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Old May 10th, 2011, 05:37 PM
Bruce Chafkin1 Bruce Chafkin1 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ibiza / Japan
Posts: 623

Originally Posted by RTALLEN View Post
"Unfortunately we can't fix stupid. Far too many people go to Walmart and purchase those 99 cent made in china power strips that have no fuses or breakers inside them. They do not even have copper wires, but some cheap material that burns when overloaded.
Then they manage to plug these strips into the 220 volt power points in their cabins.
As soon as they plug a 110 volt appliance into the power strip, the appliance is fried and the power strip bursts into flames."

There may be some validity to what you say, Bruce. However, after making a couple of phone calls to Carnival,at both their 1-800 number and the
Guest Relations number, and talking to three or four people, I think the answer is a bit simpler than that. While I wasn't able to find out how many cabins are linked together on a circuit breaker, or what those circuit breakers are rated for, my guess would be 30 amps, which is sufficient for each cabin's light fixtures and a two or three items that draw a low amount of amperage. Throw in a couple of items (such as a blow dryer or curling iron) that draw a higher amount of amperage, and (sing along with me) "Pop Goes The Breaker". Happens to us every Christmas when the vacuum sweeper is plugged into the same circuit as the Christmas tree. While I wouldn't call that a hazard, it sure is aggravating. And I'm sure the maintenance people on the ship have better things to do with their time than to go around resetting popped circuit breakers. So, to prevent the breakers from being overloaded, Carnival prefers that guests not use power strips or extension cords. I would guess if someone did have a power strip and it wasn't confiscated, that meant somebody (security or the cabin steward) looked the other way. I don't think I'll risk it, and limit the items we take that require electricity.
Cruise ship cabin electrical systems are quite complex. We group the cabins together in 3s and 4s.
There are actually 2 systems in each cabin.
The ship's working voltage in accommodations areas is 220 volts.
Since so many people from North America are challenged with the voltage the rest of the world uses, we install step-down transformers in the void spaces between the cabins, to reduce the ship's working voltage to limited 110 volts in cabins.
These step-down transformers are very expensive and can produce 110 volt power with limited wattage.
If passengers plug in too many high wattage machines in to the 110 volt power points, these transformers can overheat. In extreme cases, they can burn. A fire between the walls of passenger cabins would be very hard to extinguish.
You would be amazed at how many geniuses bring - or try to bring - blenders, electric BBQs, coffee makers, high wattage hair dryers, microwaves, electric steamers, etc.
Since we can't fix stupid, we can only hope to slow them down.
Taking away power strips forces the dumber ones to plug in one dangerous device at a time.
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