As a third tug boat was dispatched to assist in towing Carnival Triumph to port in Mobile, Alabama, Carnival Cruise Lines announced further compensation for passengers affected and the cancellation of 12 additional voyages.
USD$500 per person will be 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.
In addition to the cancellation of the 11 February and 16 February departures, 12 additional voyages have been cancelled encompassing sailings from 21 February to 13 April.
Guests affected by these cancellations will receive a full refund of their cruise fare along with the reimbursement of non-refundable transportation costs, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities and government fees and taxes.
A 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day cruise will also apply or a 15 percent discount on a six- to seven-day cruise, with all travel agent commissions protected.
Senior cruise director John Heald has promised guests affected that, while cruise rates tend to fluctuate, the cruise fare paid on a future cruise of three- to five-day duration will be protected with no blackout dates.
Those wishing to purchase a six- or seven-day voyage will not be eligible for the same cruise fare protection however.
Carnival have arranged approximately 100 coaches, more than 1,500 New Orleans hotel rooms, multiple charter flights from New Orleans to Houston on Friday and transportation from Houston from the Port of Galveston for any passengers who may have driven to the port.
“We know it has been a longer journey back than we anticipated at the beginning of the week under very challenging circumstances,” Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill said in a statement.
“We are very sorry for what our guests have had to endure.”
200 members of the Carnival team will be on the ground upon Carnival Triumph’s arrival, with passengers onboard give the option of boarding buses directly to Galveston or Houston, Texas or spending the night in a hotel in New Orleans before flying out on private charters on Friday.
Additional provisions and another generator have been delivered via helicopter and, at the time of publishing, Carnival Triumph was positioned in the channel with arrival expected within the next three to six hours.
A video featuring Mr Cahill at Tuesday’s press conference can be viewed below.