Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Shitwrecked At Sea on a Carnival Cruise
Updating the post here from the other day on the behemoth Carnival cruise ship Triumph, which lost power after an engine fire in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, went adrift without electricity, and is now being slowly towed to a port assisted by two tugboats. Without power, the ship had drifted 90 miles north of the position where the fire occurred about 125 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula. It is being towed to port in Mobile, Ala., with arrival not expected till Thursday.
There are about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew on board in appalling conditions.
[UPDATED Feb. 14 -- In a splendid example of "Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?" some of the media that are finally paying attention to this mess are faithfully transcribing PR responses from Carnival, the gist of which are: "Reports of appalling conditions on board greatly exaggerated."
Hence we have reports quoting Gerry Cahill, CEO of Carnival (italics mine): "No one here from Carnival is happy about the conditions aboard the ship ... there is no question that conditions aboard are very challenging. Most of the public bathrooms -- there are 23 public bathrooms -- most of them are working," he said. There is also a "good section" of passenger cabins, in the forward and midship sections of the ship, that have working toilets.
I'm not real good at math, but 4,000-plus people divided into "most of" 23 plus "a good section" equals ... well, equals a misery shitstorm. Just wait till these people get into port tonight and start sounding off!]
With the fire and power loss, basic services on the ship, like toilets, became inoperable, and many remain out, with sewage all around. The slow boat to Mobile was expected to dock late Thursday night, after another delay caused when a tug boat line broke.
Let's just update by posting some of the entries directly from passengers on this cruise from hell, via the excellent Web site devoted to cruise news, Cruisecritic.com:
(Updated, 1:46 p.m. EST Tuesday) -- In its latest update, Carnival Cruise Line reported some basic services and hotel functionality have been restored to Carnival Triumph, which remains adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. The freshwater system, part of the sewage system, limited elevator service and some power in the Lido dining area are operational. But some family members of passengers on the ship are reporting the situation is still very uncomfortable.
Here's a sampling of what Cruise Critic members have heard from their friends and family on Carnival Triumph:
NTFF (February 12, 1:09 p.m.) – [Feces] and [urine] rolling across floor with every wave. People sick and throwing up every where.
NTFF (February 12, 1:47 a.m.) – My wife is aboard for her very first cruise. She and her best friend have a cabin just forward of the centerline of the ship. She has reported to me through texts, and 2 phone calls she managed to get out while the other ships were moving supplies aboard. She tells me she has not heard of or seen any functioning restrooms/etc. She said she not not seen anyone fighting for food, but she had seen that people waiting in very long lines were pileing up the food and (hoarding) taking it to their cabins as if there would be no more. She said the crew was assuring all that there was plenty of food, but many pax were ignoring this advice. At 16:29 CST she said that 1 of the tug boats was in site. And they they had been advised that they may not be into port until friday.
Wmiller86 (February 11, 10:14 p.m.) – I just rec'd a text from my wife. - NO POTTIES ARE WORKING! That was all it said.
LynnA (February 11, 4:28 p.m.) – We just got a text from daughter-in-law. She said she was miserable but no worries.
Dbogusch (February 11, 2:36 p.m.) – Another update from coworker. People are slowly being let into their cabins but its stifling hot below decks. The "hamburgers" being served are meatless. Very limited hot food. Only water to drink.
okiecruzer (February 11, 2:22 p.m.) – They [parents] said there is no power still, no toilets… , no meat. They slept on the deck last night (no tent, just open air) and will probably do so for the next two nights. They said they are doing this by choice – they booked an inner room without a window. They said there is no coffee or juice, only water. My dad said they were serving "hamburgers." He had one made just of cheese slices and another with only coleslaw, no meat on either. All alcohol service has been cut off.
Wmiller86 (February 11, 2:11 p.m.) – My wife and 3 of her girlfriends are on the Triumph… My wife was able to call me Sunday night for a few minutes while Elation was alongside. My wife told me that it was pretty scary during the fire evacuation… She said that they were allowed back down into the cabins after awhile, but it is so hot that you cannot sleep down there. So they had set up a makeshift tent over deck loungers to sleep in. At the time I spoke to here, there was no toilets. They were using little red bags. And no running water, no lights, except emergency lighting.
She said it was already pretty miserable. No hot food and no alcohol being served. There was still ice being served in soft drinks. None of the shops were open.
Dbogusch (February 11, 2:02 p.m.) – Just found out a coworker is on that ship. She texted her boss this afternoon. She said there are very long lines for food and bathrooms. Some rooms running out of toilet paper. She said the ship is hot and people are cranky. She expects to be home Thursday or Friday.
okiecruzer (February 11, 1:36 p.m.) – Just got word from my mom who is on Triumph. She said they would be back to Galveston Thursday or Friday.
Morehouse14 (February 11, 1:28 p.m.) – Just received a text message from my wife. They are being served hamburgers and salad from another ship that is alongside. Lines are taking 2 plus hours to get through to get food and drink.
Morehouse14 (February 11, 8:47 a.m.) – I know four people on this cruise, one of which is my wife. I have been in contact with her and the others. The cruise line says they are running on emergency generators… there are no lights or running water on the ship. Cabins have no power. They have to use bags and/or the shower to go to the bathroom. It is hot with no air moving below deck. They want everyone to stay in the public or open areas of the ship.
jgomila198101 (February 10, 7:07 p.m.) – My sis just called. They have plenty of food; they are all fine but doesn't look like they will be back until Wednesday night. Said they are still having fun.
Clinty76 (February 10, 6:56 p.m.) – Here is the absolute most current update directly from my wife aboard the ship. "We are about to get supplies from another cruise ship and apparently the tug boats should be here tomorrow around noon. Who knows how long it will take to get back to Galveston. We have no power AT ALL, which means we can't use the toilets, wash our hands or take a shower."