Skip to comments.Fire-disabled cruise ship on its way to Mobile
Posted on 02/12/2013 8:26:15 AM PST by cll
(10:15 a.m. EST) Carnival Triumph is on the move again, under the power of two tugboats, and is expected to arrive in Mobile on Thursday afternoon, according to a new update from Carnival Cruise Lines. All passengers will then be flown to Houston.
Limited onboard systems remain functional, though the sewage system did go down again last night for a short period. Technicians were able to gets "some of them [toilets] back on line this morning," Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said. Passengers "are doing well under the circumstances," and the ship's entertainment staff has planned various activities to try and keep passengers entertained.
After being confined to open decks and public spaces on Sunday, the 3,143 passengers on the now-altered four-night Caribbean cruise from Galveston, have been allowed return to their cabins, said Gulliksen.
Additionally, there is running water in the cabins, albeit cold water. Power has been restored to a limited number of elevators, as well as to part of the Lido dining to provide for hot coffee and limited hot food service.
Meals and refreshments are being provided and the grille in the poolside restaurant was open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. last night and opened again at 7 a.m. this morning.
Emergency backup generators continue to power the ship's bridge and communication systems.
A fire left the ship adrift in the Gulf of Mexico with no power on Sunday, February 10. There were no injuries from the fire, which the line says was contained by the ship's automatic extinguishing system.
Carnival had originally announced Triumph would be towed to Progreso, Mexico but switched to Mobile after the ship drifted about 90 miles north due to strong currents, which put it nearly equidistant to Mobile as to Progreso. "Given the strength of the currents, it is preferable to head north to Mobile, rather than attempt to tow against them," a Carnival statement explained. "Mobile also provides simpler re-entry [than Mexico], particularly for the 900 passengers traveling without passports," the line added.
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Vigorous has been on the scene since 12:45 a.m. EST Monday.
A timeline for repairs to Triumph will be announced once the ship is in port and has undergone inspection, according to the line. Damaged suffered by Carnival Splendor from an engine room fire in 2010 kept the ship out of service for more than three months.
Cruise Critic member krogers2063 reports, "I just went on Carnival's Web site and did a mock booking and the next sailing that comes up for the Triumph is March 21st. That is my sailing. I pray it will be fixed by then."
This latest event comes just weeks after an issue with Triumph's propulsion system, which caused minor delays to two cruises. Gulliksen said Carnival has checked into whether the propulsion problem was related to the engine fire, but was told the cause of the fire is not yet known.
"A complete investigation will take place with the appropriate regulatory bodies, outside experts and other independent authorities as appropriate," he said.
Here’s a sampling of what Cruise Critic members have heard from their friends and family on Carnival Triumph:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LynnA (February 11, 4:28 p.m.) We just got a text from daughter-in-law. She said she was miserable but no worries.
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.
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.
Remind me again why I should take a “cruise” ship...
Just tried to access the Carnival Triumph info page @ carnival.com..... and it’s broke. This ship must be cursed! lol
These ships have significant fire safety problems. The fuel systems on these large diesels are frequent leakers. They have double wall fuel lines and covers over hot components, but the fuel can still ignite. The real problem is that all the engines and generators are in one main engine room. So a fire in that room takes down all the propulsion power and leaves the ship with only minimum emergency electrical power.
They should be required to have two independent engine rooms and control stations. The electric propulsion engines should be in separate rooms that can be run by either engine room.
If this type of fire happens in a more dangerous place..thousands could be lost.
Now they know what it’s like to be in the Navy...
The S.S. Minnow was better prepared & equipped for emergencies than Carnival. Too bad the Skipper & Gilligan are no longer around to help them out!
IMHO the media treats this a lot like plane crashes. They are rare but it’s the only thing they report on(other than people getting sick) because it’s bad news. The cruise industry carrys millions of passengers a year without incident but the media would never report that of course.
The wife and I have been on 6 or 7 over the years without any problems at all and have enjoyed every one.
Just my 2 cent.
I wouldn’t go on a cruise, even if someone paid me $1 mil.
I wondered about this from an engineering standpoint: Who puts all of their points-of-failure in a single room on a machine this large and complex?
That a fire, evidently not large enough to seriously damage the ship, would destroy all capability of power generation, including plumbing, propulsion and HVAC, is simply bad design. Wretched design.
What ? No Legionnaire’s Disease?
I agree. That sounds like a very typical setup in any comparably-sized Navy ship. Having redundancy is essential to prevent such complete failures. Just imagine if this ship were DIW in the North Atlantic.
And for those who say it might be too expensive, I ask you, what will the cost be for Carnival to be towed, reimburse passengers, pay other expenses and fees, and re-build their name?
Why not? The great majority of them are very enjoyable experiences.
I agree and I must admit I am a fan of cruising, having done so many times to include transatlantic crossings. But I believe that Carnival Corporation should take a long hard look at their operations. There is a company-wide safety issue here. This ship already had serious problems on the cruises immediately preceding this one. Thay had another Carnival ship adrift under similar circumstances not too long ago. And then there’s the Costa Concordia disaster (Costa being one of Carnival’s brands). Like another poster mentioned, there are other cruise lines that seem more competent or at least haven’t had repeated incidents over a short period of time. I myself prefer Royal Caribbean.
This would have made an interesting undercover boss.
Since many of these ships are of Italian design and manufacture, I'd say the designers must be former FIAT (Fix It Again Tony) engineers.
I agree that safety needs to be addressed. Having said that, most people don’t realize when you board a cruise ship you ARE NOT in the U.S. any more, most if not all of the crew are from all over the world and some don’t even speak english. That is a very important thing to understand before booking.
Carnival is indeed one brand of several that are owned by P&O line. Another of which is Princess.