Here is a phrase you never want to hear associated with your vacation: "Cabin carpets are wet with urine and water. Toilets are overflowing inside cabins. We are having to sleep in the hallways. Onion and cucumber sandwich last night." Those are the words attributed by ABC to a cruise ship passenger currently stuck on a very slow tug boat ride back to Mobile, Alabama.
Cucumber sandwiches don't sound that bad in light of the fact that other passengers are reporting that there was a four hour wait for hamburgers and that tents have been pitched above deck for passengers. The ship in question, the Carnival Triumph
This is the second Carnival Cruise ship to suffer a spectacular power failure following an engine room fire. Back in 2010, theCarnival Splendor
had to be towed back to San Diego after a similar incident. Passengers on that ship were stuck aboard for 72 hours and a US Navy carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, was diverted to airdrop food and supplies to the disabled vessel.
The Triumph was originally scheduled for only a four day cruise so when it broke down, Carnival Cruise sent two other ships to deliver supplemental food and supplies. The Coast Guard cutter Vigorous is also standing by to provide any additional aid that may be required.
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Passengers on the Triumph have been sitting in the dark since February 10, but emergency generators on board have been brought online to provide some basic services. Passengers are reported to have "limited" access to coffee and food which comes as a marked contrast to their normal dining arrangements, which can be described as eating early, eating late, or all day grazing.
It sounds like the crew of the Triumph is trying to keep the morale on the stricken vessel as high as possible as passengers are also reporting that they're playing music when possible and giving away free liquor. That may or may not be a terrific idea given that other passengers are reporting that toilets have backed up, raw sewage has soaked into carpets and the stench is so unbearable that people are vomiting in the halls. It's also being reported that the plumbing problems are so pervasive that plastic bags are being distributed to relieve the problem.
The Triumph is crewed by 1100 and can carry 3143 passengers... all of which appear to be competing for just a handful of toilets, cucumber sandwiches and fresh air. May the odds be ever in their favor.