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Amy Watts, 25, of Seattle, said she smelled smoke when the fire broke out but the captain immediately announced that there would be no need to abandon ship. “You think about the Titanic … but we were all right,” she said.

Seventy-five buses were arriving in San Diego to drive passengers north to Long Beach, where the Splendor is based. Passengers also were given the option of staying overnight at San Diego hotels.

Aboard the ship, lines for cold food stretched for hours during the days after the power went out. Navy helicopters flew in Spam, Pop Tarts and canned crabmeat and other goods for the passengers and crew, passengers said.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday that it had begun an investigation.

After the Splendor docked, Gerry Cahill, chief executive officer of Carnival Corp.’s Carnival Cruise Lines, told passengers via the ship’s intercom: “I’m very sorry” and added: “I would like to thank you for all your patience and understanding that you showed throughout the situation.”

Mr. Cahill earlier said the crankcase on one of six diesel generators “split,” causing the fire. He doubted other ships in the Miami-based company’s fleet were at risk.

The ship was 200 miles south of San Diego and about 44 miles offshore when the fire killed its power.