Passengers describe dire conditions on Carnival ship still floating in Gulf
Posted on: 11:01 am, February 12, 2013, by Web Staff, updated on: 11:29am, February 12, 2013
Ewwwww. That about sums up how people are describing conditions aboard the Carnival Triumph Tuesday as tug boats slowly dragged the stricken cruise ship toward Alabama — and freedom for its 3,143 passengers.
Some passengers report sewage sloshing around in hallways, flooded rooms and trouble getting enough to eat after a fire in the ship’s engine room Sunday left it drifting in the Gulf of Mexico. Passengers have dragged their mattresses onto the ship’s open deck to stay cool and get away from the nasty smells inside.
“The odor is so bad, people are getting sick and they’re throwing up everywhere,” Brent Nutt, whose wife is aboard the ship, said Tuesday.
But not all passengers share the same dire view of the situation.
A poster on the cruising forum cruisecritic.com said her sister reported passengers have enough food and are “enjoying the extended vacation.”
The fire aboard the Triumph came as it steamed about 150 miles off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on the way back to Galveston, Texas. The ship was on the third day of a four-day cruise.
Triumph’s automatic fire extinguishing system kicked in and soon contained the flames, and no injuries were reported, Carnival said.
But the fire knocked out the ship’s propulsion system and left the vessel slowly drifting in the Gulf until a second tug boat arrived Tuesday.
The two boats are now towing the Triumph at about 6 knots an hour (6.9 mph). The ship is expected to arrive in Mobile, Alabama, on Thursday, Carnival officials said.
Passenger Ann Barlow told CNN Monday that while the staff was doing a good job, flooded rooms, hot, humid conditions, long lines for food and overwhelming odors were making things tough for passengers.
“It’s disgusting. It’s the worst thing ever,” she said.
Barlow’s husband, Toby, said she told him there was “sewage running down the walls and floors” with passengers being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers due to the lack of functioning toilets. The air conditioning is also out.
But things were getting better, according to Nutt and Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen.
Nutt said his wife tells him the boat isn’t listing as much as it was Sunday, when she called worried she was going to die.
Gulliksen said Tuesday that cabins have running water — cold only — and some toilets are working in public areas and some cabins. The ship’s poolside restaurant was open until 10 p.m. Monday night and reopened again at 7 a.m. Tuesday.