End in sight for nightmare cruise ship, expected to dock at 1 a.m. Friday
MOBILE, Ala. — Reeking of rotting food and sewage from overflowing toilets, a crippled cruise ship carrying more than 4,200 people was limping into Mobile Bay on Thursday as passengers awaited the end of a vacation voyage some described as hellish.
The Carnival Triumph was being towed into port by tugboats as the drama played out live on cable news stations, causing another public relations nightmare for cruise giant Carnival Corp. Last year, its Costa Concordia luxury ship grounded off the coast of Italy, killing 32 people.
Passengers described an overpowering stench on board the ship four days after an engine room fire knocked out power and plumbing across most of the 893-foot vessel and left it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.
After the mishap, toilets overflowed, soaking many cabins and interior passages in raw sewage.
“Let's just say that I had a pair of shoes that I will not be bringing home with me,” Julie Morgan told CNN.
“It is revolting,” Morgan added, referring to the smell aboard the ship. “It's a mixture of sewage and rotting food.”
But Terry Thornton, a senior Carnival Cruise Lines vice president, told reporters in Mobile that additional provisions were laid in on Wednesday and the ship was now “in excellent shape.”
Passenger Donna Gutzman said those aboard the ship were treated to steak and lobster for lunch on Thursday afternoon.
“Our basic needs are being met. For the most part, they are making us happy,” Gutzman told CNN.
The ship was expected to arrive in port about 1 a.m. Friday, Carnival said. A senior Carnival official said it could take up to five hours to remove all the passengers from the ship, which has only one functioning elevator.
Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said a tow line on one of four tugboats helping the Triumph get into port snapped. But the tug was later reattached to the vessel.
Operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, the flagship brand of Carnival Corp., the ship left Galveston, Texas, a week ago carrying 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew. It was supposed to return there on Monday.
A Coast Guard cutter has been escorting the Triumph on its long voyage into port since Monday, and a Coast Guard helicopter ferried about 3,000 pounds of equipment including a generator to the stricken ship late on Wednesday.
Carnival Cruise Lines Chief Executive Gerry Cahill said in a statement late on Wednesday that the company had decided to add payment of $500 a person to a refund of their tickets to help compensate passengers for “very challenging circumstances” aboard the ship.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges
- Christian college in Illinois to stop providing health care over Obamacare
- OSU band song mocked Holocaust victims
- Highway bill on Obama’s desk extends funding 3 months
- Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
- Protesters ousted in bid to block Shell icebreaker on Portland river
- VA whistle-blowers aghast
- Piece of plant found on island on way to France for analysis
- Defense chief approves arming more troops at soft sites
- Ex-Cincy cop pleads not guilty, posts bond
- Minn. dentist laying low in slaying of lion