Cruise Line’s Woes Are Far From Over as Ship Makes Port

For 4,200 hungry, scared people whose ship limped into dock Thursday, an ordeal was finally ending. For Carnival Cruise Lines, the work was just beginning.

Comments: 260

  1. Who pays for the Coast Guard in these circumstances? Are the taxpayers on the hook for this?

  2. Yes, but there will surely be costs that Carnival is responsible for, which will probably be paid by their insurance companies.

  3. Why is this ship registered in a foreign country? To avoid US regulations and taxes?

  4. @Jim: Yes, it certainly is a textbook case of "off-shoring"!!

  5. Of course we are. They are on a shipwreck. That's the Coast Guard mission, saving people. Don't taxpayers pay the fire department to put out fires?

  6. Yes, we taxpayers pay the fire department to put out fires; however, we don't move our homes and buildings out to sea and expect the fire department to go out there.

  7. Not where I live. You subscribe to fire dept or get billed out the yahoo if you have a fire. carnival should pay.

  8. Why do people take chances on a cruise when an article like this comes out at least once a year!?

  9. @Flip

    "Why do people take chances on a cruise when an article like this comes out at least once a year!?"

    Have you ever been in a car? That's a pretty big chance you're taking.

  10. Smarter - Generally people take a car because they need to get to work, school etc. There's no real need to take a cruise. It sounds nice but when they go wrong they really seem to go wrong.

  11. Planes crash, too. Trains, too. If you want to be 100% safe, never leave your house - which of course you will build in an area that never has floods, earthquakes, tornados, etc. Now where that would be, who knows! I live in the mid-Atlantic and we had an earthquake last year. We had a derecho. We had Snowmaggedon. We had snipers. We had anthrax. Apparently, we are due for plagues of frogs, lice, boils, and locusts next year.

    You will have to raise all your own food to avoid pesticides and bacteria. You will have to avoid all human contact to avoid disease.

    How you will avoid going insane I don't know.

    I mean really. What can you do that is totally safe?

  12. It's appropriate that this ship shares its name with a puppet comic insult dog.

  13. Why on Earth isn't there a generator installed at a second location on ships like these? I understand the "adrift" part, but it seems to me you need to be able to process fresh and wastewater at an absolute minimum to be considered seaworthy. 250,000 watts can't do that? $49k and a 10'x5' footprint.

  14. @ Sagrilarus:

    Did you say "Why on Earth..." on purpose? Very funny. Definitely agree on fresh/wastewater processing -- apparently Carnival is "adrift" on more than one seaworthy point.

  15. "Passengers will also get a refund, $500 and credit for another cruise."
    Right. Let the lawsuits begin.

  16. It's typical for a company to offer discounts or free product to dissatisfied customers, but as someone who got food poisoning nearly twenty years ago and haven't been back to that fast food chain since, I can't imagine anyone who had this experience will ever want to be on a Carnival cruise again.

  17. I assume the US Coast Guard will be able to bill Carnival for their costs.

  18. Not sure I understand what part of this fiasco is being subsidized by the Coast Guard.

    Those are private companies towing the ship, and the extra provisions were supplied by other Carnival ships.

    The Coast Guard, it seems to me, has a very limited oversight role in this whole thing. Does the fire dept. bill you when your house burns down?

  19. Jim Mc - In some jurisdictions, if you do not pay the fire protection fee, yes, the fire department does bill you, or they will do nothing to save your house.

  20. You couldn't pay me enough to take one of these fun cruises.

  21. Passengers should get reimbursed for the cost of the cruise, the cost of getting home, and the cost of time lost while stranded (lost paychecks, etc.). Add another 0 to Carnival's offer of $500 to make it $5,000/person and then allow passengers to choose whether to get cash instead of a credit for another cruise.

  22. That would be a lenient settlement of a class action (not counting attorneys' fees). The company needs to be liquidated and shut down.

  23. A typical class action against Carnival is $4.39 per passenger. The law firm gets $4.39 million.

  24. Boat cruises as these should have never seen the day. Expensive to build, they are a menace by their size, a menace to the environment, due to the tons and tons of waste (+ toilet waste) dumped into the ocean. Think about it! And when accidents as these happen, who pays?

  25. I agree. They're like floating apartment buildings. I was in Venice in June and there were several of these behemoths in port. They dwarf everything in sight. Thousands of people get off and every museum and historical site is so jammed you can't see a thing. I spent most of my time trying to dodge them. I guess there are plenty of people who like to travel like cattle, but I'm not one of them. You couldn't pay me...

  26. being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned
    --Samuel Johnson

  27. Carnival Corporation & plc control almost 50 percent of the world cruise market. We know that they are capable of operating cruise and other ships at a high level of competence. However, this is not the first incident of an engine fire disabling one of their vessels and setting it adrift.

    The possibility of being trapped on a befouled cruise liner is a nightmare. However, the situation could be even worse. Consider the prospect of an adrift liner benighted with an intestinal virus and in the path of a hurricane.

    As it is, think about coming from that nasty ship and then having to ride a bus for two hours simply to get to a hotel for a shower.

  28. Mobile was hoping that Carnival would book hotels in their city (where Carnival is docking). The very idea that Carnival would book the rooms in New Orleans and expect passengers to ride on buses and endure more hardship is simply beyond my comprehension.

  29. Seems they could have airlifted several smaller generators to the ship to help cope with the electrical demands. They must have several competent engineers on board that could bandage the situation. Seems like poor planning to not have backups in place to cope with the lost of the engines, especially when this many people are involved.

  30. Ships of this type are required to have multiple and redundant sources of power. Apparently the fire took nearly all the them out. A Coast Guard/NTSB investigation will detail what happened.

  31. I cannot wait for the "Seconds From Disaster" episode.

    A giant cruise ship idles in the Mexican Ocean... its 4,000 passengers are trapped, with little food and no sanitation facilities, on a voyage to nowhere.

    Now, thanks to advanced computer technology, we can take you behind the scenes of the investigation and unwind the series of events to count down the... seconds from disaster.

  32. I hope this isn't a silly question, but instead of towing the cruise ship ashore, why didn't somebody send smaller boats to the cruise ship and transfer the passengers onto them, and then take them to shore?

  33. I'd have to think that by this time it's the lawyers who are making all the decisions. The opportunities for "accidents" could be high transferring passengers to smaller craft on open seas.

  34. The answer to your question is the 25 mph winds and the 4-6 foot seas mentioned in the article. Very difficult and dangerous to make ship-to-ship transfers in weather like that.

  35. They also could have put everyone in the life boats and gotten them ashore that way.

    The problem is both those options were deemed to be much more dangerous than leaving the passengers on the ship, unpleasant as that has become, and tow them all to a port where they can be taken off safely.

  36. Has it occurred to anyone in the press that nearly every year Carnival Cruises or one of its affiliate lines for the last decade has some form of major incident? Check the record. Something is not right somewhere.

  37. Check actual statistics...on average there are four (4) of these incidents in the industry every year...not just Carnival, but all cruise lines included.
    There have been 90 incidents since 1990.
    The Carnival line of 24 ships has had three (3) incidents like this since 1972, One in 1999, 2010, and this one in 2013.
    The own several other cruise lines that have had some incidents too, but nothing above the industry average.
    The Carnival ships make up 21% of the industry and have had to two (2) incidents in the past two (2) years.
    The Carnival Corporation of all cruise lines they own make up 49% of the industry and have have four (4) of the nine (9) incidents over the last two (2) years. Sounds about right since they are 49% of the industry.
    They also own Princess, Costa, Cunard, Holland, and several others.

  38. We came close to taking a cruise until we read this. Glad no injury or loss of life but who needs the inconvenience and wasted time - and this ship has had problems in the past.

  39. ample use of the term "wasted time"

  40. As Freddy Fender sang "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights"

  41. I can see it now - a representative of carnival cruise lines speaks to the passengers: Well, at least we didn't hit some rocks and roll over or run into an iceberg or get sunk by a torpedo.

    As the old joke goes: Except for that, how did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln?

    Have to agree with some of the folks here - what makes the cruise line think I would ever board one of their ships again?

    Should be interesting when all the facts come out. From what I have read, this ship had problems previously.

  42. Sludge, exciting and new
    Come Aboard. We're expecting you.
    Sludge, life's sweetest reward.
    Let it flow, it floats back to you.
    The Sludge Boat soon will be making another run
    The Sludge Boat promises something for everyone
    Set a course for adventure,
    Your mind on a new romance.
    Sludge won't hurt anymore
    It's an open smile on a friendly shore.
    Yes Sludge! It's Sludge!
    Sludge Boat soon will be making another run
    The Sludge Boat promises something for everyone
    Set a course for adventure,
    Your mind on a new romance.
    Sludge won't hurt anymore
    It's an open smile on a friendly shore.
    It's Sludge! It's sludge! It's Sludge!
    It's the Sludge Boat-ah! It's the SludgeBoat-ah!

  43. I think that Carnival Cruise Lines should have made every effort to evacuate the ship, using helicopters if necessary. The conditions are unsanitary, and growing worse by the hour. Passengers should be reimbursed their expense, and offered another cruise on a safer ship.

  44. Average helicopter able to take 4-6 people max not including pilot. 4,229 passengers on board. They were able to evacuate some needing urgent medical care, but quite unrealistic to pull off 1000 roundtrip helicopter flights within a short period of time. 240 kilometers (150 miles) away from the Yucatan peninsula when the cruise stopped working. Not realistic, unfortunately.

  45. Isn't that what lifeboats are for? It's my understanding that lifeboats are stocked with provisions to last a few days.

  46. Helicopter ops are only used when life is in danger; the operation itself is more dangerous than having passengers wait out the tow.

  47. As someone who has never understood the allure of paying a sizable sum of money to strand myself on floating city for any length of time it's difficult for me to sympathize. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

  48. Our nation is capable of providing evacuation, supplies of food and health items to a third world country on a moment's notice, but we allow a corporate sludge to not provide the same in the Gulf of Mexico. Simple message to to the cruise lines - take care of your passengers or don't use our ports.

  49. Oh we can't be such wusses, this "adventure" will very likely end soon with no fatalities, and great stories to dine out on for years... Look, you can fall and break your neck in the shower. Life involves risk, and the risk of dying as a result of an accident on a modern cruise ship, or the ship burning or sinking has got to be astonishing negligible. The greatest risk on most of these cruises, apart from boredom, is probably indigestion from over eating, sunburn and STD's - all preventable with a little self discipline.

    Passengers should be compensated by being given pen and paper and being offered the opportunity to write an essay about how this incident has caused them to re-evaluate their lives after suffering such unspeakable trauma versus staying home and watching reality TV.

  50. How arrogant of you to assume that the people on this ship only as an alternative to sitting at home and watching reality TV. I personally would never go on a cruise ship, but I know people who do, and who love the experience and who also live life to the full when they are on land. To each his own, and it doesn't have to be as stultifying as you would suggest.

  51. Learned in Process Safety Management training for investigator, for each and every catastrophe there is an immediate obvious rational solution. Immediate obvious rational solutions are always WRONG.

  52. Anyone who goes on a cruise from now on gets what they deserve.

  53. Carnival needs to face a business-ending class-action suit. This makes two Carnival cruises aborted by major disasters in a little over a year. It is time for them to go.

  54. Triumph losing power is a "major disaster", how exactly? Has anyone even been injured? Other than having to eat cold rations and use a stinky head? Look, I think all-you-can-eat cruising is preposterous, but good grief, aren't you devaluing "major disaster" by applying it here? So far, I think it falls into the category of inconvenience and discomfit. Are you a trial attorney? And how would you describe the Titanic disaster?

  55. Aaah, a business-friendly yokel from the Socialist Republic of San Francisco.

  56. I would invite John and Dean to join the passengers and suffer along with them. Then I'd watch amused as you joined the lawsuit wagon train.

    In my experience, conservatives are as willing as anyone to bring suit when their interests have been damaged. They just voice hate for attorneys the rest of the time.

    We experienced similar conditions on land through no fault of ours; we secured a legal settlement.

  57. It's hard to believe that anyone would ever set foot on a cruise ship. What are these people thinking? Why would anyone subject themselves to being a captive audience? Sounds like an absolute nightmare even if everything goes right.

  58. Yes, I hate sunbathing, eating fine food, gambling, watching shows, seeing different cities, enjoying the open sea, people watching, what was I thinking?

  59. MD in NYC: David Foster Wallace had a great article about his experience on an upscale cruise ship in the 1990s. It was called "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." Worth a read before you contemplate a cruise, or even if, like me and Samuel Johnson, you would not do so on a bet.

  60. There is no way that I would let this cruise line continue to have command and control over my body once this ship docked on US soil.

    Hit the dock, then 'I'm down the ramp, abandoning everything except my documents and I would be OUTTA THERE. Off the boat, to an independent hospital to have myself checked out, and to the nearest decent hotel chain to bleach the crud off of my person, while I was making phone calls to the airlines to fly myself back home on the earliest available flight.

    I'm not a rich person, so I'd have to use credit cards, but would care not. Plenty of time to sue these people for compensation later.

  61. I love the mental image you evoke! No doubt thousands are fantasizing the same thing now.

    Wonder how many takers they'll get for the seven-hour bus ride to Houston?

  62. Seven MORE hours on a bus to Houston? And processing from the cruise line? Oh dear God. A nightmare without end. My bet, double digits, max.

    This is definitely a bad thing to throw money at to make it go away.

  63. think of the bus bathrooms on thsoe 7-hour bus rides to Houston, eh? the buses would stink, too, because of what the passengers have been through.

  64. Why do people even take these ridiculous mega ships?..They are nothing more than floating germ infested cattle calls with little to do except gorging oneself & bumping into hundreds of other people on a minute by minute basis.. did it once and never again! I could not wait to disembark. A total waste of time imho

    Now a small intimate European river cruise.... except that they cost way more.

  65. We took a small intimate river cruise last summer. Nearly everyone on the ship, including some of the staff, came down with vomiting and diarrhea. It went on for 4 days. The captain kept issuing memos that said, wash your hands.

    When I got back and called Viking I was at first ignored by customer service until I got the VP's office and then his assistant told me they were sorry for my "problem." It wasn't bad enough to be in France and be sicker than sick but then to be patronized by the cruise line because they wanted to make it my problem? Now after this Carnival incident - we won't cruise again.

  66. A supposedly fun thing they'll never do again.

  67. People who go on cruises are probably the last people equipped to cope with catastrophes like this. Many take cruises because they are hesitant about regular travel, some are too ill or disabled for real travel, etc.

    I happened to be in Europe in October and spent my last night at the Rome airport Hilton before flying home the next day. The hotel was packed, I mean packed, with cruisegoers who had not been able to fly home earlier because of Sandy and were just sort of wandering around looking stunned and complaining about how they were having trouble finding flights home and how expensive food and internet were at the hotel, etc. etc..

    I agree with other comments regarding the size of this ship. I have never been on a cruise, but if I ever did go on one it would be on a much smaller and easier to evacuate ship than this one.

  68. We should all take pause as we realize that the cruise lines are either unable or unwilling to effectively evacuate these mega-ships they are building. Carnival should have an empty vessel ready and waiting at all times so that they may be able to transfer passengers in distress in far less time than it is taking for this unreliable heap to be towed back to shore.

    Do the math: They can't offer these dirt-cheap, one-week cruises without taking advantage of third-world labor working in conditions we wouldn't allow anyone we love to suffer through, and without significantly cutting corners regarding safety and disaster preparedness. No thank you. I hate to say it, but I'm afraid this industry won't change until thousands of souls are lost in the inevitable disaster one of these mega-ships will undoubtedly suffer.

  69. We don't need tragic loss of life to change them. We need financially ruinous legal and government action, and personal executive liability where possible.

  70. While your theory sounds good, transfering large groups of people at sea is a tricky and risky business. This is especially true when the group includes kids, seniors, infirmed or with limited mobility,pregnant etc......This was the least risky of all the bad alternatives. These ships are to big, have to many guest of varying physical limitations. In the event of a catstophic emergency there will be a lot of is inevitable.

  71. The cruise line business is like snow in April, the average age of a cruise line traveller is 75+. There customer base is slowly fading away. They have to make their money now, there is no long term business opportunity.

  72. 75+?
    Carnival Cruise Line: 0 - 45 years of age
    Royal Caribbean Cruise Line: 25 - 55 years of age
    Crystal Cruise Line: 55+ years of age
    Celebrity Cruise Line: 35 - 64 years of age
    Norwegian Cruise Line: 27 - 56 years of age
    Holland America Cruises: 30 - 60 years of age
    Princess Cruise Line: 35 to 65 years of age

  73. The article is incorrect in stating that the ship "weighs 102,000 tons." The 102,000 figure is (roughly) the ship's gross tonnage, which is a measure of volume.

  74. Seems it's time to call in the Coast Guard's heaviest rescue equipment and deal with what is becoming a public health emergency.
    Or is this mainly a PR disaster because CNN is devoting 24-hour coverage to the event?

  75. Wait - that would be big government getting in the way of private enterprise! What we need to do is reduce funding to the Coast Guard.

  76. Although it has its headquarters near Miami, Carnival's ships fly the flags of other nations--notably Panama and the Bahamas. Is this to avoid U.S. taxes and regulation?  I have no qualms about the U.S. Coast Guard helping stranded passengers, but if cruise lines like Carnival are the recipients of taxpayer-subsidized corporate welfare I do take issue. 

    Wouldn't it be appropriate for the Times and other journalistic enterprises to do sone investigative reporting about this industry?

  77. Yes, of course the cruise lines fly other nations' flags to avoid US regulations - there have been dozens of articles over the last couple of decades detailing the deplorable conditions cruise ship employees typically endure. Journalists have been covering this story for a long time - it's up to you to find and read the information.

  78. I just got off Destiny, a Carnival Cruise ship, a couple of weeks ago, and I promise you I will never go on another Carinival Cruise ship again! I was stuck
    in the elevator twice, the food was average at best along with the service, plus what topped it all off was they changed our ports the day we arrived and then told us we could get a full refund if we didn't want to board, when they actually knew prior to that!!! They compensated us $50.00 for the change in ports! During dinner the first night were told we were not leaving port due to taking on water!!! We departed at 8pm instead of 5 pm. The Destiny, we were told was going on two more cruises and then getting an extensive remodel, to be then named "The Sunshine". I will not go on another Carnival Cruise! DEFINITELY, the passengers should receive all their money back for their cruise, their flight, and offered another cruise on a much NEWER, NICER, SHIP within their line or double their money, so they can choose to take a different vacation, this is the least they can do!!

  79. Plastic bags for toilets? How would you like to be the employee whose job it was to collect those bags? Not for all the tea in China. I'd rather walk the plank.

  80. I wouldn't be surprised if the passengers aren't just tossing them over the side afterwards.

  81. Whatever the compensation, I doubt that these passengers will ever take a cruise again. Some people just loving cruising - but I have never understood the allure of being on what might turn in to a floating petri dish of nastiness.

  82. They can't be compensated enough. But to make sure nothing like this happens again, Carnival executives should be required to repeat the experience themselves complete with a lack of food, toilet facilities, air conditioning and that wonderful stench. Maybe then, these avaricious boobs will put in place emergency procedures that effectively address these clearly foreseeable issues so no one will have to go through this again.

  83. These ships are getting too big. Maybe if they restored them to a more manageable size they wouldn't have these mechanical issues.

    The passengers should file a class action, get the most money for their misery and never cruise again, certainly not with Carnival!

  84. "These ships are getting too big."

    Really?? Too big to fail?


    Sorry, couldn't help it, it was just too easy.

  85. A tow line snapped. The ship is getting heavier. The pumps are'nt working. The ship is taking on water. They better hurry and get this monster into port.

  86. Most of the planet Earth lives in conditions much worse then this. These people went from livin large to livin in a toilet, they are not even close to there element, most of them probrally dont know how to survive. Atleast they dont have criminals on board. Or many children.

  87. Most people save money to be able to go a cruise or go on a vacation. And what makes you think that there aren't criminals on board? People disappear from cruise ships and passengers' backgrounds aren't checked before they cruise! And goodness knows about the crew, especially if the ship is a non-USA vessel.

    Just because many people live in deplorable conditions around the world does not mean that these folks deserve to have their vacation in a situation like this.

  88. Couldn't they at least have airlifted them some food? We do that much for natural disasters.

  89. One would think with a ship 3.5 football fields in length there would be enough space to do just that! ....scratching my head in befuddlement....

  90. and some porta potties. I'm serious.

  91. Read some more stories...they have had food dropped off by various other ships four (4) times.

  92. The laws need to be changed regarding these cruise ships,as most if not all are registered in foreign countries, and those countries do not care if people die out there. Carnival should be fined, and everyone on board paid 6 figures; the risk of disease,death,etc. was too great and the fact that Carnival thinks people will wan to take another cruise if they survive this one?

  93. From a marine engineering/fire safety point of view the lack of effective isolation of the fire damage is a disgrace that can be laid directly on the hands of the operator. Ships have been designed on the Unit principle for decades. Greedy owners and lax regulators have refused to solve the problem. Passengers sign contracts that destroy all meaningful remedies. Go on a cruise to take a chance on Death , sickness and misery.

  94. Long before it was fashionable to dislike cruises, I disliked cruises. I predict the industry has seen its heyday.

  95. Join the club. A cruise is the dumbest proposition ... a trip to nowhere.

  96. The only cruises worth taking are going round the world!

  97. My daughter is on this ship, and this is the most accurate story I have read.
    I have gone for 3 days without hearing from her. She indicated if another ship was close she had wifi access. Her first message today was, "What is Carnival saying about this?" She is safe, scared and desperate. She said she has to walk through raw sewage to get to her room, and she has been sleeping under the life boats at night.

    We just want her home.

  98. Poor young woman. Godspeed to her!

  99. I think your daughter and the rest of the passengers deserve substantially more than $500.

  100. Thanks for your first-second person comment. I hope your daughter remains safe AND HEALTHY.

  101. Not to be a Luddite, but I can't help but marvel that these supposedly state-of-the-art vessels, with computer controlled everything, seem especially vulnerable to failures that less complex ships did. It's a great selling point, I suppose, to boast of all of the gee whiz technology, but as we see in cars and airplanes, sometimes I think we make things needlessly complex.

  102. They went to sea - stuff happens at sea. It just doesn't happen often in recent years because the cruise companies are very good at preventing accidents. But accidents do happen. Emergencies happen. The key is not whether there was an a accident, it is whether or not the cruise company did the best job possible dealing with an awful situation.

  103. I so agree with you Doug.

  104. water, water, everywhere, and no way to take a leak.

  105. They snapped the first tow line. No doubt that the boat has plenty of food on board.

  106. Rotting food on board ... there is no refrigeration, Jack.

  107. As a mariner, ship buff and general all ships I love kinda-guy this catastrophic disaster is uncalled for. This is the second ship in the Carnival Conquest class to have suffered a debilitating propulsion failure and with it a failure of vessel infrastructure - HVAC and sewage. Why? Why are propulsion and infrastructure systems linked? Why is back-up not as competent as on-line systems and why isn't there a secondary back-up propulsion system on board? I think its cost-cutting by the designer Fincantari at the instructions of the buyer Carnival Inc.

    QM2 owned by Cunard which is owned by Carnival Inc has secondary propulsion atop the deck house abaft the funnel. It is 2 jet engines. Propulsion systems use turbo-electric. Hotel systems are not coupled. If this design is successful on the one remaining ocean liner in this world, why not apply those same designs into Carnival cruise ships. Ocean liners have a 40 year life versus 25 year life of cruise ships. Recouping vessel cost would cut into profitability.

    And why does the US Coast Guard keep issuing certificates of SOLAS compliance knowing full well they do not. This failing corrupts public confidence, giving a blanket black eye to the industry. It is all unnecessary.

  108. Best comment on this board. Very instructive.

  109. I was wondering what the difference is between an ocean liner and a cruise ship? Thanks!

  110. A fine and seldom seen adverb, abaft. And I agree with you. I just posted that I don't remember trans-Atlantic ocean liners having these problems in the mid-20th century. But those were, I wrote, serious ships that had a serious purpose. These ships have no meaningful purpose, so it wouldn't surprise me if they're less reliable. Also, aren't these cruises so inexpensive that they include food and "travel" for the cost of just a hotel room? If so, caveat emptor.

  111. Bankruptcy is a foregone conclusion for Carnival within 6 months.

  112. Not even close.. Carnival is the largest cruise line out there. I'm a travel agent that just books cruises and the last two days has not stop anyone from cruises with Carnival.

  113. Heck, a Carnival ship had 32 fatalities last year on the costa Concordia! That did not drive them into bankruptcy.

  114. I like how this cruise ship story broke right after the Times printed Dwight Garner's fawning pro-cruise soup. His review barely touched on the long list of ills associated with cruise ships, from norovirus to inadequate rescue operations to the common practice of sewage dumping.

  115. You can't possibly compare a Carnival cruise with a "crossing" on Cunard's Queen Mary 2. Though no ship is totally immune from some type of disaster, I'm sure Cunard would handle something like this much more professionally than the smucks at Carnival.

  116. Except, Patrick, that Carnival owns the Cunard line.

    In my family we have been dreaming and saving of a QM2 voyage for several years, but we've decided to pass in favor of some luxury hotels in exotic destinations.

  117. These cruise ships are all trouble waiting to happen. Carnival is one of the worst offenders of maritime common sense. Even when these crazy floating environmental disasters work, they are nothing more than huge portable sewage systems that get into international waters where they can discharge God knows what. They used to discharge in the Inside Passage before laws were enacted to stop the foul practice. Ships like this have mechanical systems that do not belong at sea.

    And - $500 plus a voucher toward another cruise? Carnival is kidding. These people are essentially prisoners on an unsafe, disgusting derelict and their lost time and the horrible memories will not be able to be ameliorated - period.

    People: stay off mega cruise ships. Find smaller, safer, more interesting ways to travel the seas.

  118. I've heard no mention of any succor for the employees.

    Surely it's been a miserable week for them -- Carnival could probably redeem itself from a little of its horrific PR if it puts them up a nice hotels in a festive area like New Orleans, or otherwise provides a little R&R for those who've had to swab up the urine and feces, and deal with thousands of hungry, irate Americans.

  119. From what I've read about this company, don't hold your breath. (Though maybe you'll have to.)

  120. you have GOT to be kidding me. carnival? ha, ha, ha.

    (written by a former crew member of the M/S sea venture - later the "love boat" - which performed the largest at sea rescue in history, taking passengers off the QEII, disabled off the coast of bermuda, april 1974.)

  121. It that old devil the sea, Anna ............... that old devil the sea..............

  122. Now this is really a supposedly fun thing you never want to do again

  123. I would take a cruise someday, but not on a megaship with thousands of people aboard and definitely not with Carnival. There are other options which include much smaller vessels.

  124. Exactly. If one cannot afford to take a great cruise, stay at home. Who wants to share a boat with thousands of people?

  125. Lawsuits are very unlikely in this case. Cruise line companies require passengers to sign "contracts of adhesion" that exempt them from responsibility for a wide range of matters, including your right to join other passengers in class action suits. Just another way big corporations avoid their social responsibilities...

  126. If it is indeed a "contract of adhesion," a court should set it aside in a heartbeat. Consent to known risks is allowable: no one consents to this level of assault on their safety and health.

  127. Adhesion contracts are often unenforceable.

  128. Waivers of rights in adhesion contracts are unenforceable.

  129. I cannot imagine any scenario where being on a ship with no specific destination would be enjoyable. Going from point A to point B is one thing, being on the ship simply for the reason of being on a ship holds no attraction for me at all. Put me on a beach with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and I'm happy. I pity these people, but they chose their poison.

  130. Why is this helpful? Let's presetend that you're on your beach vacation and the boutique eco-hotel you're staying in lost power and the sewage system shut down and the management just shrugged its shoulders at you. Carnival holds itself out as providing a service. It didn't provide it here.

  131. Well, our beach vacation is at a small mom & pop motel in Panama City Beach, Florida. That is until BP pretty much ruined the Gulf of Mexico. It has an elevator, but we always take the stairs, careful not to slip on the sand. We take our food and cook in the small kitchenette in the room. One year we woke up early and went to the municipal fishing pier and paid one dollar (each) to go out to the end to watch the sunrise. We use a ton of sunscreen to avoid getting a tan, and wear a long-sleeved white dress shirt on the beach and sometimes in the water to stay cool and safe from the UV. We're usually soaking in the medicinal waters of the Gulf and when we're not we're taking long walks on the beach, or floating down the beach when the current is running with the tide. We go back to the room for long naps, or I sit on the balcony and play my guitar. At $90 a night it's not cheap, but it's worth every penny. Ain't no bo-teak, that's for sure.

  132. I love cruises but I do not understand why people want to go on these floating cities. I love small lines like Sea Dream; the ships only have 100 passengers. Great food, great service, and it can still be evacuated and towed with ease. Smaller lines may not have as many entertainment options but why do you need all that on a cruise? I want excellent food and service. If you want shows, just go to NYC.

  133. Totally agree on the smaller boutique lines. Sea Dream may be out of reach for most folks who patronize the "troop carriers" but it is very special. The late Cruise West did a wonderful job of touring Alaska too, with the emphasis on seeing nature up close.

  134. Yeah, I think price might have something to do with it.

  135. And your reward, dear passengers, for hanging in there with us, is . . . a coupon for 15% off your NEXT Carnival Cruise!

    Bon voyage!

  136. Bon voyage indeed. If you can't afford a real cruise, why not stay at home?

  137. A pilot is only in "command" of a ship in the Panama Canal. In all other locations, including Mobile Bay, the ship's master remains in command and the pilot serves under him (or her) in an advisory capacity. While the pilot gives directions to the helm, the master is still in charge.

  138. Here's what I want to know -- why is the US Coast Guard towing this ship, and who pays for the tow?

    Mickey Arison is a 1%er. He owns Carnival Cruises, he owns the Miami Heat, he owns about half of Miami. It's his boat, his problem.

    Carnival Cruises isn't a US company -- it is headquartered in a drop box, like all of the tax cheater US companies that headquarter in the Cayman Islands.

    And then like all shipping companies, the ships are flagged for Panama or whoever will give them the fewest regulations, which is probably why the engine room caught fire in the first place.

    So if they don't pay US taxes, and they don't make their ships follow US laws, then why should the US tax payers pay for the tug boats? Why not ask Carnival to ask the Cayman Islands to tow the boat to Panama, or wherever? And then we can allow expedited return of our citizens from wherever they end up. Until then....

  139. What an ignorant comment. The US Coast Guard is not towing the ship and the tugs are not paid for by the US, Only a Coast Guard cutter, which is a rather small ship, is standing by. And while the Triumph is foreighn flagged, it's still subject to US and international safety standards.
    So you would stand idly by even though many passengers, overwhelmingly American, could possibly be killed or injured? There's even international maritime that establishes a duty to render assistance.

  140. I agree with you--to a point. The passengers, however naive, are mostly U.S. Citizens, and international law and basic morality makes all nations responsible for rescuing those stranded at sea.

    That doesn't mean Carnival should be free of liability in this matter--the Coast Guard should send Carnival the bill for this rescue. Beyond that, more regulationnis needed in the future.

  141. The US Coast Guard will bill them, and the ship's marine insurance carrier will pay the tow.

  142. Sounds like a tale that reflects the state of America today. Infrastructure? We don't need no stinkin' infrastructure! Maintenance? Don't need that neither! Just give us water slides and shopping and endless buffets and entertainment so we can dance dance dance the night away! Our whole country totters on the edge of systems crashing and burning down because most of our citizens really don't understand - or care to understand - what is required to keep the lights on. We think "somebody" will take care of that and don't ask us to pay for any of it or we'll tea bag you. Apparently folks at a certain cruise line didn't think enough about infrastructure and maintenance either. So folks, look upon this little tale as the a microcosm that reflects what we all face on a much larger scale. All us travelers wading in feces and living in "diminished circumstances" to assure those who own and control the vessel make the profits they "deserve". Sure it stinks. So what? You're on the boat now with no getting off. Ready for the fun?

  143. One thing to remember, these ships sail under "flags of convenience". Registry , the Bahamas, Panama or other countries.So the more restrictive US standards for ship design, crew training and experience, safety equipment aren't even in effect. These ships get a cursory inspection as you leave port, and then you are on your own, with a crew that may not speak English very well..
    That is also why these ships can't sail from one US port, directly to another. Only ships of US registry are permitted to do this.

  144. Beyond eloquent! My last read of the night. The end is near.

  145. Cruised on Triumph in 2011. Certain corridors and common areas smelled extremely bad. When I complained to onboard managers they pretended that odor did not exist. Cabin corridors looked worn and sewer issues present at that time too. Wrote letter to Carnival after cruise, no response. I am not surprised by Carnival's string of problems. Their indifference in 2011 is catching up to them.

  146. Will Carnival take care of medical bills when (not if) the passengers have issues in the next few months? Living in sewage for a week! Please. This isn't even third world.

  147. The idea of Carnival extending a cruise credit to its stranded passengers is a farce and a slap in their faces. Some people will be silly enough to take them up on it. Those clever enough, will instead, exchange names, locations and so on to initiate a class action lawsuit against this failing cruise line. I've never had the guts to board one of those top heavy boats. Instead I have been, for some years, observing the chilling prospects these over sized bathtubs present to unsuspecting vacationers. I sincerely feel for all those aboard this tub and wish them well and pray for their safe return to their waiting children and other relatives. Again, what a sham, and shame on you Carnival for failing your at sea passengers so miserably and miserly.

  148. Why start a class action law suit? Things can go wrong when on a cruise. Cut your losses and next time, pick a better cruise line. Of course, you will have to cough up more money.
    Sueing is not the way to go!

  149. @Ann Gansley, oh yes, people should pick the "better cruise lines" & higher-quality vessels & pay more money, because, as we know from the Titanic, things doesn't go wrong if you spend enough $$!

  150. They should be compensated for lost wages at least.

  151. No, they were on a cruise. Stop sueing. Look inward. Sue yourself for having picked a budget cruise ship, dear!

  152. @Ann - my, my don't we know it all? Some people can't afford the luxury cruise doesn't mean they deserve this.

  153. @amanda113 - if you can't afford the luxury cruise lines, but want to see the sea - go to the beach.

    Come to think of it, even if you CAN afford the luxury cruise lines, you'll still have a better time if you just go to the beach instead..

  154. Will there be a special class of PTSD for the survivors of this mess? I feel for these folks!

  155. O.K let us start a relief fund and invite some rock stars for a benefit concert.

  156. Long lines for food, fetid & desperate conditions, hot & humid nights, imposing seawater ... I suppose these passengers are momentarily experiencing the lifestyle we impose on the Third World via global climate change. And we thought 'The Lord of the Flies' was just a story ...

    It's a bit ironic since I can't even imagine how much CO2 goes into making one of those gigantic saltwater buffets possible. Consider the flights and car trips back forth to the boat, and the massive quantity of red meat and cheese sauce and booze.

  157. You are alluding to the kind of digestion challenge that would overwhelm a wastewater system even under normal conditions.

  158. Agree, best to stay away!

  159. Surrounding this article are a couple of articles offering cruise deals, one up to 75% off. Love it! I've never been tempted to goon these cruises. I'm not old enough, just 82.

  160. Cruises are usually good seniors, and the demographics are such that about half of a cruise are right in your age range. But some ships are better run than others.

  161. Why anyone would want to be crowded into the small space of cruise ship with 3 or 4 thousand other people whom they don't know is absolutely beyond me. Downtown Manhattan is the wide open spaces by comparison. That, and the fact that this kind of thing seems to happen often, kind of limits my sympathy for these poor folks - seems like they are kind of getting what they asked for.

  162. You're right! Those cretins paid for an affordable four-night vacation on a cruise ship. What did they expect? Sun, sea, and a pleasant port-of-call in Mexico? For such audacity, temerity and ignorance (don't they know REAL vacations are for the affluent??), of course they deserve to defecate in plastic bags, roll around in human waste, and stand in line for three hours for onion sandwiches!

    Sing it, my brother!

  163. I believe that Carnival also owned the Costa Concordia that ran aground in Italy a year ago.

    A disaster a year for the company -- and still lots of time to go this year.

  164. You are correct about the Costa Concordia, Carnaval was the owner.

  165. For those commenters below who talk about evacuations, either via helicopters, lifeboats, or another ship - what they are doing is by far much, much safer than any of those options, even if they were feasible.

    Any evacuation would be dangerous - 5 people were just killed in a lifeboat accident:

  166. Tell me why people take ocean cruises again? The list of reasons against doing so includes crashes, sinkings, shabby treatment by the corporate owner, pirates, getting sick because of failure to follow CDC guidelines, theft on board, incompetent to grossly negligent captains and crew members, etc.

  167. I've been on two cruises in my lifetime of 70 years and hated them both...the first was a short three days to Ensenada from San Pedro, California and the second a two week Panama Canal cruise embarking from San Juan Puerto after a flight to New York from San Diego. I hated the control first of all but secondly it was like being on a vacuum sucking up all of your money after paying thousands for access to the vacuum. I read about these people who give away their power and their money and wonder how they can be so stupid to think these people care about their well-being.

  168. I don't understand why these cruise ships suffer total electrical failure. There are international standards of construction that at a minimum should keep lights and potable water on, and able to feedback from the emergency generators to keep the sewage plant running. Better check out the country of registry for that 'cattle boat' before you go on board. The government of Zambesi may leave you stranded over the Limpopo and good luck suing the company in the local courts.

  169. As a former U.S. Navy assistant engineering officer (main propulsion plant assistant on a 560-foot amphibious ship) I find it disturbing that this giant ship carrying over 3,000 souls doesn't have more redundancy built in to the propulsion, auxiliary and electrical plants. How can they not have at least two massive independent electrical plants run off separate diesel engine systems so even if one engineering plant experiences catastrophic failure, at least the lights, water pumps, fresh water distillers and refrigeration plants can keep running?

    As they say in the Navy -- a main engineering plant failure at sea can ruin your whole day.

  170. Sooo why couldnt they get a genset to power at least emergency level water/plumbing? They needed a big one - bring it by barge (using the tug that is coming to rescue you!)
    Fire the Chief Engineer - or whoever didnt give him what he needed to get that done. Apparently the navy can sniper a pirate from 2.5 miles away but we cant get a plunger to a cruise ship in the gulf?

  171. Agreed this is an unfortunately situation for the people aboard this cruise ship. However, there was a fire in the engine room. Do you really think Carnival knew this was going to happen?? Do you think they wanted people to be in this situation. Everyone is so hard on Carnival and how they should pay the passengers for their grief. I feel what Carnival is doing is enough. One writer wrote the executives of Carnival should have to live through the same situation. Really??? Really??? What would that help. They are human and feel great remorse for this. If you owed a company and was in a situation that your company put people in harms way, would you not feel terrible? Why do you feel that Carnival has no heart?

  172. There had been recent mechanical problems with this particular ship. I think Carnival was pushing it back into service too quickly. The ship is fourteen years old and probably needs serious rehabilitation work done. Well, the company kept it in service and now has a major PR problem as well as financial and legal woes. The company was short-sighted and now must pay a price.

  173. I've travelled on Carnival a few times, and I suspect that they skimp on essential maintenance in the attempt to save money. They should feel remorse. I don't think that these problems apply to all inexpensive cruise lines; there is something about Carnival...

  174. The Triumph has a long history of trouble. There is never any down time to repair worn equipment. The mechanical crew are recruited from the third world and they are paid slave wages Carnivals fleet is very tired. You sign a waver before you get on board, they won't get a dime of compensation beyond what Carnival decrees is satisfactory.

  175. Watching and listening to this debacle I keep thinking of the Slave trade and the Middle Passage.

  176. That's a startling and unsettling comment. These passengers made this cruise by choice; they are temporarily put into discomfort by this event but will return soon to lives of relative ease and free will. This is nothing like a slave ship or the Middle Passage.

  177. This is heaven compared to what the slaves went through. Remember that many of them died, they were not allowed to come on deck for fresh air, their foot and water were horrid, they were packed in like sardines, didn't know what was happening to them, and had no reason to believe that good people (and healthcare) were waiting for them on the other end. In fact, they didn't even know when or if they would ever land.

  178. I'd a friend who was briefly the M.D. aboard one of these behemoths. He said he spent most of his time dealing with passengers with either sunburn or alcohol poisoning or both. No thanks indeed. Endless spring break, Ft. Lauderdale style.

  179. I am very surprised that all the systems are linked rather than being redundant, like the FAA requires of the aircraft we all fly. The cruise industry has had enough publicity lately, the viral epidemic, the Italian ship on its side, and now this. Is it lack of training, lack of proper equipment or carelessness?

  180. The abuse of passengers and the risks that they take from the moment they sign aboard any cruise ship will continue until there is new law and legislation that truly protects the rights of passengers. Passengers must not be compelled to sign their rights away and must have the right to sue for every redress of every grievance. Until that happens ships will continue to tip over, catch fire and lose power making all on board miserable.

    Of course the large cruise line operators will oppose this. But once they become liable for all of these incidents including criminal actions onboard, then and only then will the cruise lines take real action to prevent harm to passengers.

    Why aren't there multiple generator and pump systems on board modern cruise liners? Why can't waste systems continue to operate? Once an engine room is disabled why in the world aren't there at least 3 or even 4 other stations on board from which alternate power can be generated throughout the ship?

    Once new laws are in place and the risk transfers to the cruise line to operate safely and efficiently then and only then will we see new engineering that provides total safety and complete back-up for power systems throughout the ship.

    No ship that docks in American ports should be exempt from responsibility and liability. The time for new maritime protection law is now.

  181. More lawsuits now that sounds productive. If people are selling a crappy product i.e. cruises why doesn't the consumer exercise some judgement and not purchase it. People continue to blame everyone but themselves for their own choices.

    The engine room was on fire. Those rooms are the size of a high school gym filled with lots and lots of flammable lubricants not to mention the enormous fuel tanks. The automated fire systems suppressed the fire. No one died. Sounds like a success to me. What's your metric for success in a disaster, that everyone can continue to go about their vacation and not be bothered?

  182. I am a Republican and I oppose more regulations on any and all industries and businesses. I am sure many of those on board are Republications since we are richer would agree with me. They wouldn't want to see regulations.

  183. How much would that kind of redundance cost? Who'd be able to afford a ticket? What mode of transportaion provides "total safety"?

  184. I'm a little confused about why they haven't gotten all of those people off the ship. Couldn't the company just send another ship and transfer the people? I mean, if it was sinking they would have to evacuate, right? I have never been on a cruise, and wouldn't really want to, so someone more knowledgeable might be able to explain why these poor people are still there after all this time. Bring some generators to the boat, and some fresh food and water. It just seems like brains are not in use here...or the company doesn't understand that not spending money to resolve this is just going to cost them in bad PR.
    If I had saved up and was thinking of this as a dream vacation, I would be really pissed off.

  185. I've been wondering the same thing. Surely they could have gotten the passengers off the ship within a day or so, rather than making them stick it out while the ship gets towed back. I gather that there aren't any "extra" cruise ships sitting around, since all are pretty much running 365 days/year. But there should be some contingency for evacuating passengers from disabled ships within a reasonable amount of time.

  186. Did you read the article? It said the water was too choppy. They were able to get one person off for medical reasons and not even her sister was able to jump onto the boat with her b/c of that. So that sounds pretty bad.

  187. Transferring large numbers of people from ship to ship is dangerous even in ideal sea state conditions with specialized equipment. Doing it here, with numerous elderly and infirm passengers, is just asking for an even greater disaster.

  188. I would hope that Carnival will also provide medical support and follow up for the passengers and crew of the boat. After having been subjected to human waste, as well as food and water which may be contaminated together with the extreme mental stress that has occurred, it is not unreasonable to expect that there will be impacts to passenger and crew heath. Carnival is responsible.

  189. They've been putting supplies on by helicopter. I'm sure no one's drinking contaminated water or food.

  190. “Lost” part deux. Instead of a plane crash on a weird deserted island, it will be a cruise ship that has lost power floating aimlessly in shark-infested waters. Seriously, I hope they get these people off soon.

  191. Hopefully they have enough alcohol.

  192. That's something they NEVER run out of.

  193. What makes Carnival think these people are going to be up for a two hour bus ride to New Orleans or a 7 hour ride to Houston after being stuck on that ship? They should've booked these people hotels in Mobile and fly them out of here. It makes no sense to force them onto buses after everything they've been through.

  194. The cruise lines are cheap and have no respect for their passengers. It's just that simple. I'd thought about taking a cruise for years, but the steady drumbeat of bad press has really given me second thoughts - at least with this particular company. Their response seems entirely ham fisted and disrespectful. But the again, the low-end cruise lines are kinda like the Greyhound bus of the sea so maybe I'm expecting too much.

  195. Joe, have you been on a Greyhound recently? Comfortable, efficient, convenient. It beats flying, driving yourself, and Amtrak, at a fraction of the price.

  196. Sorry for these cruise-goers but there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that my husband and I would ever go on one of these vessels. It sounds like a new circle of hell.
    I'd rather stay in a luxury beach-side resort.

  197. They have been compensated in some sense (no pun) of the the extent that hopefully they have been educated to NOT step foot on another cruise ship.

  198. That ship will take a loooong time to fix. They think it will go out again in April? I think not!

  199. Eew! How can they possibly get her ready by then, if ever? People were using the halls as toilets!

  200. That ship will take a long, long time to CLEAN.

  201. Why will those poor passengers have to travel another three hours by bus to New Orleans before they can shower? There are plenty of hotels in Mobile, yet Carnival is sending them all elsewhere. How weird is that?

  202. The ship passengers are living under horrible circumstances temporarily. Tens of thousands of US citizens (not to mention people in The Third World) live in equally horrible circumstances permanently. Why do they get less coverage than the temporary unpleasant but survivable plight of these ship passengers? I don't ask this rhetorically.
    Charles Merrill

  203. Because people living for 5 days in wretched conditions of stinking sewage on a leisure barge is a fairly novel event. The masses across the world living in poverty is not. Yes, it's just that simple.

  204. It does seem ironic; however, we're talking about a situation that most people would want to know about. How many people spent hard earned money on vacations with tour companies and cruise companies with the faith that they're going to have a fun vacation --- and it ends up a nightmare. Maybe next time they'll think twice about spending their hard earned money on something as frivolous (and potentially miserable) as a cruise. I personally think their the most ridiculous way to spend a vacation, but thats just me. Also, it's BIG business! The travel industry is worth billions of dollars; so, yes, I want to know about it as it may help educate the general public about the scam the travel industry can be; more precisely, cheap travel options. maybe the general public will learn that You always get what you pay for!

  205. Not to mention the staff on the ship...a regular cruise is mini hell, this must have been ....

  206. I keep thinking of that early 80s commercial with Cathy Lee (before Gifford). "If they could see me now, I'm on a fun ship cruise." Well, I can see it right now on CNN. I wouldn't cruise Carnival if they paid me $5,000. Yikes.

  207. Thank you Bob! You are correct.

  208. If you take a cruise, don't take it with a budget cruise company.

  209. Save your money and sail with a Cunard line ship.

  210. I thought Carnival owned Cunard.

  211. Open Your Eyes: Cunard is now owned by Carnival, or didn't you know this?

  212. Pardon me for stating what should be obvious here. Look at the photo above, showing the Coast Guard delivering 5,000 pounds of supplies to the crippled ship. It seems to me that, after offloading the cargo, the helicopter could "offload" 5,000 pounds worth of passengers. And, they wouldn't have to take them directly to shore either. They could place a barge close to the cruise ship, copter the people over to the barge, then tow the barge to shore.

    Another thing they could do is get a similar-sized cruise ship (currently unused) and sail it side-by-side to stricken cruise ship ... allowing travelers to simply walk over to the new ship on a gangplank.

    Point is, there are options for getting these people off the unsafe ship that aren't being utilized.

  213. You have the right idea, but, conditions in open ocean are not always that simple. The cavalry does not ride over the hill and save everyone.
    They apparently should have gone to Mexico and gotten off the malodorous ship. Later, tow the sucker back to a US port.

  214. Seems like a no brainer, huh? Why didn't this happen????? Unless the ocean was really turbulent, it doesn't seem at all out of the question.

  215. Do cruise ships have a place where helicopters can land? I'm not sure, if they do, then possibly they could have taken passengers off ship.

    It is doubtful that a similar-sized cruise ship would be unused and freely available within 1-2 days sail to take passengers aboard. Cruise ships tend to utilized year-round except when in dry dock so they earn as much money as possible. I think the logistics of transferring passengers from one cruise ship to another with both afloat and likely swaying would be exceptionally challenging and likely unsafe.

    They could have used the life boats though, and transferred those passengers to a barge nearby, but that would have meant leaving behind luggage. But I suppose people could have packed up their belonging and it received it later when the cruise ship came ashore.

  216. 4000 people could have been released from the floating jail within a few hours in Mexico, then the company would have had to pay their compensation, fly them from Mexico back to the US.

    That would be quite expensive.

    On the other hand, just like any other greedy capitalist company, they prefer having 4000 people held as prisoners in a 3rd world floating jail, where the current conditions are an obvious health hazard.

    These people has to suffer while the US government is aware of this situation, could prevent it by ordering the company to do the right thing and release these people back to safety and carry all costs or rescuing 4000 people which are on a US territory and handing the bill to this ם outrageous pathetic greedy company.

    On the other hand, let them suffer, maybe someone will die on board due to these sanitary conditions.

    I sincerely hope to hear of no casualties, a class action lawsuit and directors behind bars.

    This is an absolute disgrace, disregard for human life and the essence of the hated American Capitalism.

    Shame on you!

  217. Release them where? With the ocean currents pushing the ship toward the U.S. - helping the tugs - it still took them 3 days to drag this 100,000 ton ship to Mobile. It would have taken the tugs an additional 3 days to fight the currents to bring the ship to Mexico.

    It's extremely dangerous to evacuate a ship out on the open ocean. It's only done if staying on the ship would present a greater risk of death than evacuating would. The safest place for passengers on a ship that's not burning or sinking is ***on the ship***.

    And I think I'm being generous here, but maybe 50 of 4200 might be legitimately sick as a result of this experience. You don't get sick from breathing "bathroom odor" - even strong odor - which comes from inside you to begin with. If it doesn't make you sick from the inside, not likely to from the outside.

    Sure it was a very trying situation for everyone on the ship. But you can't compare it to third world prisons where you would probably starve to death and had no chance of freedom - They were brought supplies regularly by passing ships and the coast guard, there was NO chance of anyone starving to death and these people KNEW they would be out of this mess in a few days. Just gotta grin 'n' bear it and look forward to getting off the ship. Anyone over the age of 12 who has any lasting trauma from this unfortunate situation seriously needs to grow a spine.

    Kudos to the captain and crew for handling this situation well and keeping everyone safe!

  218. As little as I think of Carnival, I think you'd have to show some proof of that. That said, when I think of the cost of transporting 6,000 people out of a Yucatan backwater ... hmmmm ... that is at least a few million dollars. I hope someone investigates this. This seems to be the big unanswered question.While it couldn't just land in some jungle in the Yucatan, there were some big ports much closer there than Mobile.

  219. There is no oversight. This is a buyers beware industry, "par excellence". No unions to raise issues of safety and working conditions. Far from regulation, whistle blowers are keelhauled. Cruise ship vacations could be wonderfully enriching experiences, but for two main business objectives: exploit the crew and get the passengers to spend more than they signed up for. I love the idea of the Slow Boat to China, but with all the corners they cut, it's not surprising that bargain hunters being taken so terribly advantaged of. Please, multibillion dollar multinational corporations should be able make an honest buck if the cruise is safe, the crew is remunerated ethically, and if the unthinkable should happen, there should be a well managed evacuation, no? I consider myself lucky, I took a cruise and had not incident. But will I tempt fate again? No way!

  220. A perfect example of a lightly regulated Industry, The chronic issues fires, Norovirus outbreaks, breakdowns, in the cruise industry are a window into a Tea Party/Libertarian Future.

  221. The only cruise I ever took was on the Matson Line's big beautiful ocean-going ship Lurline from CA to Hawaii back in the mid-1950's. Ours was a Navy family, transferred to Hawaii and this seemed to be a great way to get there. I was about 12 at the time. To this day, more than 50 years later, I have kept the beautiful menus that were printed just for that ship; a new design each day. The stars at night on deck, the glittering sea, dressing for dinner and everything so very middle-of-last-century civilized made it the cruise of a lifetime.

  222. The reality is that this is an incredible story of disaster averted. For those that have spent time at sea they know that of all the dangers on a ship fire is the one where time counts the most. If the truth is that indeed there was a fire on board the ship then the true headline reads something more like.

    "Maritime disaster averted, thousands of lives saved in an instant from the advances in technology in automated fire suppression systems"

    Every single person on that ship could have died if the fire suppression system had failed! It is time for people to stop complaining about their vacations being ruined and be thankful they are alive.

  223. My family and I cruised with Carnival during Christmas week and had a wonderful time. First class everything. Sometimes things happen, no one really wants a huge problem, but that's life. You deal with it and move on.

  224. I'm betting you wouldn't be saying "deal with it" if YOUR family's Christmas week cruise had turned out the way this cruise did. You'd be howling with outrage, and rightfully so.

  225. In the era before jets, cruise ships were originally designed to transport people from one place to another. They were essential pieces of transportation infrastructure. The use of a cruise ship today is dubious as evidence by trips to nowhere where thousands of people make large circles in the sea arriving where they departed, their bellies full from the never ending feeding frenzy. For what purpose exactly are millions of gallons fuel used for and tons of waste generated? The whole enterprise of useless cruising has needed some question marks around it. Perhaps, although I doubt it, this unsanitary trip to nowhere in darkness smelling of urine and feces will get some policy makers to ask questions that go deeper than how the engine fire started. There is nothing more wasteful and unsustainable than a giant boat that goes nowhere. What the industry calls a vacation is actually something else entirely.
    ---Harris Silver

  226. All too true. A boat ride to nowhere. We already have a bridge (or did that not get built?.)

  227. Strictly speaking, ships used for actual transportation are ocean liners, not cruise ships.

    Sorry to nitpick, we technical writers obsess over little details like that.

  228. I hope the poor crew members get $500 and other perks! Their experience was no doubt much worse than that of the passengers and I'm guessing many are earning minimum wage.

  229. It coulda been worse: Trump coulda been on the ship, threatening to sue everyone on board for $5 million (his current going rate) for whatever frivolous topic to which his mind wanders. Rubio coulda been on the ship, beating all the passengers back with a stick to keep them from his precious, gulp-worthy bottles of Poland Water. LaPierre coulda been on the stricken vessel, frightening the passengers into manning the decks with loaded weapons as they look out for hurricanes, tornadoes, zombies and civil unrest. Boehner coulda been in full scuba gear, watching them from the ship’s top deck as he prepares to save only himself and let the GOP ship get more stinky and sink even lower. And while the passengers count their Carnival Cruise big refund bucks, they can thank God that they dodged these bullets. Never been on a cruise ship.

  230. And it's frustrating that they never gave any updates on how the crew members are gonna be treated! My husband has been working on the ship since December. When I went to see him in Galveston two weeks ago, he told me about how the engine problem has slowed down the cruising and the company wouldn't want to cancel the trips and fix it. After several days out of touch with him, finally I got to talk to my husband today. They still have no idea where they (crew members) will be sent to and he is just one of over a thousand staff on the ship. I am very disappointed at how the company has reacted to the whole incident.

  231. I was on Carnival Victory out of San Juan. They have really fallen hard since my last trip with them. The food was bordering on Fast Food. It was 6 bucks for a beer, 15 for a double G&T. They have shortened your time ashore, keeping you on board as much as possible. None of the inside rooms sold so they gave them to locals for a few hundred bucks each. Some kids were 'tagging' in the hall ways. They did it again in Barbados, we took aboard a large group of local people who just ate all day! I think they were hoping they would drink but I doubt they could afford to! We kept ordering large meals from room service and fed the fish with most of it just to show a little disdain. After a few days the orders got later and later and then stopped coming. If you went out for dinner in the dining room they would pull tricks like asking you if you wanted wine and bringing the bottle 50 bucks! At the end of the meal they asked us if we would like water. We didn't specify in a glass and got a cartoonishly large bottle for 7 dollars. "Ain't we got fun??" Never, ever again.

  232. I haven't experienced anything like you posted...

  233. Last time I took a cruise, the same thing happened, the main propulsion went out. The navigation had been gone for weeks before the departure. We ran out of food and water and the crew mutinied. Luckily we got the down-haul fixed and sailed back to the side of the lake before the crew's bed time.

  234. Can I please cruise with you?

  235. I'm glad I didn't have to serve in the Army with people like this. These folks had a great opportunity to stick together and make the best out of their situation. Whiners and wimps. They wouldn't last a day in Afghanistan. They can't Americans--can they?

  236. If you are serving in the military, you train and prepare to deal with battle conditions, and you take appropriate gear. The cruise ship's passengers are an average bunch of folks with no special gear other than a bikini and sunscreen. The conditions sound sort of like what people in the path of a hurricane or earthquake have to deal with until power and transportation are restored -- but I suspect ticket sales will drop if you make everyone show up with a full hurricane survival kit.

    It does make me wonder if cruise lines could do better with having some more emergency stores of nonperishable food on board. These ships are huge; do they have somewhere to store a couple thousand MRE's?

  237. Yeah, TC, but here's the thing - YOU were in the military and THEY were on vacation. Apples to oranges, my "friend." None of them was cruising to Afghanistan. Sheesh.

  238. This wasn't a serious post, was it? Comparing a cruise where people expect to have a relaxing vacation to serving in a combat situation. Clearly one in the same.

  239. No fun, but not quite as tough as coming here on a small boat from Haiti.

  240. I hope whatever happens to the ship, all the employees (many from foreign countries with families depending on them) get paid for all the cancelled cruises!

  241. This seems a fitting metaphor for what greed capitalism run by a tiny vampire elite is doing to the country and the planet. Seems like such a good idea until the engine breaks down, the sewage backs up and the food runs out.

  242. The idea of going on a cruise has never had any appeal to me. the idea of being stuck at sea, with no where to go, with people you might not want to be with is not appealing. It's bad enough flying. Cruises are just an excuse to pig out and drink, and then spend a few hours a day on land, skimming the sites before racing back to the boat. I'll pass. Hearing these horrible stories accentuates my fears.

  243. This does tend to sum up my opinion. I might take a ship to go somewhere, like NYC to the UK, but to just float around and eat. . .. not for me.

  244. You have very succinctly summed up my complete and lifelong lack of interest in cruises. I would need a vacation after being on one.

  245. Yes, the statement "The idea of going on a cruise has never had any appeal to me" sums up my sentiment as well. Cruise travel is canned, bloodless, packaged, insular travel. Many Americans are afraid of genuine travel because it offers challenges and requires improvisation, and so they seek out cruises as a pallid substitute for authentic travel. Cruise ship culture is, in fact, a perverse form of anti-travel.

  246. I've been on 2 Carnival cruises and 1 Royal Caribbean cruise and I would choose Carnival any day. Just my opinion.
    And I think what most people don't understand is that the chances of this happening are rare. I would take a cruise over any other vacation in a heartbeat, knowing what could happen.

  247. It seems to be happening with more frequency, especially to Carnival.

  248. David Foster Wallace got it right: "A Supposedly Fun Thing That I'll Never Do Again."

  249. Ah, the ocean air, the romance of exotic adventures for eight hours straight in cookie cutter tourist traps, the eager attentions of underpaid third world servants, and the eager anticipation of seven hundred people in line for the desert buffet at 11PM.
    I await the next email from a cruise line offering me two thousand dollars to spent the week on their floating biology experiment. No thanks, and please unsubscribe my address.

  250. Cruise: 45 footer; full keel, a main sail and a jib I have and would sooner have my child out in 35 knots on Superior on a sailboat than on one of these cesspools on water

  251. What about the crew? Whatever the passengers are going through, the crew must be much worse off. PLUS they don't pay these people much anyway -- they depend on tips -- and clearly the tips are going to be non-existent.

  252. Not to mention the fact that not only are they dealing with the customer's fury, they've basically been on duty 24/7. Hoping they get SOMETHING out of any litigation that goes on here.

  253. This is just terrible for the cruise line. Better get the PR boys on this right away.

  254. Why on earth haven't they sent a working boat to get these people off this boat????? We've known how to do this since the Carpathia rescued the Titanic survivors.

  255. It's extremely dangerous to evacuate a ship out on the open ocean. That's why they only do so if staying on the ship would present significant risk of death. The safest place for passengers on a ship that's not burning or sinking is ***on the ship***.

  256. Three words: "Man the Lifeboats!"

  257. What's the big deal? Who in his or her right mind gets on a ship for fun? The ocean is dangerous and so are ships. The idea of making the dangerous mundane is ridiculous and exploited by companies like Carnival. These passengers deserve nothing but a refund, which is--indeed--all they are entitled to. Or they should pay for the cathartic revelation that the Sea is not a vacation.

    As for cruise ships. . .they are hideous monstrosities and ticking environmental disasters. Flagged in the Bahamas? Yep. Probably not a US citizen aboard as crew member. Neither licensed or unlicensed crew, just another cost-saving measure, though the ship does embark from US ports with, mostly, US citizens. Crew is most likely comprised of foreign nationals working at little better than minimum wage. . .and something goes wrong? Oh well. Sleeping on deck gives the idea of what life was and is really like at sea. As for the sewage. . .call it karma.

  258. Well, somebody needs to tell Carnival that because they've been selling the sea as a fabulous vacation for decades and have been paid handsomely as a result.