The latest in a series of beleaguered Carnival cruises made its way back to port early Sunday, capping a harrowing week for passengers aboard several troubled ships.
The Carnival Legend arrived in Tampa, Florida, hours ahead of schedule Sunday morning after propulsion system problems hampered its sailing speed.
The company had to cancel a scheduled stop on Grand Cayman because of the technical difficulty.
But Carnival Cruise Lines said the Legend is still scheduled to head out for its next voyage on time Sunday afternoon while technicians continue working on the repairs.
"The ship is expected to operate its normal itinerary with the exception of one port -- Grand Cayman -- which is being replaced by Costa Maya," Carnival said in a statement. "Any guests wishing not to proceed based on the change to one port of call have been given the option of canceling and receiving a full refund."
The company stressed that all safety systems, steering and hotel services were functioning normally.
But dismayed vacationers from the Legend's previous voyage vented their frustration.
"Passengers are now really pissed off," passenger Rob Bonenfant said via e-mail before the ship's arrival. "Mood on the ship is getting worse among passengers, captain is giving limited information."
Senator proposes cruise 'bill of rights'
The Legend's malfunction is the latest in a growing list of woes for the travel company. In the past month, three other Carnival cruise ships have reported problems.
One U.S. lawmaker said Sunday that the recent cruise incidents prompted him to propose a "Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights."
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said he was asking the cruise industry to voluntarily sign on to a list of guidelines, including the right to backup power if generators fail and the right to disembark a docked ship "if basic provisions cannot adequately be provided on board."
He also called on the International Maritime Organization to investigate whether cruise lines are following existing guidelines, and whether existing standards are being enforced by countries where cruise ships that serve U.S. passengers are based.
"Cruise ships, in large part operating outside the bounds of United States enforcement, have become the wild west of the travel industry, and it's time to rein them in before anyone else gets hurt," Schumer said in a statement. "This bill of rights, based on work we've done with the airline industry, will ensure that passengers aren't forced to live in third world conditions or put their lives at risk when they go on vacation."
Carnival Dream: Stuck in the Caribbean
The Carnival Dream lost power and some toilets stopped working temporarily last week, and for a while no one was allowed to get off the vessel docked at Philipsburg, St. Maarten, in the eastern Caribbean.
Gregg Stark, who was traveling with his wife and two young children on the Dream, said conditions on the ship were deplorable.
"There's human waste all over the floor in some of the bathrooms and they're overflowing -- and in the state rooms," he said last week. "The elevators have not been working."
Another passenger, Jonathan Evans, said passengers were kept on the ship "despite the fact that we have no way to use the restrooms on board."
But Carnival told CNN that based on conversations with the ship's management, a look at service logs "and extensive physical monitoring of all public areas, including restrooms, throughout the night, we can confirm that only one public restroom was taken offline for cleaning based on toilet overflow and there was a total of one request for cleaning of a guest cabin bathroom."
Carnival said the ship's emergency diesel generator failed, but the cruise line disputed notions of a widespread system failure.
"The ship's power plant, propulsion and hotel systems are fully operational. Aside from some periodic interruptions to restroom and elevator service for a few hours Tuesday night, at no time have any of the ship's systems and services not been functional," Carnival said in its statement.
The company said it was flying the more than 4,000 passengers and will give them discounts. By late Saturday, most of the passengers had left St. Maarten by air.
Once all passengers leave the ship, the Dream's crew will sail back to Port Canaveral on Sunday, the company said. The ship's next voyage has been canceled.
Passenger David Howard said he thought conditions were fine aboard the Dream, but said he was frustrated with how his family and other passengers were treated and by the "lack of communication."