The miserable cruise voyage for guests aboard the disabled Carnival Triumph has finally come to an end Thursday, although a towline snapping, currently leaving the cruise liner adrift just off the Alabama coast.
The ship docked at at the Port of Mobile at around 10:30 p.m. ET, but Carnival officials estimate it can take up to five hours for all passengers to disembark.
The ship was moving at a good clip Thursday when it suffered a setback. A tow line snapped and caused minor damage to the ship. Crews quickly repaired the tow lines to get the ship moving once again.
The four-day trip on the Carnival ship has turned into the vacation from hell.
Passengers on the ship have said there are overflowing toilets, sewage backed up in the showers, scarce food, and people getting sick.
Even when the passengers make it to land, they then face the choice of a hours-long bus ride or other travel headaches to return home. The situation has lead to growing frustration with Carnival on and off the vessel.
“There is poop and urine all over the floor,” messaged a cruise passenger, Renee Shanar of Houston. “The floor is flooded with sewer water…and we had to poop in plastic bags.”
Making matters even worse is the cruise liner is tantalizingly close to the Alabama shoreline, yet still crippled enough to fend the guests from disembarking.
USCG Petty Officer William Colcolugh told Thursday that until repairs of the engine are finished, the Carnival Triumph is “dead in the water.”
“It is going to be a long day,” told Terry Thornton, the Carnival vice president. “There's no way we can speed up the process.” The vessel had to make it through tricky turns and cross-currents just to make it to the dock in port of Mobile.
Carnival officials stated yesterday, once the vessel is docked in the port of Mobile, guests may either get on a bus for Galveston or Houston, Texas that would take 7 hours; or the guests may take a 2-hour ride to New Orleans where the company booked 1.500 rooms for the passengers. Carnival also reported it would cover all transportation costs of the passengers.
“I can not imagine being on that vessel this morning and then getting on a bus,” told Kirk Hill, whose 30-year-old daughter Kalin Christine Hill is on Carnival Triumph. “If I finally arrive in Mobile, you would have a hard time getting me on a bus.”
Carnival officials reported that they chose to send guests to New Orleans, rather than keeping them in Mobile, because the Crescent City, “offered enough capacity and flexibility that was very important to us.”
However, Carnival staff and crew members are staying in Mobile during the next days.
Officials in Mobile reported they were preparing a cruise terminal which hasn't been used for a year to help travelers go through customs after their ordeal.
The Mayor of Mobile, Sam Jones questioned the schedule to bus guests to other towns, saying the city has more than enough hotel rooms and its 2 airports are close to the cruise terminal.
“We tried to raise the issue that it'd be a lot easier to take just a 5-minute bus ride than a 2-hour bus ride” to New Orleans, told Mayor Jones.
The wife of Thelber Lanier was on the Carnival Triumph cruise liner and he told that she had reported the vessel only had cold water and the toilets have not worked in 3-and-a-half days.
Vance Gulliksen, a spokesman of Carnival Cruise Lines, stated that the Carnival Triumph is being expected to arrive in Mobile between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. and that 200 Carnival staff are in Mobile to help Triumph's guests once the vessel docks.
The vessel left port of Galveston for a 4-day cruise last Thursday with 3,143 guests aboard and 1,086 crew members.
Mayor Jones told that Carnival employees are going to stay in Mobile.
The company of Carnival has canceled more than dozen more scheduled voyages aboard the Carnival Triumph and acknowledged that the crippled vessel had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before the engine-room blaze. The NTSB has opened an investigation to the case.
Gulliksen told that the Carnival Triumph’s recent mechanical woes engaged an electrical issue with the vessel’s alternator on the previous sailing. Repairs were made on the 2nd of February, 2013. He also told there wasn't evidence linking the previous problem and the fire.
All the guests onboard are supposed to get a $500 in compensation, full refund and discounts on future cruises.
Once docked, the cruise liner is going to be idle through April.
Here is a VIDEO of the Towage Operation of Carnival Triumph to Mobile
Video provided by VT Explorer