The recent problems on the Carnival Triumph cruise ship brought back some memories of something I experienced years ago.

I was on a cruise when all of the power was lost, except for the small emergency generators that could supply the propellers and steering devices with enough power for safety.

There were no lights except small emergency ones lighting the steps up and down and the exits to the decks. There was no power in the kitchen so our menus changed. For breakfast, we got a cheese sandwich on a roll. No coffee but a small container of water. You could not have more than one. At noon, and again for our evening meal, we were again given some type of sandwich and a ration of water. Sleeping was another adventure - no lights, no toilet facilities or water to brush our teeth. Body odors became the environmental air.

There were some people who accepted it because they realized that no amount of complaining would resolve it. And, of course, we had those who complained every minute, sometimes with absolutely no sense.

This went on for about two days and suddenly the problem was solved. Lights, toilets and hot meals returned. The fresh water was absolutely great to taste again.

Oh, wait a minute, I forgot to tell you: This was when I was on a destroyer escort in World War II.

WILLIAM FEHLINGER

Mays Landing