Troubled Waters2

Land AhoyWe’ve all heard these words before. If it takes you back to your childhood days when imaginary pirate ships and buccaneers took place at the center of your daydreams then you must know how relieving words like this would sound for the passengers of Carnival’s Triumph. Close your eyes and imagine, what could be the worst case scenario on board a ship in the ocean? If your eyes frantically pop open with the thought of the founding of Titanic or the untimely side turn and abandonment of the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia  then we’re on the same track.

First I must mention my first cruise back on June 20, 2003 on the Carnival Fascination, a Graduation excursion nonetheless but turned out to be a way for my mother to enjoy her birthday, so it’s disturbing to witness the catastrophe on board one of their ships. As a side note, I didn’t have much fun neither: dehydrated for the duration of our 3 day trip because we couldn’t bring water aboard the ship, could only drink their weird tasting bottled water with only 2-3 per cabin upon arrival, and have the nerve to charge for bottled water! Just when I thought it would be better when it was time for dinner the water they served us tasted like water that came from anywhere but a purified, clean, crisp location so I had to opt out for ice tea (the water it’s made with was masked by the tea), and during our leisure stroll in the insufferable Bahamian heat we had to rush back on the ship due to heat exhaustion. It was our first cruise and it didn’t leave a “happy” lasting impression. Well not for me.

From what I recall a fire broke out in the engine room ultimately causing the ship to lose power except for certain parts where it was limited. It caused the ship to stay adrift 150 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. This was the fourth engine room fire on a Carnival owned ship. This just screams crazy to me! Too many issues have occurred already and yet the ship still set sail with unaware innocent lives on it. February 10 was the last noted time the ship experienced difficulties with fire in its engine room…

What really upsetted me was learning that the lights went out. Can you imagine being on a boat, on the ocean, at night with no lights to see? That just freaks me out, I don’t know about you. Then the toilets were backed up with insurmountable amounts of human waste, which continued the series of horrified events. It horrified me hearing from the witnesses that they could only flush their toilet once within the five of being stranded. To make matters worse they were given red bags (why red bags I would love to know) to use if they had to handle their business. Just foul and disgusting.

From last night’s 20/20 hour-long special “Troubled Waters” on ABC I learned more about the devastating circumstances. There was no air conditioning, not enough running water, no cell phone service until they got closer to land, and then staff kept telling everyone over the PA “don’t worry”, despite the smoke erupting from the kitchen and lower deck . Everyone migrates to the top deck to escape the stench from feces and urine and basically form a shanty-town of bedsheets. As my mother says, “It looks like something from a third world country.”

A passenger mentions the only form of nourishment given to the people were onion sandwiches they had to wait three hours in line to eat. The devil must’ve been in the center of the chaos because it was also stated that at some point crew members started serving alcoholic beverages to the distressed and highly emotional passengers. Which is just perfect if you want to create more problems in an already futile situation. Let’s add a riot here and there and just take each other out. Just insane.

To add insult to injury as many furious passengers have stated Carnival gave them a $500 voucher. There is no amount of money than can suffice the distress everyone endured on the “bobbing cork” in the ocean. To continue the madness: reimbursement of their paid cruise and a free cruise for their troubles. Money back from the cruise is befitting but they will not receive the money put into the bars or casinos. If it couldn’t get any worse for the weary the bus to take them home from their nightmare of a vacation trip breaks down. What more can they go through?

I’ve never been in a situation anything like this but you wonder as a traveler about your utmost safety. These people boarded the ship hoping for a fun-filled cruise. They didn’t expect anything of this magnitude to happen. In life you never know what is going to happen but you sure do wonder about these so-called luxury cruise liners. In blood you’re signing away your life just to board it and enjoy yourself without any liability on their end. It’s amazing how this is possible. These massive ships are made for entertainment purposes, to build the attention and generate a crowd to give it business, but then if something goes wrong it’s not their fault if your life is in danger. Really?!?!! Time for change Kool World. If this doesn’t destroy and diminish the reputation of Carnival Cruise Lines I don’t know what will.



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