Monday, March 2, 2009

Europa's engines

At 9am UK time today the Europa was about 300 miles north of Mauritius, heading for the Seychelles - at least they've managed to set sail ;o)
It'll be fascinating to see how long it stays in Mahé. When you think about it they should stay there for only two days, so that they have a day in hand to survive the continuing engine problems and still leave time for the visit to Nosy Be in Madagascar. I wonder how the ship's officers will deal with the new, innocent passengers when the engine plays up again, as it surely will.

I'm no engine expert, but I did have an old banger back in the 1970s whose engine started blowing out clouds of smoke just like the Europa did. The problem with my car was that the piston rings needed replacement, i.e. not an easy (or cheap!) job. So, it makes me wonder what exactly the engineers summoned from Denmark were actually doing while we were in Mombasa. Surely it can't have been both a simple and a permanent fix to correct such an apparently enormous fault in only a day? And seemingly it wasn't either of these, judging by the palls of thick, black smoke that belched from the starpoard side of the funnel several times each day as we sailed interminably from from Mombasa to Reunion.

As for the 'counter-currents' that the captain publically blamed for our slow crawl to Reunion, surely sea currents are things that don't change as rapidly as the wind? Surely they only change slowly and/or seasonally? Surely the cause of the slow stagger southwards from Tuesday 24th had absolutely nothing to do with currents or even head winds. Surely he was making a futile attempt to find something other than the crippled starboard engine to blame for the Europa's wallowing crawl?

And didn't the ship wallow? It was pitching all over the place in a way that hadn't been apparent before the engine blew up. This must have been due to its very slow progress through the seas.

I watched the poor, optimistic new passengers joining at Mauritious and wondered to what extent they'll be exploited the way we were. Fancy Costa deciding to let the ship set off across the vastness of the Indian Ocean with a crippled engine and the knowledge that it'll probably blow up again en route. And of course, there'll be all those adverse currents to deal with as well.

One of our number tried to warn some of the poor suckers who were joining the ship in Reunion, only for the 'English-speaking host Simon' to attempt to prevent him doing so - young Simon should hang his head in shame at his needless collusion with Costa's cover-up.

If Costa can allow a creaking tub like this to remain in its fleet you have wonder what the rest of their ships are like, new or not.


  1. Hello, I have just stumbled on this website and the newas about the Europa, my husband and I are due to join this ship next Saturday 14th March in Mauritius reading the comments I wonder if we should cancel now, can anyone tell me how to get the latest news, I am sure if we contact Costa they will fob us off wirh all kinds of excuses by the sounds of it.


  2. You can follow the progress of Europa on the Costa web page. At present they are leaving Nosey Be and appear to be on schedule. This cruise may be in luck and visit the Madagascar ports we missed. The itinerary is a good one if it is completed. Most things on the ship we thought were very average. Just go and enjoy the ports of call and don't expect too much from Costa. Despite our disappointed we enjoyed ourselves..