The one where Carnival Triumph arrived but the saga was far from over…

Tent city captured by a passenger. Image: AFP

Tent city captured by a passenger. Image: AFP

Carnival Triumph may have arrived in Mobile, Alabama last Friday, but online message boards and media have remained divided about how effectively the cruise line handled the incident.

Videos and photos have peppered the internet showcasing the situation onboard.

Groups of people spelled out “Help” to attract media attention, red bags used for human waste littered corridors, a tent city was created surrounding the pool, passengers created makeshift beds on the open decks and cords piled high at charging stations throughout the ship where power was still available.

For every complaint about the situation, it seems there was a compliment for the crew members however, who worked tirelessly to keep the ship as sanitised as possible in difficult circumstances and who tried to make passengers smile in a not so happy environment.

“Giant kudos to Loreto from Phillipines who was our room steward…he was amazing, he disinfected our rooms every couple of hours, sprayed the halls with a room spray, got us ice and was always there for us smiling and laughing,” Triumph passenger Georgette Bedford Ford posted on Carnival’s senior cruise director John Heald’s Facebook page on Friday.

“He hardly slept and when he did he slept in the hallway in case we needed him.

“This was not the way I planned to enjoy my platinum voyage but it definitely wasn’t for me anything like I just watched on TV last night!”

From CNN’s non-stop coverage to “Saturday Night Live”, whose cast got in on the action with a skit broadcast over the weekend, the common theme has been that passengers should receive additional compensation than that already offered.

USD$500 per person has been added to the current compensation package that includes a full refund of the cruise along with transportation, expenses and reimbursement of all shipboard purchases during the voyage (excluding casino charges, art and gift shop purchases).

Passengers will also receive a future cruise credit to the amount paid for this voyage and were told that they could keep their bathrobes.

This gesture only resulted in fuelling the media firestorm that included a comment by one CNN reporter who likened ordeal aboard Carnival Triumph to Hurricane Katrina.

Maritime lawyer Jim Walker has told CNN and readers of his Cruise Law News blog that passengers are best to accept what they have been offered as their case would most likely be thrown out of a court of law given the terms and conditions accepted by a passenger when embarking on a cruise.

“The cruise lines have drafted terms and conditions in the cruise passenger tickets (considered by the courts to be the legal, binding contract) to protect themselves in virtually every imaginable circumstance,” Mr Walker wrote on his blog.

“Unless a passenger is physically injured or become physically ill (say due to the unsanitary conditions of sewage on the ship), they have virtually no rights at all.”

What compensation do you think is fair for the Carnival Triumph passengers? We welcome your comments below.

Originally written by Natalie Aroyan for e-Travel Blackboard.

As I have written in previous posts concerning Carnival Triumph, I really think that the media has sensationalised this incident more than enough than they should have.

To have passengers standing up for the cruise line when reporters are likening the situation onboard to a natural disaster that destructed a city and left many dead and injured, is truly an indication of how much leading news programs like CNN have dramatised this situation.

As for “Saturday Night Live” – well, I love that show, but perhaps it was a tad too soon (the show aired the night after Carnival Triumph arrived in Mobile/Alabama) to be ‘lightening the situation’? What are your thoughts?

Once again – the incident was terrible and I am so glad that no-one was physically hurt and that everyone is back home safely but, I really don’t think that Carnival Cruise Lines could have done anything else to improve the situation for passengers.

Gerry Cahill was critiscised for being at the port of Mobile to speak to passengers yet, if he wasn’t he would have been criticised for not being there. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation it seems.

Please feel free to share your thoughts either below or via our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/cruiseinreview

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