Guessing that Carnival will not be making #1 or #2 on the list of luxury cruise ships anytime soon after this fiasco.
Via NYPost reports:
A broken towline halted the disabled Carnival Triumph this afternoon, as it inched toward shore near Mobile, Ala.
Frantic crew members on the lead tug boat replaced the broken line in about about an hour — before currents could push the ship back to sea.
A voice over the ship’s public address system urged passengers to go back in their rooms. But most travelers outside on the decks, craving fresh air over the stink inside, didn’t budge.
The cruise had been going 1 mph and set to dock tonight — in hopes to a mercifully ending this nightmarish journey for 4,000 people trapped on the floating bio-hazard.
The line snap has pushed the ship’s scheduled arrival to no earlier than 10:30 p.m. CST.
Once Triumph docks, passengers will still be far from home free.
With just one elevator on board working, it’ll take more than four hours for all passengers to get off the boat, said Carnival senior VP Terry Thornton.
The cruise line has assembled a small army of 200 employees help passengers get off the boat in Mobile. The company also plans in place in case another tow line snaps in the next several hours.
“[But] were not anticipating any additional difficulties,” Thornton said.
The cruise — which began a week ago today in Galveston — went horribly wrong on Sunday when flames erupted in the engine room.
That blaze killed power and knocked out almost all the ship’s plumbing.
“Pipes are busting, I know the sewer is backing up, and water is in the cabins, and it’s just a nightmare,” passenger Jamie Baker told NBC’s “Today” show this morning in a telephone interview from aboard the ship. “It’s just a nightmare.”
She and other passengers described hours-long lines for food — meals that were often no more than slices of tomato or onion on bread — and putrid sanitary conditions.
With so few toilets on board flushing, many passengers were forced to relieve themselves into plastic bags.
Some travelers didn’t even bother using bags.
“There’s poop and urine all along the floor,” said passenger and Houston resident Renee Shanar.
“The floor is flooded with sewer water … and we had to poop in bags.”
Passenger Julie Morgan described the smell on board: “It’s a mixture of sewage and rotting food.”
“Let’s just say I have a pair of slippers I will not be bringing home with me,” Morgan told CNN.
Baker compared her trip to a post-hurricane experience.
“Like Katrina in the Dome, except it’s afloat,” Baker said.
The passengers’ stay in Alabama will be short.
They have the option of boarding buses directly to Galveston or Houston, or to New Orleans where they can rest in a hotel before taking a charter flight to Houston.
Carnival is picking up all these travel costs.
Carnival Cruise Lines yesterday canceled a dozen more planned voyages aboard the Triumph and acknowledged that the crippled ship had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before the engine-room blaze.
The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into the cause.
“We know it has been a longer journey back than we anticipated at the beginning of the week under very challenging circumstances,” Carnival President and CEO Gary Cahill said. “We are very sorry for what our guests have had to endure.”
Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen acknowledged the Triumph’s recent mechanical woes, explaining that there was an electrical problem with the ship’s alternator on the previous voyage. Repairs were completed Feb. 2.
Testing of the repaired part was successful and “there is no evidence at this time of any relationship between this previous issue and the fire that occurred on Feb. 10.”
Communication with passengers on the Triumph has been limited to brief windows when other cruise ships with working cellular towers have rendezvoused to deliver supplies, but some relatives have reported being told of uncomfortable and unsanitary conditions.
Robert Giordano, of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, said he last spoke to his wife, Shannon, on Monday. She told him she waited in line for three hours to get a hot dog and that conditions on the ship were terrible.
“They’re having to urinate in the shower. They’ve passed out plastic bags to go to the bathroom,” Giordano said. “There was fecal matter all over the floor.”
Passengers are supposed to get a full refund and discounts on future cruises, and Carnival announced they would also each get an additional $500 in compensation.
Sounds disgusting. Is $500 and a refund enough for being delayed all them days with no food or place to drop a deuce? Don’t know about y’all but we don’t even like to take a #2 in a strange place — much less a plastic bag!
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