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Stranded cruise passengers facing dirty conditions

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

HOUSTON (AP) — The head of Carnival Cruise Lines said Tuesday his company was working hard to ensure the thousands of passengers stranded on a disabled ship in the Gulf of Mexico were as comfortable as possible while the vessel was being towed to port in Alabama.

The reassurances made by Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill were in sharp contrast to what some passengers have told relatives about dirty and hot conditions aboard the ship, including overflowing toilets and limited access to food.

Cahill said the ship has running water and most of its 23 public restrooms and some of the guest cabin bathrooms are working. He downplayed the possibility of an outbreak of disease from unsanitary conditions, saying the ship hasn't seen an abnormal number of people reporting to the infirmary as being ill.

"No one here from Carnival is happy about the conditions onboard the ship," Cahill said at a news conference in Miami. "We obviously are very, very sorry about what is taking place."

Jimmy Mowlam, 63, said his 37-year-old son, Rob Mowlam, who is aboard the ship told him by phone Monday night that there is no running water and few working toilets. He said passengers were given plastic bags to "use for their business."

The ship left Galveston, Texas, for a four-day cruise last Thursday with 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members. The ship was about 150 miles off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula when an engine room fire Sunday knocked out its primary power source, crippling its water and plumbing systems and leaving it adrift on only a backup power.

No one was injured in the fire, but Carnival spokeswoman Joyce Oliva said Tuesday that a passenger with a pre-existing medical condition was taken off the ship as a precaution.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We've been on Carnival a few times. Not my favorite ship. I just can't get over the feeling of being TOTALLY helpless on a big floating piece of metal in an ocean that is filthy and full of things that would LOVE to EAT you!

    Hummmm...maybe I drown in a former lifetime...but the ocean makes me VERY uncomfortable.

    I DO like the fact that you get to travel to really cool exotic places and you have to pack and unpack only ONCE.

    I guess it's a choice you have to make...but an easy choice is NOT on Carnival! emoticon
    1833 days ago
    I know that Esmeralda (above) takes a lot of cruises and one of my friends loves cruising too but I have never been really interested in it and with MS and asthma, being in a "dirty", troubled ship might be too much. Your blog confirms my past decision not to every go on a cruise! emoticon
    1891 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    One of my Colleagues was on a Carnival ship in January that had engine problems. THey rerouted their ship and when it got home it was sent for repairs. Maybe they need to think about getting some newer ships.
    1893 days ago
    We have been lucky in our cruising....we have only missed a port here or there due to rough seas....and the last cruise we had to pull in to a port because Huricane Sandy was coming up the East coast and we were heading right into her....They bused us to our destination, but they could have done things a little bit differently...I don't think their contingency plans are the best...I don't think they have the "what if this happens" down pat....but it won't stop us from cruising....going on a transatlantic this coming April....
    1893 days ago
    Makes me think twice about wanting to take a cruise.
    1893 days ago
    I was reading about this in the newspaper too, how sad!

    What an awful way to end up on your vacation!
    1893 days ago
  • MARTY728
    I do not like floating hotels.
    1893 days ago
    they will comfort themselves with their lawsuits....
    1894 days ago
    That is horrible!!
    1894 days ago
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