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Senator back on dry ground after eventful cruise experience

Idaho Sen. Jim Hammond is back on dry ground and in the light, after a sojourn on a Carnival cruise ship that drifted powerless for days. Hammond, during a break in this morning’s JFAC hearing, said it was his first cruise in 15 years, and the experience wasn’t what he expected – cold sandwiches, salads and cereal, card- and dice-playing in relative darkness, and only cold water. He and his wife Cyndie joined three other couples on the cruise, and with their full refunds, already are planning to try again. “I don’t think we’d go on the Splendor again,” Hammond said of the ship.

With 3,200 people aboard, “People were really good – nobody panicked,” Hammond said. But there were waits of a couple of hours for a plate of cold food, and Hammond was really glad he’d spent the extra money for an outside cabin with windows and a small balcony – inside cabins were left in total darkness. After the ordeal, the Hammonds spent a night at a hotel in San Diego, and ironically, when they woke up, the power was out. “So once again, I showered and shaved in the dark,” he said with a smile. “At least I had hot water.”

He chuckles about the attention the incident got, considering no one was hurt and worldwide, many live in worse conditions day in and day out. “It was just more of an embarrassment for Carnival,” Hammond said.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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