February 14, 2013

Cruise ship in tow, Carnival under fire

The Triumph experienced other mechanical problems in the weeks before a crippling engine-room blaze.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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A tugboat, right, assists the 893-foot Carnival Triumph on Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship, with 4,000 people on board, is en route to Alabama after a fire Sunday left it powerless

The Associated Press

"We know it has been a longer journey back than we anticipated at the beginning of the week under very challenging circumstances," Carnival President and CEO Gary Cahill said. "We are very sorry for what our guests have had to endure."

Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen acknowledged the Triumph's recent mechanical problems, explaining that there was an electrical problem with the ship's alternator on the previous voyage. Repairs were completed Feb. 2.

Testing of the repaired part was successful and "there is no evidence at this time of any relationship between this previous issue and the fire that occurred on Feb. 10."

But according to the email sent to passengers on Jan. 28, the issue affected the ship's cruising speeds, delaying its arrival in Galveston. The email also informed Smedley and other passengers that the propulsion problem would prevent them from docking at two ports.

"Due to the limited cruising speed, our itinerary will be impacted. Depending on the progress of the repairs, we will either visit Progreso or Cozumel," stated the email, signed by Vicky Rey, vice president of guest services. "The good news is that we will remain docked overnight at either port."

Smedley said the ship was in poor condition overall. During her five-day cruise, a water line broke in the hallway ceiling near her cabin, and a sewer line broke outside the main dining hall, she said. Metal was protruding from handrails on the staircases, and the elevators often did not work.

Rather than docking in Progreso for only a few hours as planned, the ship stayed in the port for two days, and cruise workers repeatedly told passengers they were waiting for parts to fix a mechanical problem, she said.

 

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