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 Carnival plans $300 million in ship improvements
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1 year ago

Carnival plans $300 million in ship improvements

NEW YORK (AP) - Carnival Cruise Lines is announcing a $300 million program to add emergency generators, upgrade fire safety and improve engine rooms on all 24 of its ships.

The announcement on Wednesday could help the brand begin rebounding from a wave of bad publicity that began in February, when an engine fire knocked out power on the Carnival Triumph.

Passengers endured filthy conditions as the Triumph was towed to Mobile, Ala., resurrecting stories of a similar incident from 2010 aboard the Carnival Splendor. Cruise sellers say prices for Carnival cruises have dropped.

Carnival said the first phase of improvements involves installing an additional emergency generator on every ship. Carnival is also installing high-pressure upgraded water mist systems on all ships to improve fire safety.

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1 year ago

Carnival says it will pay US for disabled ships

MIAMI (AP) - Carnival Corp. said Monday it will repay the U.S. government an unspecified amount for the costs to taxpayers of responses to disabling accidents on its Triumph and Splendor cruise ships, both of which left thousands of passengers stranded at sea for days.

The world's largest cruise line company said the payments were being made voluntarily to the U.S. Treasury Department and that no government agency had requested reimbursement for either accident.

But Carnival had come under pressure from U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who was highly critical last week of Carnival's indirect responses to his inquiries about its willingness to pay.

Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, estimated the Coast Guard's costs in dealing with the crippled Triumph earlier this year at nearly $780,000. The 2010 engine fire that left the Splendor adrift off of Mexico, he said, cost the Coast Guard and Navy about $3.4 million. The Navy work in that case included delivering food from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

In both cases, passengers were left in uncomfortable and even squalid conditions before the ships made it back to port.

Carnival's statement did not say if it would pay those amounts or something else. But the company insisted that it never flatly rejected the idea of reimbursement.

"It should be clearly noted that at no point in time has Carnival stated that it would refuse to reimburse federal agencies if they sought remuneration," the company statement said.

Last week, in response to written questions from Rockefeller about repaying the costs, Carnival released letters responding to the senator stating that its policy in such situations is to "honor maritime tradition" requiring assistance to those in need at sea from all maritime interests. Carnival also said in those letters that it frequently participates in rescues at Coast Guard request and strongly defended its safety record.

Rockfeller had labeled that initial response as "shameful" and indicated then that he might hold hearings or propose legislation.

"I'm glad to see that Carnival owned up to the bare minimum of corporate responsibility by reimbursing federal taxpayers for these two incidents," Rockfeller said in a statement Monday. "I am still committed to making sure the cruise industry as a whole pays its fair share in taxes, complies with strict safety standards, and holds the safety of its passengers above profits."

The 900-foot Triumph was disabled during a February cruise by an engine room fire in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving thousands of passengers to endure cold food, unsanitary conditions and power outages while the ship was towed to Mobile, Ala. It is still undergoing repairs there.

The 952-foot Splendor was also hobbled by an engine fire in January 2010, leaving its thousands of passengers to endure similar difficult conditions for three days in the Pacific Ocean while it was towed to San Diego. The Splendor is now back in service and cruises out of New York, according to Carnival's web site.

In both cases, Carnival gave passengers refunds, free cruise vouchers and other forms of reimbursement.

Carnival is also dealing with last year's grounding and capsizing of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, which killed 32 people and spawned both criminal investigations and lawsuits. Costa is one of Carnival's six cruise brands.

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1 year ago

Disabled cruise ship breaks from Ala. mooring

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Officials say a Carnival cruise ship that had been disabled for days in the Gulf of Mexico has broken away from its moorings in a Mobile, Ala. shipyard.

The U.S. Coast Guard tweeted Wednesday afternoon that high winds are likely to blame for the Triumph becoming dislodged.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen says the ship drifted and is resting against a cargo vessel. Gulliksen says tug boats and U.S. Coast Guard officials are on the scene.

The Triumph was disabled Feb. 10 by an engine fire that stranded thousands of passengers onboard for days in the Gulf.

It has been docked in Alabama since being towed to port.

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1 year ago

Carnival Triumph engine room fire

Coast Guard investigators from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center and the Investigations Center of Expertise examine the cruise ship Carnival Triumph's engine room, Feb. 14, 2013, to determine the cause of a fire that broke out Feb. 10 and stranded the ship with its passengers for days in the Gulf of Mexico. The results of the joint international investigation may take months, but could possibly help prevent the same type of incident from happening in the future. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jerry Federer)

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/869130/carnival-triumph-engine-room-fire#.USOlYx1JOAi#ixzz2LMXSo5FQ

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1 year ago

First lawsuit already filed in cruise ship mishap

MIAMI (AP) - The first lawsuit has been filed in the wake of the crippled Carnival Triumph cruise ship that left thousands of passengers in miserable conditions for days.

Texas resident Cassie Terry sued Carnival Corp. on Friday in Miami federal court. The suit seeks unspecified damages, saying Terry feared for her life or that she might suffer serious injury or illness because of the presence of raw sewage and spoiled food.

Carnival cruise ship tickets require that all lawsuits be filed in Miami. Maritime attorneys say it's difficult but not impossible to win a case unless the plaintiff can show actual injury or illness.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said the company hadn't seen the suit and was not in position to comment. The Triumph was disabled Sunday by an engine fire.

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1 year ago

Cruise passenger releases photos

Attached are a photos from Donna Hebert who was on the Carnival cruise ship that was stranded in gulf. One of the pictures are of the Carnival cabin steward who was spending time with children by showing them how to make towel animals.

"The crew was amazing. They were always trying to keep everyone in good spirits. Carnival owes the crew a very large bonus. They worked nonstop to keep us as comfortable as possible," stated Hebert.

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1 year ago

Disabled cruise ship moved from Alabama dock

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph is being moved from the Alabama dock where it discharged its weary passengers and crew after five days at sea paralyzed by an engine-room fire.

Tugs pulled the 14-story ship away from the dock in Mobile on Friday. The ship was being moved backward down a waterway in the direction of a shipyard where city officials said it will be repaired.

Meanwhile, passengers who finally escaped the ship Triump are on the move. Some checked into the comfort of hotels, while others headed home on buses or charter flights after five numbing days at sea on a ship paralyzed by an engine-room fire.

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1 year ago

Passengers slog home after 'horrible' Gulf cruise

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Passengers who finally escaped the disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph were on the move early Friday, some checked into the comfort of hotels, others on buses or headed to charter flights home after five numbing days at sea on a ship paralyzed by an engine-room fire.

The vacation ship carrying some 4,200 people docked late Thursday in Mobile to raucous cheers from passengers weary of overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors.

"Sweet Home Alabama!" read one of the homemade signs passengers affixed alongside the 14-story ship as many celebrated at deck rails lining several levels of the stricken ship. The ship's horn loudly blasted several times as four tugboats pulled the crippled ship to shore at about 9:15 p.m. CST. Some gave a thumbs-up sign and flashes from cameras and cellphones lit the night.

"It was horrible, just horrible" said Maria Hernandez, 28, of Angleton, Texas, tears welling in her eyes as she talked about waking up to smoke in her lower-level room Sunday from the engine-room fire and the days of heat and stench that followed. She was on a "girls trip" with friends.

It took about four hours for all passengers to disembark.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said passengers had three options: take a bus straight to Galveston, Texas, to retrieve cars parked at the ship's departure port, take a bus to New Orleans to stay at a hotel before a charter flight home or have family or friends pick them up in Mobile.

Gulliksen said up to 20 charter flights would leave New Orleans later Friday to take guests who stayed in hotels there to their final destinations.

Nearly 2,000 passengers arrived at a New Orleans Hilton in the wee hour of the morning, and by dawn many were headed out again to fly by chartered plane to Houston. They would then have to get a connecting flight home or take a chartered bus back to their cars in Galveston.

"It just feels so good to be on land again and to feel like I have options," said Tracey Farmer of Tulsa, Okla. "I'm just ready to see my family. It's been harder on them than us I think because they've been so worried about us. It's been extremely stressful for them."

Buses began arriving at the Port of Galveston on Friday morning after an eight-hour drive from Mobile. Port of Galveston police said as many as 800 people would arrive by bus to retrieve their vehicles or be shuttled onto other buses to reach home.

Elaine Roberts of Gainesville, Texas, and her family were among the first to arrive in Galveston. She told KHOU-TV the conditions on Triumph were a "cesspool."

For some, once they get to Galveston to their cars, they still face long drives getting home.

"It's going to be a very long day," said Dwayne McAbee, who says he'll drive from Galveston to his home in Fort Worth, Texas, a roughly six to seven hour drive.

Tugs began pulling the ship away from the dock Friday morning, moving it backward down a waterway in the direction of a shipyard where city officials said it will be repaired.

It wasn't long after the ship pulled into the Port of Mobile that passengers began streaming down the gang plank, some in wheelchairs and others pulling carry-on luggage. An ambulance pulled up to a gate and pulled away, lights flashing.

For 24-year-old Brittany Ferguson of Texas, not knowing how long passengers had to endure their time aboard was the worst part.

"I'm feeling awesome just to see land and buildings," said Ferguson, who was in a white robe given to her aboard to weather the cold nights. "The scariest part was just not knowing when we'd get back."

As the ship pulled up, some aboard shouted, "Hello, Mobile!" Some danced in celebration on one of the balconies. "Happy V-Day" read one of the homemade signs made for the Valentine's Day arrival and another, more starkly: "The ship's afloat, so is the sewage."

A few dozen relatives on the top floor of the parking deck of the terminal were waving lights at the ship as it carefully made its way alongside.

Taxis were lined up waiting for people, and motorists on Interstate 10 stopped to watch the exodus of passengers from the cruise ship.

Some still aboard chanted, "Let me off, let me off!"

It took six grueling hours navigating the 30-odd-mile ship channel to dock, guided by at least four towboats. Nearly 900 feet in length, it was the largest cruise ship ever to dock at Mobile.

In texts and flitting cellphone calls, the ship's passengers described miserable conditions while at sea.

Galveston is the home port of the ill-fated ship, which lost power in an engine-room fire Sunday some 150 miles off Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. It was the end of a cruise that wasn't anything like what a brochure might describe.

Carnival CEO Gerry Cahill apologized at a news conference and later on the public address system as people were disembarking.

"I appreciate the patience of our guests and their ability to cope with the situation. And I'd like to reiterate the apology I made earlier. I know the conditions on board were very poor," he said. "We pride ourselves on providing our guests with a great vacation experience, and clearly we failed in this particular case."

Passenger Ferguson said crew members tried to make the situation bearable.

"They did their best to keep our spirits up," she said.

Joseph and Cecilia Alvarez of San Antonio said some passengers passed the time by forming a Bible study group.

"It was awesome," he said. "It lifted up our souls and gave us hope that we would get back."

The company disputed the accounts of passengers who described the ship as filthy, saying employees were doing everything to ensure people were comfortable.

In a text message, Kalin Hill, of Houston, described deplorable conditions over the past few days.

"The lower floors had it the worst, the floors 'squish' when you walk and lots of the lower rooms have flooding from above floors," Hill wrote. "Half the bachelorette party was on two; the smell down there literally chokes you and hurts your eyes."

She said "there's poop and urine all along the floor. The floor is flooded with sewer water ... and we had to poop in bags."

While the passengers are headed home, the Triumph will head to a Mobile shipyard for assessment. Carnival has canceled a dozen more planned voyages aboard the Triumph and acknowledged the crippled ship had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before the engine-room blaze. The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation.

Passengers were supposed to get a full refund and discounts on future cruises, and Carnival announced Wednesday they would each get an additional $500 in compensation.

"This is my first and last cruise. So if anyone wants my free cruise, look me up," said Kendall Jenkins, 24, of Houston. Bounding off the ship clad in bathrobes, she and her friend Brittany Ferguson immediately kissed the pavement at the Port of Mobile in Alabama.

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1 year ago

Sickness a Possibility from Staying on Carnival Triumph

Passengers on the Carnival Triumph are in close quarters and with reports of sewage issues and deteriorating conditions on board, the threat of illness is a strong possibility.

For nearly four days, passengers have experienced what they say are miserable conditions. Lafayette Doctor Indria Gautam says one of the greatest concerns for passengers is respiratory illnesses like the cold and flu.

"In addition to that, because you are on a cruise ship, there is a risk for things that can cause problems to your stomach or cause you to have diarrhea."

Passengers have reported sewage backing up and having to use the bathroom in plastic bags. With such poor conditions and limited food, bacterial infections are also a possibility.

"E-Coli, salmonella, shigella are all bacterial infections that cause diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal pains," said Dr. Gautam.

The mental state of passengers is also a concern, but it's important to know fact from rumor and not let it take over your life.

Dr. Gautam also says, "One of the best stress relievers is exercising, taking a break, listening to music and talking about what's going on. At least for the couple of weeks, you want to be aware of new changes."

Doctors say depending on how serious your symptoms are you can take over the counter medications, but if your symptoms are quite serious and do persists, it's best to contact your doctor.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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1 year ago

Crippled cruise ship slowly makes its way to land

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - This is not at all how it looked in the brochure: Pulled by a tugboat at a maddeningly slow pace, the ill-fated cruise ship Carnival Triumph finally drew within sight of land on Thursday as miserable passengers told stories of overflowing toilets, food shortages, foul odors and dangerously dark passageways.

Around midday, four days after the 893-foot ship was crippled by an engine-room fire in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the more than 4,200 passengers and crew members suffered another misfortune when the towline snapped, bringing the vessel to a dead stop just when it was getting close to port.

The towline was quickly replaced, and the crawl to Mobile resumed. The ship was expected to arrive around midnight Thursday. Officials said it would take passengers up to five hours to get off the ship, and then they faced an hours-long bus ride or other travel hassles to finally get back home.

Frustrations with the cruise line simmered on and off the ship, as passengers and their relatives questioned why it had taken so long to get back to dry land. The ship left Galveston, Texas, a week ago.

Television images from CNN showed passengers with signs of "Help" and "I love you" hanging from their cabin rooms.

As the vessel drew within cell phone range, passengers vented their anger.

Renee Shanar, of Houston, was on board with her husband, who has heart trouble. She said they were told they will be among the first to disembark.

"I don't believe them they've been lying to us from the beginning," Shanar said.

Disgusted by the foul air and heat of the lower decks, many passengers hauled mattresses and bed sheets onto the top deck and slept there, even staying put in a soaking rain. As the ship approached the coast, a slew of Carnival workers arrived, removed the bedding and took it downstairs.

"Today they cleaned the ship, they're serving better food, covering up basically, but at least they're making it more bearable," said Kalin Hill, of Houston, who boarded the Triumph as part of a bachelorette party.

Shanar they were initially only given cold cuts, like turkey and vegetable sandwiches. Then another cruise line dropped off hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, but the line for that fare was nearly four hours long.

"There's poop and urine all along the floor," she said. "The floor is flooded with sewer water ... and we had to poop in bags."

The 14-story ship must negotiate a tricky, shallow shipping channel before docking. The channel narrows to 400 feet inside Mobile Bay, and the ship was about 115 feet wide. It was traveling about 5 mph.

Shanar said food was been distributed on the 9th floor, making it difficult for some of the elderly to get it. They were initially given cold cuts, like turkey and vegetable sandwiches. Then another cruise line dropped off hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, but the line for that fare was nearly four hours long.

"And then people started getting sick from the food," she said.

The company disputed the accounts of passengers who described the ship as filthy, saying employees were doing everything to ensure people were comfortable. Carnival didn't immediately respond to questions the illnesses reported by some passengers.

Terry Thornton, senior vice president for Carnival Cruiselines, said they received an extra generator that allowed them to serve hot food Wednesday night.

"This is going to be a long day," Thornton said. "There is no way we can speed up the process."

When passengers arrive in Alabama, their stay will be short. Carnival said they were being given the option of boarding buses directly to Galveston, Texas, or Houston - a roughly seven-hour drive - or taking a two-hour bus ride to New Orleans, where the company said it booked 1,500 hotel rooms. Those staying in New Orleans will be flown Friday to Houston. Carnival said it will cover all the transportation costs.

"I can't imagine being on that ship this morning and then getting on a bus," said Kirk Hill, whose 30-year-old daughter, Kalin Christine Hill, is on the cruise. "If I hit land in Mobile, you'd have a hard time getting me on a bus."

Thelbert Lanier was waiting at the Mobile port for his wife, who texted him early Thursday.

"Room smells like an outhouse. Cold water only, toilets haven't work in 3 1/2 days. Happy Valentines Day!!! I love u & wish I was there," she said in the text message, which was viewed by The Associated Press. "It's 4:00 am. Can't sleep...it's cold & I'm starting to get sick."

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said the company tried to keep families updated and established a toll-free number for friends and relatives. Gulliksen said about 200 Carnival employees were in Mobile waiting to assist passengers upon their arrival.

The ship was about 150 miles off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula when an engine room fire knocked out its primary power source, crippling its water and plumbing systems and leaving it adrift on only backup power.

No one was injured in the fire, but a passenger with a pre-existing medical condition was taken off the ship as a precaution. Another passenger with a medical issue was taken off Thursday.

Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled a dozen more planned voyages aboard the Triumph and acknowledged the crippled ship had been plagued by other mechanical problems in the weeks before the engine-room blaze. The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation.

Gulliksen said the Triumph's recent mechanical woes involved an electrical problem with the ship's alternator on the previous voyage. Repairs were completed Feb. 2, and the problem was not related to the fire, he said.

Passengers were supposed to get a full refund and discounts on future cruises, and Carnival announced Wednesday they would each get an additional $500 in compensation.

Once docked, the ship will be idle through April.

As the ship is towed to shore, passengers crowd the upper decks for their first glimpse of land-and a helicopter-in days.

This was just half of the deck! Everyone watching and excited for even a simple helicopter BY KAITLYN ROBERTSON.

The first sight of a helicopter we had. They came to pick up a passenger with a broken ankle and another who was very ill.BY KAITLYN ROBERTSON.

Food! BY CLARK JONES.

Carnival Triumph passengers use their bodies to spell "Help" on the deck http://pic.twitter.com/0TIJBW50
BUZZFEED NEWS.

SIGN OF FRUSTRATION: Edmond family stuck on #CarnivalTriumph says they've had poor food & no shower for 3 days. http://pic.twitter.com/FO7Frudn
KATY BLAKEY.

RIP Triumph. A sign we made. @CNN @CBS #carnivaltriumph http://pic.twitter.com/XU8Fb5Ot
CLARK JONES.

This one says it all: http://pic.twitter.com/opEmC8kT
VAUGHN STERLING CNN.

"Help get us to Eunice, LA" a sign hanging from the back of the Carnival Triumph. The ship is slowly making its way to port. CNN.

Written in lipstick: "Denver or Bust" from Bryan and Shirley Karr on the Carnival Triumph http://pic.twitter.com/qKkZk0lh -- MATT FLENER

@corbydavidson @theoldgreywolf @danny_balis Have a friend on Triumph. She just posted photos on FB, including this http://twitpic.com/c3rvlf -- PHILLIP SHARP

Tent city on Carnival Triumph @Carnival @Triumph
Share -- JANETSHAMLIAN

Tent City. Since Sunday, people slept out here. @CNN @CBS #carnivaltriumph Share -CLARK JONES.

MY MOM IS STRANDED ON THIS CRUISE WITH HER ...Share

FACEBOOK.COM

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1 year ago

Carnival Cruise ship stopped; towline broken

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A Coast Guard official says a disabled cruise ship is stopped off the coast of Alabama because of a broken towline attached to one of the boats towing the vessel.

Petty Officer William Colclough says the ship will be "dead in the water" as the tugboat with the broken line is replaced with a useable vessel. He says the Carnival Triumph will be on its way once it is safely reconnected, but he did not given an estimate of how long the process would take.

The Triumph was being pulled by four tugs Thursday, and the Coast Guard said it had been moving about 5 mph. Before the towline broke, the ship and the 4,000-plus passengers were expected to arrive at the Mobile cruise terminal late Thursday night.

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1 year ago

Port official: Cruise ship arrival will be tricky

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The CEO of the Alabama State Port Authority says a nighttime arrival of the disabled Carnival Triumph cruise ship could be difficult.

Jimmy Lyons says port officials would prefer that the ship not come into the city during nighttime hours because there are tricky turns and cross currents in Mobile Bay. He described the bay as only 10 feet deep outside the ship channel.

But he says there may be no other choice. The ship is expected Thursday evening. Earlier, officials had reported an afternoon arrival, but a spokesman said the operation was taking longer than anticipated.

Lyons says tying up the ship also will take longer than usual because the winches are inoperable and the thrusters that normally get it in and out of the berths aren't working, either.

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1 year ago

Sign hanging from Carnival ship

"Help us get to Eunice, LA" a sign hanging from the back of the Carnival Triumph. The ship is slowly making its way to port.

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1 year ago

UDPATE: Ship to Reach Port before 7:00 Tonight

CNN is reporting the Carnival Triumph is 20 nautical miles from the sea bouy. The ship will take on the navigating pilot from the Port of Mobile between 11:30 A. M. and 12:30 P. M. Central Standard Time and will arrive at the port between 6:30 P. M. and 7:00 P. M. Central Standard Time.

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1 year ago

Notre Dame High Students Stranded at Sea

A group of Notre Dame parents in Crowley are set to leave in a few hours to pick up their children in Mobile, Alabama Thursday.

Despite the chaos, the students' parents know their kids are strong.

"Can you hear me momma, can you hear me? I want to come home! My wife was screaming, are you ok? Are you ok? And my daughter could not hear my wife. The phone went dead. Like I said, it's worse than anything and sickening we can't talk to her. It's been like that since Sunday."

Garret LeBlanc's 15-year-old daughter, hunter, and several of her friends are on board. It's a vacation that's been in the works for months. When the news broke, their parents thought it was only a minor situation.

"Oh my goodness, they have a fire in the engine room and then after, it was steadily progressing and getting worse," said Felicia Lyons.

Families haven't been able to communicate. Parents have been glued to reports hoping they would receive better insight as to what's happening.

"There's a lot of bad out there, but you know it's not all true, but plans change," said Keri Lucas.

Although, the girls have a chaperone, not knowing what's happening has been the hardest part.

"They're young, they are 15 years old and I'm worried about what they're thinking. We're not with them," said Lyons.

Despite how serious the situation is, Garret LeBlanc knows the girls will be fine, "They're probably taking over the ship, dancing and singing."

Carnival is compensating passengers, but these parents aren't sure about a next time.

"Only cruise my little girl is going on is to Cow Island, Pecan Island, or Holly Beach. Other than that, we're done," said LeBlanc.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

1 year ago

Father concerned about pregnant daughter on Triumph

It's been an emotional roller coaster for concerned family and friends back home in Acadiana, who are awaiting the arrival of their loved ones that are stuck on Carnival's broken down Triumph cruise ship.

"For my wife and I it's been very frustrating and upsetting that we've not been able to have any contact," Randall Gaspard said, who's the father of passenger Kayla Robles.

Contact is what Randall Gaspard desperately wants. Robles is six months pregnant, and is with her husband and 30 of his family members. Robles and her husband's room is right above the engine where the fire broke out.

"The last few days the reports we've received and what we've seen on TV with sewage backing up, and no air conditioning, the lack of food...The text we got from Kayla on Monday was she had eaten half a hamburger all day," Gaspard said.

Not enough food for a pregnant woman. The delay in getting home has made her miss a doctor's appointment.

"They said they had a doctor on board, and I said, "A doctor for 3000, 4000 people including the crew?" That's really not sufficient in my mind," Gaspard said.

Randall says that the last they heard from Carnival was in an automated voice message it left last night. He feels the cruise line could be doing much better than that.

I just want them home safely, and back in their house and back in their routine, and be able to put my arms around both of them and make sure that they're ok," Gaspard said.

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1 year ago

Additional compensation offered to those aboard Triumph

Press Release:Carnival Cruise Lines has announced further compensation for the passengers aboard the Carnival Triumph, currently being towed via tug boats to Mobile, Alabama after an engine room fire early Sunday caused a loss of propulsion.

All guests on the current voyage will receive further compensation of $500.00 per person.

Gerry Cahill, President & CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines said: "We know it has been a longer journey back than we anticipated at the beginning of the week under very challenging circumstances. We are very sorry for what our guests have had to endure. Therefore, in addition to the full refund and future cruise credit already offered, we have decided to provide this additional compensation. I look forward to welcoming everyone to Mobile tomorrow and have mobilized our full resources to assist and support them as they travel home."

As previously announced, all 3,143 guests on board will receive a full refund of the cruise along with transportation expenses and reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage, with the exception of gift shop, art purchases and casino charges. All passengers will also receive a future cruise credit equal to the amount paid for this voyage.

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1 year ago

Carnival releases statement on stranded ship

From Carnival: Lots of questions/comments about using another ship to transport guests off the C. Triumph so wanted to address the topic:

We evaluated a wide range of options including using another ship to transport guests but the safest solution was towing the ship back to port. We have a huge team involving multiple departments working around the clock to get our guests home as quickly as possible.

Coming to the rescue: Another Carnival cruise liner called the Legend went off course to help the other boat but dropping off supplies proved difficult in high seas, according to one passenger- MAILONLINE.COM

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1 year ago

Parents concerned about kids on cruise ship

This is just a portion of the Acadiana residents stranded on the Carnival Triumph. Tonight at 5 & 6 we'll hear from three of the Notre Dame students' parents about to drive to Mobile to pick up their kids.

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1 year ago

Update: Carnival issues new press release regarding Triumph

Carnival has dispatched a third tugboat to assist in towing Carnival Triumph to port. The tugboat is currently en route from Port Fourchon, Louisiana and is expected to arrive at the ship this evening to further support the vessel's return to Mobile, Alabama on Thursday. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to be on the scene as the ship is in tow.

We are mobilizing approximately 200 people to be on the ground in Mobile to support the Carnival Triumph's arrival and guests' travel home.

We are currently finalizing travel arrangements for guests from Mobile. Carnival Triumph guests were given the option of boarding buses directly to Galveston or Houston, Texas, or to spend the night in a hotel in New Orleans, where they could rest before flying out on private charters the next day. Carnival will cover all travel related and incidental expenses.

Carnival has reserved and arranged the following: approximately 100 motor coaches; more than 1,500 New Orleans hotel rooms; multiple charter flights from New Orleans to Houston on Friday; and transportation from Houston to the Port of Galveston so that guests may retrieve their cars if they drove to the port.

There are 3,143 guests and 1,086 crew on board. We continue to update the designated emergency contacts for all guests presently on board Carnival Triumph. Concerned family and loved ones of guests and crew may call 888.290.5095 or 305.406.5534.

Upcoming Voyages
Carnival Cruise Lines has also announced the cancellations of 12 additional voyages of the Carnival Triumph. The 12 cancelled cruises, which encompass sailings from Feb. 21 through April 13, 2013, are in addition to two previously cancelled voyages scheduled to depart Feb. 11 and Feb. 16.

Guests on the affected sailings will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as non-refundable transportation costs, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities, and government fees and taxes. Guests will also receive a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day Carnival cruise or a 15 percent discount on a six- to seven-day cruise. Travel agent commissions will be protected.

Carnival sincerely apologizes for this disruption in our guests' vacation plans.

Carnival Triumph operates four- and five-day cruises from Galveston, Texas. The current Carnival Triumph voyage departed Galveston, Texas, on Thursday, February 7 and was scheduled to return on Monday, Feb. 11.

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1 year ago

Why doesn't the Coast Guard rescue passengers?

We asked the Coast Guard what many of you have been asking: Why don't they step in and rescue those aboard the Carnival Triumph? The spokesperson says unless there is a medical emergency, the government agency is simply acting as an escort for the ship into Mobile, AL. They can't transfer the more than 3,000 people on the ship safely, and although it's uncomfortable, it's their goal to save lives. So far, they have had to transfer one person off the Carnival ship because of medical concerns.

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1 year ago

Some future Carnival cruises cancelled

Press Release: Carnival Cruise Lines has announced the cancellations of 12 additional voyages of the Carnival Triumph following an engine room fire that has left vessel without propulsion. The 12 cancelled cruises, which encompass sailings from Feb. 21 through April 13, 2013, are in addition to two previously cancelled voyages scheduled to depart Feb. 11 and Feb. 16.

Guests on the affected sailings will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as non-refundable transportation costs, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities, and government fees and taxes. Guests will also receive a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day Carnival cruise or a 15 percent discount on a six- to seven-day cruise. Travel agent commissions will be protected.

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1 year ago

Disabled ship causing problems for Vermilion couple

Allison Bourne-Vanneck spoke to the father of the Vermilion Parish woman who is on the Carnival ship with her husband. A fire in the engine room disabled the Triumph and it is now being towed to Mobile, Alabama. Friends of Kayla and Eric Robles say conditions are causing problems for passengers, especially Kayla who is 6 months pregnant. Food lines are three hours long, no A.C. and limited toilets. Passengers are told to use plastic bags in place of restroom facilities. The overpowering stench is making people ill. That story coming up at 5 and 6.

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1 year ago

Disabled cruise ship had prior mechanical trouble

HOUSTON (AP) - The disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico had mechanical problems last month that delayed its departure from Galveston on a previous voyage.

Debbi Smedley was a passenger aboard that cruise. She says the Triumph was scheduled to leave at midday on Jan. 28 but did not sail until after 8 p.m. Passengers received an email from Carnival Cruise Lines telling them the delay was due to a propulsion problem.

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen says there had been electrical trouble with the ship's alternator, which was repaired. He says there does not appear to be any link between that issue and the fire in the engine room that caused the Triumph to lose power Sunday.

The ship is currently being towed to Mobile, Ala., with some 4,000 people aboard.

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1 year ago

NTSB launch investigation on the Carnival Triumph engine fire

Several students from Notre Dame High School in Crowley are on board that cruise ship stranded in the Gulf, and we're learning of even more people from Acadiana on board. If you know someone aboard the ship, please email us at news@katctv.com. A fire in the engine room disabled the Carnival ship Triumph; it will now be towed to Mobile, Alabama. More than four thousand people are on board.

COAST GUARD PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation Tuesday into the circumstances surrounding a fire aboard the Carnival Triumph, that occurred Sunday.

The Carnival Triumph experienced an engine room fire while on a four-day cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, and has been without propulsion in the Gulf of Mexico since. The ship's automatic fire extinguishing systems activated and the fire was extinguished. No injuries to guests or crew members were reported in connection to the fire.

The ship is expected to arrive in Mobile, Ala., Thursday evening.

Because the Carnival Triumph is a Bahamian flagged vessel, the Bahamas Maritime Authority is the primary investigative agency. In accordance with international guidelines, the U.S. will participate in this investigation as a Marine Safety Investigative State.

Coast Guard members from both the Investigations and Cruise Ship Centers of Expertise, along with a representative from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center will lead the U.S. investigation joined by a team of five investigators from the NTSB Office of Marine Safety and the Office of Research and Engineering. The purpose of the investigation is to identify causal and contributing factors that led to the incident. Additionally both the crew response and effectiveness of fire fighting systems will be evaluated to help prevent future incidents.

The U.S. team is expected to arrive in Mobile Wednesday. Results of the investigation will be released to the public once the investigation by the Bahamas Maritime Authority is complete.

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