaware of what lay ahead the next day. Six o’clock the next morning, Dr. Weir was woken by a jolt, and rumble which shook the entire ship. “At first I thought it was just heavy waves, but as soon as the captain came over the loud speaker telling us there was a mechanical problem I knew something big was happening.” The loud rumble was the main engine room of the boat catching fire and frying the main electrical wires for all the ships power. The fire sent billows of smoke throughout the boat. “We had to leave our rooms almost immediately because of the amount of smoke that was flowing through the halls and cabins.”
As Dr. Weir recounts, "My main concern through the whole ordeal was the sanitation on the boat. Because of my public health courses in school I knew that a major concern in a disaster is the lack of public restrooms. When all of the toilets on the ship would not flush, I knew there could be a problem." With out the ability to flush any of the toilets on the ship most of the day Monday the smells of overflowing toilets started to become to much to bear. Much to the relief of his party and himself the toilets regained function by the end of their first day stranded at sea. "I truly felt that we were 3 to 4 hours from a sanitary disaster, if they could not get the toilets to flush."
"I was very impressed with how well the passengers on the boat responded to a bad situation. There could have been pandemonium, but every one stayed very positive. There were even nights that you would not have known that we were stranded at sea, people singing karaoke, dancing, and laughing." Making lemonade out of lemons is one of Dr. Weir's life philosophy's. "We can moan and groan, but in the end that does nothing to change a situation. We had fun in spite of the poor situation." Dr. Weir and his family were extremely happy to be home, but maintain that they have no reservations about going on another cruise in the future. "It was a big disappointment to close my office and not be available for my patients, only to have a week stranded at sea, but we made it home safe, and we get another cruise out of the deal."